Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

25% of Students get a 1st class degree - surely some mistake?

 25% of Students now graduate with a 1st class degree

The Times newspaper reported this week that 25% of all undergraduates finish up with a 1st class degree at the end of their time at University. This is compared with 17% in 2012 and (probably) considerably less than this as you go back over time.

Does this mean that
  1. Lower numbers of students go out on the lash midweek and get completely wasted?
  2. More students have increased their intelligence levels and therefore able to achieve higher grades?
  3. The drugs have got better at most UK universities?
Or does it mean that Universities have worked out a way to increase their funding and/or market their courses and demonstrate success to prospective students? Hmm.

I suspect the latter, although anecdotal evidence does suggest that considerably less students now spend their 3 years in the student union bar.

Anecdotal Evidence

We see increasing numbers of 1st class degree students getting nowhere with their careers whereas if you go back 15 years you would be very unlikely to see a 1st class graduate out of work unless that was their own wish.

It also begs the question whether there is a problem now getting a 2.1 degree, as over 2/3 of students end up with a 2.1 or a 1st class degree (again the Times have reported this). 

Dumming Down?

This surely has to be the dumming down of education – someone somewhere has worked out that someone somewhere is going to financially benefit from allowing more students to graduate with a 1st class degree. There can be no other logic to this – why would you allow more students to gain a 1st class degree if there is no benefit from doing so?

Granting more 1st class degrees may make good statistics, but it makes it increasingly difficult for students from certain universities to get a job when they graduate off the back of their degree result.

Employers start to get used to seeing 1st class degrees on CVs and the universities risk losing their credibility with companies if every CV seen during a recruitment drive is from a graduate with a 1st class degree.

1st class degrees used to be a virtual shoe in for some companies – in the legal sector you could virtually guarantee job interviews left right and centre. You name a city law firm – they would probably interview you. 

Lack of Guaranteed Success for 1st Class Graduates

I am not so sure this generalisation is applicable anymore. Now I suspect the employers look at the university who have awarded the degree and make a decision on more than just the academic results.

This is a real shame, as any student will agree, it is very hard indeed (or at least it was) to get a 1st class or very high 2.1 degree. It takes months of hard graft and consistent academic excellence, both of which employers have traditionally appreciated.

If the 1st class no longer has the same meaning it does make you wonder whether all the effort was really worth it. 

Request for Statistical Evidence

If any University has statistics demonstrating that 1st class degree awards have not unilaterally increased without any clear evidence of a similar increase in educational attainment I would be gratefully to receive them and publish along with this article…

Jonathan Fagan is a bitter and twisted law graduate with a very high 2.1 degree (I missed a 1st by a couple of percentage points – honest!). He is also Managing Director of Ten Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising solicitor. You can contact him via for comment.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Charity Nominations for 2017

Charities Nominated for Donations 2017
So far this year we have had the following charities nominated for donations by candidates and clients. To see our policy on donations please visit:

Greenwich Housing Rights
Howard League
The Parent House
Daisey Garland Charity
PVNH Support
Helping Older People (New Forest)
We expect to continue our support of LawCare, Ace of Clubs, Reprieve and Unlock.
If anyone else wants to nominate a charity for a donation, please let me know. Our main policy is that we will not donate to charities who pay any staff more than £75k per annum.
Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

A Psychic's 2016 New Year Predictions Revisited

A Psychic's 2016 New Year Predictions Revisited

Every year we carry an article in our January Newsletter about predictions for the previous year by an "expert" online psychic, Craig Hamilton-Parker (from Mr Hamilton-Parker charges £1.50 per minute for his services via telephone consultations. We have also included Mr Hamilton-Parker's 2017 predictions below to see how he does when we revisit in 2018. In 2014 Mr Hamilton-Parker scored 1 out of 16 but managed to get 5 out of 16 in 2015.

Online Psychic Craig Hamilton-Parker's Predictions and Results for 2016
1. Massive earthquake in Himalayas causes dam to burst (wrong).
2. Japanese island sinks beneath the sea (wrong).
3. Unprecedented rainfall disrupts some of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (wrong, although there was a bright green swimming pool).
4. A comet/asteroid is missed by most astronomical observatories and comes close to Earth (wrong).
5. EU referendum brought forward and leaves EU (presumably this relates to the UK) - wrong and right!
6. Large fire in historic Dutch building sees many masterpieces destroyed (wrong).
7. Extensive flooding in UK during winter with tidal surge causing extensive damage in Southern England. Dates to watch 11th and 29th November and February 23rd. (Wrong - no major floods in 2016).
8. New refugee wave from Ukraine and Georgia as Russia tightens its grip on dissidents (wrong refugees).
9. Rise of right-wing politics in Spain, France and Italy sees rioting on streets and mosques burnt (wrong).
10. Turkey will invade Kurdish areas of Syria (partly correct).
11. Massive increase in use of drones in Syria quell ISIS. Britain puts some troops on the ground (wrong).
12. New form of nanotechnology used to track terrorists (wrong).
13. Commonly used food additive is conclusively proven as a cause of cancer (wrong).
14. Prince Phillip is taken seriously ill and has major life and death operation (wrong).
15. There is an attempted behind-the-scenes coup in China as Chinese currency collapses (wrong).
16. An alleged naked picture of Kim Jong-un causes a political row (wrong).
17. Donald Trump’s bid for the White House is thwarted by illness. The last battle is neck and neck between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. The republicans win after a sudden last minute change of republican candidate (wrong).
18. British Labour Party splits in two with one section joining the Liberals. British Labour Party make big gains in Scotland (wrong).
19. India’s economy surges forward. New deals made between UK and India (sort of right)
Total score for 2016 predictions - 2 out of 19.
Mr Hamilton-Parker's predictions for 2017:
1. Hillary Clinton will resign from politics because of the release of documents that reveal financial corruption and falsification of government documents.
2. Denmark and Italy pull out of EU as Euro crashes. 2017 sees Italy in serious economic problems.
3. Economic chaos in Europe (and America) with riots in many European capital and big cities (Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Paris and Prague) In these places many people are suffering serious poverty and food shortages due to the failure of the EU.
4. Famous building in flames as right-wing riots in Germany spark memories of the burning of the Reichstag.
5. Britain escapes the worst of the international economic troubles and is seen as a safe economic haven. Britain, India and Australia form an economic alliance.
6. America becomes politically divided between East and West. Riots and gun fights in America over election results and turmoil throughout 2017. Friendly, neutral troops from Canada are called in to quell unrest.
7. USA experiences a serious drought during the summer of 2017 while Europe has floods.
8. Large fire at the UK Houses of Parliament
9. New War spills into Afghanistan as revolution erupts in Uzbekistan
10. Ancient Giant Squid makes the news – found frozen in ice.
11. Volcanic eruption in Iceland causes toxic gas cloud over Norway
12. Conflicts between China and USA as satellite computers are hacked.
13. Japan initiates an arms race in the Far East after provocation from China and North Korea.
14. Kim Jong-un will be fall from power later in the year – maybe December 2017 or January 2018
15. Serious threat of escalating conflict between China and India over northern border of Kashmir.
16. Sample of Shakespeare’s bones exhumed and show that he was poisoned. Clues to a new play found in his grave.
17. August 21, 2017 eclipse over America coincides with huge stock market fall and long-term inflation.
18. Assassination and kidnap attempt on the pope at the Vatican. Swiss guards killed.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.