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Assessment on the Legal Practice Course (LPC)


Whenever I think of the phrase ‘fit-for-purpose’, I remember Rebecca Huxley-Binn’s advice ‘fit for whose purpose?’

So that’s how I’m going to approach this one. Running exams is an operational nightmare, and the mechanics of them always arouse emotions for all involved. The legal education providers would like ideally to award as many passes, commendations and distinctions as possible, and the students wish to do as well as they can. And the Solicitors Regulation Authority need evidence that trainees commencing training contracts have the necessary knowledge or know-how, behaviour and skills to succeed.

Ultimately how well a trainee performs is best assessed with a workplace assessment, and legal recruiters can take one of two approaches in selecting suitable candidates for training contracts. They can decide to seek out actively competences of a ‘good and proper trainee’, a pro-active approach, or they can select the least worst trainees, a reactive approach. The latter lends itself to a safe II.1 candidate, however bland he or she may be; and City firms, despite their gloatings about innovation, tend to be conservative with a large and/or small ‘c’.  Bland is probably best in selecting trainees who are the safest and able to generate as many billable hours for the firm as possible. Intelligence is not required, and in fact may slow down productivity.

Assessment on the LPC has its primary goal safety of trainees and safety of their clients. The assessment procedures have to be consistent and reliable, and whatever method used, the learning objectives need to be matched to the assessment methods. That means in principle it doesn’t matter what mode of assessment is used, although I happen to feel that a piece of project work where a student can have access to real-life precedents in drafting makes more sense than an artificial scenario involving 10 marks in civil litigation, business or property. The College of Law has open book exams, as opposed to BPP where only permitted materials (mainly statutes) are allowed. The ethic of the exam serves two functions – as an exit from the course, and as an entry for completion of training to be admitted to the Roll of Solicitors by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

I personally would like to see a time where electronic resources are allowed in the exam, but the advantage of the way in which exams are conducted presently is that students are most likely forced to look at material they otherwise would not bother looking at. Also, it depends on what you think the purpose of assessment actually is. Some people believe that assessment is a valid learning exercise itself, and the separation of assessment and learning is an artificial one. At best, it probably is at best a rough-and-ready tool, and should be, like with other components such as verbal reasoning test performance, used with caution by selectors. The best way students can prepare is through looking at the relative weightings of subjects in past papers, and making sure that they know everything reasonable well. After all, you wouldn’t wish to pay for a lawyer ‘who’d binned corporate insolvency’, would you?



Please support the London Legal Walk 2012 today!


Today is the big London Legal Walk 2012!

I will be there at the beginning of the walk, doing live tweeting from about 2.30 pm onwards at the Royal Courts of Justice. I hope then to make it somehow to Chancery Lane to witness the finish.  

I am looking forward to participating indirectly today. Doing the walk would be physically impossible for me as I am disabled following meningitis in 2007; however I am passionate about legal aid, having volunteered pro bono in a law centre in London, and I am most concerned about legal aid for welfare benefits falling outside of scope. Sadly it is now clear the system for allocating welfare benefits is poor according to my disabled friends. I am deeply concerned that such disabled citizens are having their benefits discontinued with inadequate explanation, and now without any access to legal aid. This is not a society the UK can be proud of.

The London Legal Support Trust are a wonderful group of people. Their description is as follows:

[It] was established in 2004 as an independent charity to raise funds for free legal advice services in London and the South East.

As part of a network of Legal Support Trusts working with the Access to Justice Foundation we support the provision of specialist legal advice through law centres, advice agencies and citizens advice bureaux by providing them with grant funding alongside other forms of support. We raise funds from fundraising events, including the London Legal Walk. We also receive ad hoc donations from law firms and chambers.

In addition to funding we offer our knowledge, contacts and experience of the sector to help agencies become more sustainable and, working with LawWorks and the Bar Pro Bono Unit, we help to partner agencies with law firms and chambers who want to help them to ensure that the law is fair.

Whilst I will be personally fundraising on an ad hoc basis today, and taking lots of photos, I hope that you can officially support by giving money through these pages.

