As I start to compose my latest post, can I firstly apologise for the delay in bringing you up-to-date with recent events. In part I have been incredibly busy with representing individuals in my capacity as a union official, whilst it’s been nose to the grindstone as my lecturing commitments with students draws to their natural conclusions. In any event, those following ‘The Pupillage Blog’ via Twitter will have been kept up-to-speed with all the latest legal and pupillage news via my daily tweets.
As the mood changes towards pupillage interviews after the onslaught of the ‘Pupillage Portal’, I am mindful of the recent research by the Bar Standards Board which would suggest that non-traditional candidates have more difficulty securing a pupillage than those who are white, male and middle class, which lets face it creates a very uncomfortable and unacceptable position for the profession. Interestingly, this latest statistical offering from BSB generally supports those concerns and thoughts drawn in my recent post ‘The Roll of the Pupillage Dice‘.
However, there may be at last a change in the air, as this controversial hot potato is finally jettisoned into the wider domain. The Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) a joint project of the Solicitors Regulation Authority the Bar Standards Board and ILEX Professional Standards, is examining regulated and non-regulated legal services and all stages of legal education and training. With recommendations in December, the outcome of this review could spark the much needed change to the most radical rethink into legal training for many years.
For those gearing up for the forthcoming pupillage interviews, news from the front that barristers may take the uncharted step of initiating strike action, will inevitably provoke a reflective if not mindful awareness of the current mood across the Bar. Possible direct action in protest against low and late payments at the Criminal Bar has seen a flurry of responses from some of the leading figures within the profession. However, whilst I can understand any derived palpable anger at the real injustice of the legal aid cuts, I am very mindful that from the perspective of the general public, sympathy in support for such action will not be embraced with the same enthusiasm. To this end, it is my considered opinion that any such protestations may provide opponents of the Bar the necessary ammunition to create a pivotal turning point to reshape the future of our legal profession.
Finally, turning to some important news from the Crown Prosecution Service. Following the omission of the CPS Legal Trainee Scheme upon the Pupillage Portal, the decision has been taken to extend the application submission date to Friday 8th June. So good luck for all those waiting upon on news of pupillage interviews and remember The Pupillage Blog will always be here to support you.
Stephen (AKA) Justin Time.