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Showing posts from February, 2009

Changing Specialisms - are conversion courses a waste of money?

I would like to issue a challenge to all the CPD and legal course providers of the changing fields to a new area of law courses and diplomas that are currently doing the rounds in the legal profession: Send me any examples you have of a course delegate in the last 6-9 months (ie since the credit crunch) who has managed to use their investment of £995-£1,500 to secure a paid post in the field they are looking to convert to. I get a call on average once a week from a lawyer asking me for advice as to whether they ought to do these courses, and my advice has been to avoid them like the plague!! I can see no benefit at all from doing them - firms want practical experience, not academic study, and I simply cannot understand the merits of studying yet more law and paying 1-4 weeks salary in order to do so.. Am I being unfair? Do these courses have an effect? Get in touch, give me examples and I can then assist you in selling the courses to the legal profession... I await your response... Jon

Redundancies caused by Outsourcing?

A Hertfordshire firm dealing with personal injury law work issued a press release recently to the Law Society Gazette to say that they are setting up a law firm in South Africa to handle personal injury cases at low cost. The Law Society Gazette talks about this new ground and almost hinting at it being the way for out sourcing in the future. It’s amazing that this continues to be a story, as the firm in question have been peddling these ideas for years, and if you look back through the Law Society Gazette they have featured fairly regularly over the years for promoting outsourcing. Every time something else happens the Law Society jump on it and publish a story, which probably does not reflect the reality very much at all. I suspect this is a case of the LSG being duped by PR into running a headline story... I cannot see what the difference is and why this story has made particularly the front page of the Law Society Gazette as it appears to do nothing but advertise the firm of solici

Legal aid work goes up in a credit crunch

In the last few months we have seen a large rise in the number of Legal Service Commission funded posts. It seems that a lot of firms are looking to expand their legal aid departments and take on new staff and a number of practices have applied and been awarded LSC contracts in areas that until recently were avoided like the plague by solicitors firms! We were recently approached by a firm who now have a contract in employment, welfare benefits, debt, housing, community care and mental health work and were on the look out for solicitors and paralegals to join and develop these areas of practice. This has not happened for quite some time, as firms have been concentrating on getting out of legal aid work and do more high street matters such as conveyancing and wills and probate. I think we are seeing a cycle return now with the collapse of the conveyancing market and firms are starting to go back into the legal aid areas. If my memory serves me correctly, the firm who have registered the