I am very happy to support the BPP team, which is here, their team consisting of: Carl Lygo, Laura Gerrard, Laura Rowland, Saira Iqbal, Christian Metcalfe, Doltice Grey, James Kilby, Jo-Ann Fisher, Jessica Austen, Yllka Hyseni, Andrew Okola, Eva Dvorakova, Victoria Speed, Veme Patel, Mitali Parekh, Swetang Joshi, Olga Tabenko, Sophie Earnshaw, Ayesha Begg, Naomi Clarke, Alice Kim, Sunjay Thakoor, Amy Fenton, Eric Migliaccio, Shezan Hafeez, Shameerah Peerkhan, Danielle Sugarman, Beth Brookner, Mandeep Bassi, Georgina Sharpley, Aashna Musa, Simon Paul, Bhouneswarsingh Askurn, Anna Corrigan, Hannah Fogg, Adam Curphey, Eleanor Brody, Vanessa Acquag, James Adeleke, Ian, Sashan Thompson-Hamilton, Idanesi Immanuel, Sam Lane, Vanina S. Black, Zeynep Turkoglu, Rob Tolomanoski, Tala Teymoori, Nicole Nash, Faiza Hassan, Emmi Hussain, Negin Zakarova ‘Rizzo’, Ranarii Ahmed, Azfar Ahmed, Sara A-sa, Penelope Green, Alice Pettit, Vic Surdhur, Mishal Dattani, Sarah Dabiri, Arlinda Krasniqi, Thomas Edward Christopher Holt, Casselle Roberts, Sameeha Visram, Diana Kirsch, Shaila Pal, and Junior Stewart.

Their mission statement reads as follows:

We are walking with the Lord Chief Justice and thousands of lawyers to raise funds for the London Legal Support Trust which funds Law Centres and pro bono agencies in and around London.

We know that these agencies do a fantastic job in preventing homelessness, resolving debt problems, gaining care for the elderly and disabled and fighting exploitation.

We also know how short they are of the funds to continue that work.

I am also very happy to support the Justice Gap team, which is heretheir team consisting of:- Jon Robins, Kim Evans, Amanda Bancroft (organsising, not walking), John Cooper QC, Felicity Gerry, Alice Christian, Joanna Goodman, Kristin Heimark, Louise Restell, Julian Norman, Giles Peaker, Rachel MacLeod, Jon Harman, Richard Buchanan, Rosemary Sheppard, Jeremy Hopkins, Cassie Williams, Merry Neal, Gaia Marcus, Paul Bernal, John Austin, Rachel Austin, Jules Carey, Stef, Rob Richmond, Neil Rose, Sehb Hundal, Priyanka Horeesorun, and Raman Kang.

Their mission statement reads as follows:

We are walking with the Lord Chief Justice and thousands of lawyers to raise funds for the London Legal Support Trust which funds Law Centres and pro bono agencies in and around London.

We know that these agencies do a fantastic job in preventing homelessness, resolving debt problems, gaining care for the elderly and disabled and fighting exploitation and discrimination.

We also know how short they are of the funds to continue that work.

Please donate as generously as you are able. Many thanks for your support

This was the good news 5 hours ago!


BPP has competitive advantage in offering a holistic business law education, I feel

A lot of my education latterly has been at Masters level in business and in the law.

We can argue til the cows come home about the relative merits of the Graduate Diploma in Law in offering a necessary and sufficient education in law for non-law graduates like me. This will, I have no doubt, rumble on in the next few years, against a complex backdrop of private vs public education, tuition fees, the Legal Education and Training Review, whether we need a ‘law curriculum’ and if so what should be in it.

We can also argue relentlessly about the Legal Practice Course. I personally feel that it strikes a right balance in its core subjects, civil and criminal litigation, business law and practice, and property law and practice. We also receive an education in accounts and professional conduct (in comparison to the undergraduate assessment requirements of the General Medical Council, to my knowledge), practical legal research, advocacy, interviewing and assessing.

Latterly, however, I did an excellent Masters course at the College of Law, which I’m well known to be fond of. I thought that the way in which their programme is delivered through distance learning is extremely well organised, and gave me a brilliant education in practical training as well as academic perspectives of specialised domains of international commercial law (such as equity finance, share acquisitions or intellectual property).

