Wednesday, 22 June 2011

"According to our very strict criteria . . . "

If I see the phrase "according to our very strict criteria" again, I think, I will most likely throw my laptop against the wall.

It is of course pupillage season and after many rejections, some interviews, and some further rejections on top of that, I am becoming enraged with the lack of feedback or clear guidance offered by most chambers.

1. What is this strict criteria they speak of?
2. Why won't they publish it?
3. It is quite clear that some chambers do not take anything less than Oxbridge, so why not say so?

Chambers could save themselves a lot of time and money by making it very clear who they want, rather than just being extremely generic.

16 comments:

Michael said...

Ouch! :-(

I won't ask how it's going then...

Anonymous said...

I am starting to think that many (prob most) sets know which 10 or so people they are interested in. They then interview 50/60 or even 100 people to show that they are not discriminating in anyway. I think that they have to pass on information to the BSB about those they interviewed to ensure that thay are playing "fair." The recent article in Counsel magazine shows that some sets have been warned about their procedure (shame the sanctions weren't greater). Maybe I'm just being a bit sour but 3 years of experience has shown me that only 2 sets are genuinely interested in having me as a pupil - I just hope that one of them says yes this year!!

Lost said...

As this is my first time applying for pupillage, I am still trying to come to terms with the system, and figure out which sets I should be aiming for with my CV.

It is quite easy to see which sets will only take on oxbridge candidates as pupils and later tenants. All we have to do is look on their website!

I am concerned that the criteria that is used to assess us, is entirely secret. I would like to know how well I scored and what else can be improved.

I understand the difficulties in providing feedback to 300 or so applications, but if there is already a scoring system in place, surely this is a copy and paste job?

Anonymous can you link me to the article please?

Sydney Sullivan said...

Howdy. Been following your blog recently. Found this post funny because a very good acquaintance of mine was asking the same question last week. He doesn't understand why despite having top grades he is still looking for a pupillage four years later. Last time he spoke he mentioned running away to join the Moscow State Circus...

Lost said...

Hi Sydney,

I think the problem is that brilliant academics and interesting things on your CV will only secure you an interview at most places.

A further problem at the paper sift stage, is whether or not you have made your application "stand out".

I had an interview this year where I thought they seemed really interested in what I had done, to only receive a rejection a few days later. This must mean I messed up the early advocacy part of the interview.

Its a difficult process and as someone has said on the pupillage thread on the student room forum, it does feel that a blindfolded monkey selects randomn candidates.

Sydney Sullivan said...

Lost,

Yeah. I hear ya. It's no better when you come out of the LPC on the hunt for a TC. I was lucky that I had a TC before doing the LPC, but so many of my friends are in a similar boat to you. And what's stupid is that they come with good legal experience. Even that doesn't count for much these days.

But you are right, the 'strict criteria' needs to be published. More transparency in the Legal profession. Bet you would love to know how firms recruit trainees...

Lost said...

I'm pre BPTC at the mo, so was all hopeful. I am not sure how having the BPTC will sell me at all?

Although a lot of people seem to have got pupillage on the bptc year or after it, so I am hopeful...

Don't law firms have psychologists etc all assessing people? Sounds scary to me.

Sydney Sullivan said...

Psychologists? Nah. It's more a case of, "do they sound arrogant on paper? If so, we won't have them, no matter how good they are."

There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance. There are fine lines for a lot of qualities. I guess that's why it is useful to have someone impartial read your CV/application first.

I guess there's no real logic as to why an employer takes someone on. You just gotta get lucky...

Anonymous said...

Lost - I don't think the Counsel Magazine website will let you look at the article unless you have subscribed. I will attempt to scan it into my computer from my hard copy of the mag and email it to you later today.

Anonymous said...

Its bad times - sonme firms are making students work for free http://juniorlawyers.lawsociety.org.uk/node/9951

www.lawyerwanna.be said...

argh, good luck.

im so tired of sending out emails/forms/begging and season hasnt even started yet

London business lawyers said...

As it's gone very quiet on the blog, can we assume you have succeeded ? If so, well done !

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dissertation proposal writing help said...

All we have to do is look on their website!

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The issue increases manifolds if you have to cope with a representative from a nation which can be just vaguely familiar to you.

hou said...


It is quite easy to see which sets will only take on oxbridge candidates as pupils and later tenants. All we have to do is look on their website!
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