Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Sailing on...

So the BVC is over, and like many I find myself without pupillage. The question is, what next for the BVC graduate?

I still want to continue the search for pupillage. Well, I think that's a given for another year anyway. The Bar is still the career I strive for and that gets me excited. It's what made me want to move to the Big Smoke and take up the BVC. The real question is, what now?

Well, as I see it there are a number of options open to me that warrant some exploration with that in mind.

First, there is the low-paid, random, fill-the-time job. Personally, I think this is a bad option. I'm still pursuing the dream of the Bar, and I think a non-legal non-progressive would not be taken well. Yes, if it pays the bills and is a stop gap then it makes sense. But simply cruising along is not going to help me progress either at the Bar or in some other future career.

Second, there is the legal job. This is, it seems to me, the ideal. Unfortunately is the probably the hardest to gain entry to. Hopefully I can get some work that will not only pay me well enough to get by, but improve my experience. The problem is that, particularly with criminal paralegal work, there are significant barriers to entry. Most, though not all, London based jobs I have come across require police station accreditation which is both costly and not simple to get. Almost all require experience, which is hard to come by.

Third, there is the internship route. These opportunities offer (hopefully) great experience, but come at price; they aren't going to pay the bills. So, whilst it may help with the employability for the future, it could leave the already impoverished graduate facing some touch times. Nothing like eating cornflakes for a few months to make one feel virtuous. However, I do think it may be worth it in the long run even if it makes times a little tough. I think that, given the right internship, it could help with paralegal jobs too.

So, where will I find myself? Well, I think that's yet to be seen. I have between now and next year's HellGate season to improve my chances. I think options 2 and 3 are most likely to help me succeed given the incredibly tough competition. That, and a little self-critical analysis of my attempt this year. Back out into the endless rough sees of the job market.

The remaining question is of course....what, if not the Bar?


  1. Have a ring around criminal solicitors and ask if they have any outdoor clerking work. You could build up contacts that way. But its mostly done by who you know....

    WCN legal I hear is quite good too..

  2. Thanks for the advice, I actually hadn't considered that. There is also organisations like LPC etc which would be good work if you can get it. Then there's FRU cases and I am hoping to bag one of those if I can.

  3. When I was at BPP studying my law degree the, vast, majority of my class at Holborn had TCs. I can't speak for Waterloo though, didn't know anyone over there but did here that the situation was almost the opposite. Really strange.