I am currently studying at BPP Law School, having trained thus far virtually completely at Cambridge (apart from 30 months at the College of Law). I would say that the pastoral care which I have received is second-to-none. For example, I unexpectedly went into a six week coma (due to acute meningitis) during my GDL. Fiona (the Learning Support Officer) and my late father, while I was on a life support machine, communicated endlessly – so I was told by my father – to ensure I could stay on the course. I did complete this course in September 2008, even ‘upgrading’ to a LLB(Hons). I have some friends from the weekends when I attended for classes, with my father. I was in a wheelchair at the time, and Michelle and Gill (from BPP at Waterloo reception and the common room at Holborn respectively) offer reminisce about this period in my life with me.

That however is not where I think the source of the competitive advantage of BPP is. I think, fundamentally, it would be very hard for the College of Law to build up a formidable reputation in finance, accountancy, tax, business and marketing overnight. These happily co-exist in the BPP Business Schools, with BPP achieving every year some of the best CIMA professional accountancy exam results in the country. I cannot even begin to explain how the MBA which I completed earlier this year for a two-week overlap with my LPC has fundamentally improved my understanding of management accounting, markets and marketing, organisations and leadership, international marketing, strategy and operations management, advanced strategy implementation, and innovation. I have the opportunity to pass this on with new and old friends of mine at the BPP Legal Awareness Society, a society based in Holborn, but which is open and inclusive for all BPP students of all disciplines.

I look forward to seeing BPP excel in a very harsh international competitive climate. I feel BPP is second-to-none in terms of offering a holistic business law education, though people who know me will know I am also extremely loyal to Cambridge and the College of Law where I also trained.

Our BPP student society strategy for the summer of 2012

Our new brochure is here.

It contains essential information about the BPP Legal Awareness Society, a popular student society at BPP, which discusses how corporates make strategic decisions in the context of law and regulation.

We will be sending out hard copies of the brochure, with an invitation to take part in a survey, to leading Corporate law firms at the end of June 2012. Through this, we hope to develop mutually agreed terms with firms as to how we can promote an understanding of business in legal education through our Society. We then hope to engage with such firms on this mutual basis. We will also continue to promote heavily the importance of community investment and pro bono projects in the law profession.

We have recently decided to appoint Zerbakht also to the role of Vice-President, a role which he will be sharing with Gizem until September 2012.


Law is not just about compliance for businesses. It's about creating value.

Law is not just about compliance for businesses. It’s about creating value. It’s also about creating ‘competitive advantage’.

This is what I strongly believe should be at the heart of the business strategy. Unsurprisingly, it’s why I feel parts of Society may need lawyers.

A company in the UK will be make offerings to the general public for a product or service. People who have watched the careers of Lord Alan Sugar and Sir Richard Branson saw them progress in ‘business media’ from ultimately a sole trader to the company in English law. Lord Sugar tends to excel at products, Sir Richard Branson tends to excel at services.

The debate in economics is not just about delivering a low cost product. There are two critical aspects to creating value. Firstly, there is inherent worth in the offering you’re producing (this could be ‘eco-friendly’ washing powder, or a legal education which has a strong passion for social justice). Also, it’s creating shared value between the company and the customer.

That’s where the strategy comes in. Businesses need to position themselves ahead of their competitors, and this involves an understanding of their ‘competitive advantage’. A number of factors can act here such as market entry for what you’re producing, and the bargaining power of suppliers and customers, but fundamentally the ‘competitive landscape’ plays a part. Enmeshed in this competitive landscape might be political, social, economic, technological, environmental factors, but above law, law and regulatory factors.

Our student society at BPP has at its roots a balanced discussion of how businesses deliver value and competitive advantage. We also discuss key aspects of compliance with the law (e.g. not hacking to selling a multi-million paper, not accepting bribes to further our business), and we argue that compliance with the law is important. However, to create a successful environment for the clients of business lawyers it’s fundamental to understand value and competitive advantage at the heart of business.

