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Legal aid work won't mark you for life, trainees

Russell Conway mourns the loss of trainees who are turning their backs on legal aid firms

5 May 2015

I am currently interviewing prospective candidates for
a training contract: young people, with excellent GCSEs, great A-levels, and, for the most part, 2.1 degrees from good universities. In fact the CVs all look very much the same. Where they start to differ is in relation to work experience and, to a certain extent, life experience.

Life experience can be a guide to how successful a trainee might be. Trekking around South America for six months on a limited budget shows the ability to deal with problems, manage money, and deal with difficult situations; telling me about their time as a waitress
in Bolton does not impress me.

I have noticed that the questions trainees ask me
have become increasingly sophisticated. Trainees want
to know what the firm’s future plans are. They want detailed information on retention rates and (this is rather worrying) they...

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