The Latymer Link - page 21

any current Laytmer students may have few opportunities to find out about careers in the legal
profession. Firms of solicitors and barristers’ chambers are becoming increasingly inflexible about offering
work experience placements and mini-pupillages to students prior to the students (at least) commencing
their undergraduate studies. Accordingly, if those in Years 12 and 13 wish to explore the possibility of a career
in the law whilst at school, it is only those pupils who have parents or family friends in the profession that
are likely to be able to do so by speaking with practising lawyers and embarking on a short period of work
experience. If they have no contacts, their interest may wane and they may be lost to the profession without
it giving them, and them giving it, any further thought.
It is, of course, in the interests of the legal profession to promote social mobility and diversity. Part of that
process must be to encourage into the profession those who do not have lawyers amongst their family or
family friends and to nurture the interest of students at an earlier stage.
I recently met with some sixth formers (as they were in my day) to discuss this issue and to see whether they
would welcome the establishment of a Latymer Legal Network – a group of former students, or parents of
current students, all lawyers, each prepared to offer to one or two students a year: (i) careers advice in person
or by telephone / email; and (ii) a couple of days’ work experience. The concept was well received by the
students and, once a reality, is capable of being rolled out across other professions
I have already signed up three QCs and a partner in a prestigious City law firm, all willing to offer their services.
Equally, I am happy to offer mine and to coordinate matters by matching student requests for advice or work
experience with appropriate lawyers. For example, if a student is interested in a career at the criminal bar, I
would seek to put that student in touch with a barrister specialising in criminal law.
To make the scheme work, I need to sign up lawyers prepared to commit a little of their time to advising one
or two students a year and, potentially, having those students shadow them for a couple of days. It should not
be an onerous undertaking, even if you already take vacation placement students or mini-pupils through your
firm or chambers.
The ideal is to sign up former Latymer students or parents of
Latymer students from both branches of the profession and from
firms and chambers of all different sizes and areas of specialism.
If you are prepared to participate, please can you let me know and
let me have your contact details and details of your firm / chambers
and areas of practice.
Many thanks
Daniel Bayfield
South Square, Gray’s Inn, WC1R 5HP
Calling all lawyers
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