Irrespective of students’ ultimate ‘success’ in finding City training contracts, we feel strongly that an education and unfettered discussion of this, at student level too, is what their high-profile clients want.

Doing 'experiential learning': my 'reflective learning' for the MBA strategy module special elective

This is a version of a ‘reflective learning’ I completed for my MBA in strategy, analysis and implementation. It constituted only part of the assessment, and I was awarded one of the highest marks in the whole class for the whole module which was a special elective on strategy developing the topics we had covered in the basic compulsory module.

I am posting this for one of the tweeps I follow, who is a law student. ‘Reflective learning’ is only part of ‘experiential learning’, but I hope it helps.

This diagram is from the Leeds University website.

Their description is as follows:







Reflective practice is important to the development of lecturers as professionals as it enables us to learn from our experiences of teaching and facilitating student learning. Developing reflective practice means developing ways of reviewing our own teaching so that it becomes a routine and a process by which we might continuously develop.

Kolb developed a theory of experiential learning that can give us a useful model by which to develop our practice. This is called The Kolb Cycle, The Learning Cycle or The Experiential Learning Cycle. The cycle comprises four different stages of learning from experience and can be entered at any point but all stages must be followed in sequence for successful learning to take place. The Learning Cycle suggests that it is not sufficient to have an experience in order to learn. It is necessary to reflect on the experience to make generalisations and formulate concepts which can then be applied to new situations. This learning must then be tested out in new situations. The learner must make the link between the theory and action by planning, acting out, reflecting and relating it back to the theory.”

My response:

I should like to present some thoughts within ten minutes on what I have taken away from the ‘Strategy analysis and implementation’ course.


This brief outline is in three parts.


Firstly, I should like to offer a reflection on my own personal learning experiences in the entire module, including the impact on my own learning.


Secondly, I should like to offer some perspectives about the Report I prepared for the assessment, including again the impact of the preparation of my Report on my own learning.


The third, and final part, of this presentation is an explanation and critical justification of rationale for approach and content of written Report.


Firstly, the reflection on my learning experiences in the entire module including the impact on my own learning


In the core module, ‘strategy, systems and operations’, I felt we went through the basics of performing a strategic analysis for a business in a competent way, and that was indeed useful.


I personally used the technique of ‘mapping’ using a useful way of structuring my thoughts on topics we covered during the substantive teaching of the course until December.


However, I am very happy that I did this special elective on strategy analysis and implementation.


This special elective has definitely taken me out of my “comfort zone”.


I now believe that strategy is at heart of all businesses, whether allied to marketing, organisation structure and culture, leadership, operations, or managerial accounting. I therefore value now value as pivotal in contextualising virtually all of the rest of my MBA, including my special electives such as innovation.


In addition to my cognitive knowledge of strategy from before, I believe that I have learnt more skills. I have a markedly different attitude to strategy now, however.


I perceive strategy to be a very inexact science, but where the benefits and outcomes of your analysis have to be communicated to the client in a very concrete manner. In fairness, it is not possible for me to know for certain how much more I actually know. On a positive note, I feel as if I know where to find information if necessary, using the BPP online library, and I feel as I have learnt how to learn better.


My original thesis at Cambridge, for my Ph.D., was in individual decision-making. I therefore especially enjoyed topic 4 (strategy in the face of uncertainty), topic 5 (bounded rationality and cognitive limitations).


However, as the module progressed, I really appreciated the fallacy of the ‘one glove fits all’ approach. I found enormously useful, therefore, topic 6 on speed and agility, and topics 7 and 9, the complexity and human dimensions of living systems, but I found myself towards the end of the module unable to rationalise how the fertile academic debates about strategy in terms of behavioural economics could be reconciled with clear-cut recommendations of the type you would deliver to a client, in practice.


Finally, for this first part, I really do feel as if this entire course has taught me how to ‘reflect’ in my own time. I am mindful that it is almost irrelevant how much you know about a subject, if you are unable to communicate it effectively. I have enjoyed bouncing ideas of my peers, and it’s been overall a rewarding, fun and interesting learning experience.


(roughly 1 minute)


Secondly, I’d like to offer some perspectives of reflection about the Report including the impact on my own learning


My first response to doing the Report was simply to describe the events as they happened, but I found that I was offering no critical insight at all, and the description was taking up a huge amount of the word count.


I feel the module enabled me to describe, comprehend, apply, analyse, synthesise and evaluate key decisions in the case study provided to me at the end for my summative assessment.


I hope, in my response to this assessment, to have provided more than a descriptive or dialogic reflection. A descriptive reflection is merely to Report the events as they happened in the case study, and a dialogic reflection is where I have offered some limited judgements and alternative hypotheses about what happened.





(roughly 6 minutes)


Thirdly, and finally, here is an explanation and critical justification of rationale for approach and content of written Report.       


I think an ability to write an effective business Report is a skill I should like to have mastered by the completion of my MBA at BPP Business School.


I wished to produce a Report which is professional, written in an interesting and lively way such that it would be attractive to the reader. In addition to the short-term purpose of achieving a reasonable mark for the assignment as a whole, I wished to obtain further practice in how to write a Report of professional standard, in terms of content and presentation.


Executive Summary


The outcome of my proposal is for CD Hotels to continue to pursue a franchising strategy, in a straight choice between franchising and acquisitions. I specifically did not consider any other mechanisms of market entry, as these had not been asked for at all. I feel that this is an important section of my business Report. I wanted to convey the summary simply in a way that would make the reader wish to be convinced about my proposal.


Table of contents


In this section the topics covered in the Report are to be indexed with the page number where it is written in detail.




In this section, I presented a framework for the Report is presented.

Detailed Report


I did not break the Report down into individual chapters, as this Report, excluding the executive summary, had a total word limit of 2,500 words. Using the existant literature, I attempted to answer directly the actual questions posed.




This section gave the results that I had derived from my studies on the case study. I also tried to give a brief indication about the main limitations of my Report. I have provided a brief record of my literature review as key references.


This section consists of the brief list of all references which I have referred to in the main body, but my reading was much wider in fact.


I’d diarised what I’d read to keep track of my research. I only looked at a few journal articles in the end, but I did particularly enjoy Beer and Nohria (2000). I looked at a number of book chapters, but I did find Johnson, Scholes, and Whittington textbook extremely helpful as a book, but I didn’t use it uncritically, I hope.


However, I found the industry cases very helpful, especially the article ‘Chic to cheap’ January 2008.  and the Bernstein Research Report ‘Lodging the power of brands’ (2010) extremely helpful.


I also did much background reading on the international regulation of franchises. I decided not to include this in this Report, as the Report is not supposed to be a specialised legal analysis.


I’ve only got two appendices in my report. Appendix 1 sets out the case against acquisitions, but in favour of franchising, in my opinion, and Appendix 2 sets out my recommendations for a successful implementation of franchising this time around.


Limitations of my analysis are inevitably having to rely on the truthfulness of the facts. It could be the case that there are certain issues which are not quite as Reported, for example the precise relationship between the actors of the case study.


Lastly, I’d like to mention some notable omissions. The word count I felt was appropriate for the Report requested. There are clearly aspects of leadership styles which are relevant to how successfully CD Hotels functioned, but I decided to omit these as what was required was a strategic analysis and implementation.  In my Report, I have tried to analyse the strategic decisions actually taken, as well as to consider the efficacy of the implementation of these decisions.




In conclusion, I hope I have provided some insights in what I have learnt from this module, and from doing the Report; furthermore I hope that I have justified the content and approach of my Report.


BPP has a proud record in promoting pro bono work. The BPP website cites the following:

BPP’s Pro Bono Centre provides a wide range of legal services without charge through a varied and interesting programme of projects, all delivered by BPP law students.

Taking part in pro bono gives students the perfect opportunity to demonstrate their legal professionalism and build up experiences that will prepare them for a career in law.

Many students never forget these experiences and deliver pro bono advice throughout their careers.

Award-winning service

The centre’s projects have won several awards, including:

  • The Lawyer Award for Pro Bono Activity of the year 2005
  • Finalist status for the same award in 2004, 2007 and 2009
  • High Commendations in the LawWorks & Attorney General’s Student Awards 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011
  • Two High Commendations in the Attorney General’s Student Awards 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011
  • Winner of the Best Contribution by a Team of StudentsAward at the LawWorks & Attorney General Student Awards 2011
  • Winner of the LawWorks Award for Pro Bono Partnership2009


The text of this blogpost is from a publicly available flier available at BPP, from the BPP Pro Bono Unit. For queries relating to the Members’ Conference & AGM and Council elections, if you’re a BPP student, please DM @legalaware (you can temporarily follow @legalaware solely for the purpose of sending the DM if you wish.) Otherwise, you are most welcome to support the @ProBonoBPP twitter account, which is separate from the BPP Legal Awareness Society.









Liberty’s annual Members’ Conference & AGM will take place on Saturday 26th May 2012, at Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU

If you would like to attend the event, please complete the attached booking form and return it to or post it to AGM, Liberty House, 26-30 Strutton Ground, London, SW1P 2HR.

This event is for members of Liberty only. If you are not a member then you will need to join up in order to attend. Details on how to join can be found at or please call Liberty’s Membership Team on 0207 378 3663 or email them at

The day will include the opportunity to participate in interactive “break out” sessions with Liberty Board, Council and staff members and other guests on the following topics: Careers in Human Rights / Is the Right to Protest Under Threat? / Equality: the Law and Current Issues / How to Support Liberty’s Work

The sessions on Careers in Human Rights and the Right to Protest will run simultaneously, as will the sessions on Equality and How to Support Liberty’s Work. Members are permitted to sign up to a maximum of two sessions, and so should choose only one from each time slot.

Places on these sessions are limited and will be offered on a “first come first served” basis so if you do wish to attend, please indicate this on your booking form. Attendees will also have the chance to debate and vote upon motions which have been submitted in advance and which will, if passed, help to shape Liberty policy. In the morning there will be a “Question Time” style panel debate with special guests, including Attorney General, Dominic Grieve MP.


The @BPPLawSchool FCD Charity Tuck Shop Event is today at Waterloo!

(logo (c) BPP FCD)

BPP Annual Charity Food & Clothes Drive

According to the BPP Students website (link above, where you can also sign up for the charity if you’re a current or future student member of BPP), their aim is, “to break down barriers of participation and create some kind of tradition and values at BPP which all stakeholders can be proud of.

  • For students and staff of BPP wanting to become part of the Society or assist they will need to contact the Membership Director (
  • Business / Organisations wanting to become part of the Clothes and Food Drive will need to contact the Business Development Executive (
  • Charities will need to contact the Charity Liaison Manager (”

Their President can be contacted using the email address

Staff and students will be asked to exchange (donate) food and Clothes in return for items in our Tuck Shop and entry to our raffle on Thursday April 19th – 11 am- 4pm (may extend it if we have time or willing people) .

This is today – the Facebook page is here.

The aim is for you to donate any clothes, new or used, designer or non-designer, retro or contemporary, etc. The BPP FCD campaign is collecting money for London & Slough Run, St Mungo’s Charity, Fara, and Cancer Research UK. BPP FCD hope to collect clothes useful for homeless citizens, both here and abroad.

Here is their publicity poster. It’s hoped that the raffle winner will be announced from about 4.00-4.30 pm onwards.




BPP Students Association

The BPP Students Association is a thriving community at BPP, including future lawyers, accountants, marketing and business professionals. We are lucky in that the range of our student societies reflects a much wider range of interests.

Across all sites, BPP students can get involved in any capacity they wish. Of course, the courses are demanding, but many attend meetings and events, as well as help to run the societies as extra-curricular activities in positions of responsibility.

Here’s a video of the fun which we had at the recent BPP Students Fair, held at BPP Waterloo (London.)


The BPP Legal Awareness Society (click here for details) is an unique Society, run by current students at BPP, and exists to promote the importance of both complying with and cultivating a culture of competitive advantage from the law and regulation to improve the corporate strategy to clients and their stakeholders, from a client’s perspective. Any current, past, or future student at BPP, across any of the campuses, may attend our meetings. It is one of very many societies:







Click here to see what events are happening at your campus of BPP.

BPP Careers Fair – Thursday 29 March 2012

Thank you to the BPP Careers Team for organising the BPP Annual Law Careers Fair 2012 this Thursday 29 March 2012. It was great to meet Saira Iqbal for the first time, and Eric Migliaccio whom I know well from Holborn.

All students of BPP were invited. We met up in the lower ground floor of the Waterloo campus of BPP Law School between 3 pm and 7 pm.





Legal training providers/City firms attending the event included Addleshaw Goddard, Boodle Hatfield, Charles Russell, Clyde & Co., CMS Cameron McKenna, Dundas and Wilson, Eversheds, Fox Williams, Government Legal Service, Jones Day, Kennedy, Macfarlanes, Orling, Herrington & Sutcliffe, Osborne Clarke, Reed Smith, Sidney Austin, Squire, Sanders and Hammonds, Stephenson Harwood, and Withers.

I went along there on completion of my second SGS on professional conduct and regulation at BPP Law School, Holborn. We had been studying financial promotions and mainstream/incidental activities as a solicitor (as indicated by the FMSA and SRA conduct rules).

I must say that I had a really enjoyable time. In fact, soon afterwards, I came to the decision that I would not apply for a training contract until after I had completed (and passed) the Legal Practice Course. I am not in an overwhelming hurry to do the training contract, as I am 37, and I have already experienced much in my life.

That’s what made my afternoon all the more enjoyable. I happened to speak to Alex, Emma, Izzy, Jonathan, Lorraine, Simon, Sarah amongst a few others (whose names I should have jotted down to be honest) at Addleshaw Goddard, Boodle Hatfield, CMS Cameron McKenna, DMH Stallard, Government Legal Service, Eversheds, Macfarlanes, and Stephenson Harwood. Having done numerous unsuccessful applications for training contract and vacation placements in the past, I must admit I had become rather jaded about the whole experience. It was therefore really refreshing for me to actually that these representatives of legal entities were all very nice people, all personable, extremely knowledgeable about the firms they worked for, and the legal sector in general.

This of course should be no surprise, but they do include one or two firms which have rejected my previous applications (I’ve never been interviewed by any of them). In some cases, it was really nice to meet the person behind the Twitter account, although I did accidentally find myself screening myself the law firms by an innocent question on their approach to social media. Of course, it was brilliant to meet @legaltrainee – Eversheds have been remarkably successful in treating recruitment as a two-way dialogue, where both parties can find out more about each other’s identity and culture in a mutually beneficial way; they also offer a number of excellent opportunities including the combined study training contract programme, for example. Likewise, it was lovely to meet the team behind @DMHSRecruitment, who IRL were as positive about the work of their firm as they are on Twitter daily; they also confirmed that the biggest gripe of a legal recruiter, aside from application forms with poor spelling and grammar, was an inability by the candidate to answer the question asked. Finally, I met members of our own society there, the BPP Legal Awareness Society (the official BPP students website, blog, twitter, Facebook) and members of the excellent BPP Commercial Awareness Society there too.

Legal entities either fielded graduate recruitment advisors, managers or administrators, and/or current trainees (including mostly BPP graduates). I had the pleasure of discussing the legal doctrine of proportionality, innovation, the relative importance of corporate social responsibility, and expansion of legal services into Eastern Europe with the Government Legal Service, Eversheds, Addleshaw Goddard and CMS Cameron McKenna, with current trainees respectively. For some firms, applying would be awkward in a sense that I don’t wish to fall out if I ultimately have rejection (it’s a highly competitive market out there), but something I’ve learned that the whole process is not personal in the sense until it comes to interview. I personally liked all the people I met on Thursday.

Without naming names, I would like to thank the legal entities for a fresh supply of pens, praline chocolates, a frisbee, a memory stick, hemp bags, company literature and highlighter pens. It’s the thought that counts, but actually all are very useful to me! What I especially found very reassuring was how the law firms have such a high regard for BPP – and the feeling is entirely mutual, I assure them…

Thank you for all giving up your time to attend, and, despite it being a hot day, I hope that the legal entities enjoyed meeting the current students of BPP.

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