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Can I practise both Business & Human Rights law?

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    Hey there, my name is Brianna and am new to TSR. I am currently looking to re-take a different set of A levels for a possible career in law but have not got a lot of knowledge in this practice.

    Would anyone know whether it is possible to primarily be a business lawyer but also work with organisations such as Amnesty International which are more concerned with human rights law? I am aware that human rights law cannot be specialized in and practised separately.

    Any knowledge or advice on the topic is welcome
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    http://www.blackstonechambers.com/

    Right there is a serious mix of practice areas.

    However, looking at their 3 2010 call barristers it would seem to be a case of how your chances of an Oxford First are looking
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    The answer is yes. But you would be doing business law as your main job and working on human rights cases pro bono (i.e. for free).

    Most big firms of solicitors will have some kind of pro bono program (US firms are better than UK ones, generally speaking) but not all will handle human rights stuff. Look for firms' Corporate Social Responsibility pages on their websites. Here are a couple to get you started.

    EDIT: Having seen the previous response, yes, if you become a barrister that is a different matter. If you want to be a solicitor though, this is the most likely scenario.
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    (Original post by richie123)
    The answer is yes. But you would be doing business law as your main job and working on human rights cases pro bono (i.e. for free).

    Most big firms of solicitors will have some kind of pro bono program (US firms are better than UK ones, generally speaking) but not all will handle human rights stuff. Look for firms' Corporate Social Responsibility pages on their websites. Here are a couple to get you started.

    EDIT: Having seen the previous response, yes, if you become a barrister that is a different matter. If you want to be a solicitor though, this is the most likely scenario.
    Thank you, that cleared it up !
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    You could certainly do pro-bono at a commercial firm, but it would be something you do in your own time and not the focus of your practice.

    If you worked for an organisation like Amnesty, that would not really involve business law. The field which is most likely to expose you to business and human rights would be public law. For example, advising people suing the government or trying to start judicial review.
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    (Original post by roh)
    http://www.blackstonechambers.com/

    Right there is a serious mix of practice areas.

    However, looking at their 3 2010 call barristers it would seem to be a case of how your chances of an Oxford First are looking
    Yeah Blackstone Chambers really does fly in the face of diversity at the bar.

    I understand the BSB released a new toolkit recently, I keep meaning to download it, it is supposed to help you measure your diversity.

    I expect if it is a scoring system, Blackstone will score 1. Whether that be out of ten or hundred.

    What makes you laugh about them though is that their "big name" is Lord Woolf the man responsible for the infamous "Woolf Reforms" mainly about access to justice.

    Apparently access to justice doesn't include being able to find someone to represent you that has a similar background, unless you happen to be white, privately educated, and studied at Oxford or Cambridge, and then of course you should have no problem.
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    (Original post by Konran)
    Yeah Blackstone Chambers really does fly in the face of diversity at the bar.

    I understand the BSB released a new toolkit recently, I keep meaning to download it, it is supposed to help you measure your diversity.

    I expect if it is a scoring system, Blackstone will score 1. Whether that be out of ten or hundred.

    What makes you laugh about them though is that their "big name" is Lord Woolf the man responsible for the infamous "Woolf Reforms" mainly about access to justice.

    Apparently access to justice doesn't include being able to find someone to represent you that has a similar background, unless you happen to be white, privately educated, and studied at Oxford or Cambridge, and then of course you should have no problem.
    They have got Shaheed Fatima who manages to be female, an ethnic minority and non Oxbridge educated for her First degree, she might give them a 1.1, but I fear they thought that having one person who did the lot was enough to cover them for a decade or two rather than, you know, having some actual diversity.

    This always scares me: http://www.legalweek.com/legal-week/...ture-stars-bar

    You might just be able to make a case for Oxbridge, because it is in theory the creme de la creme from any background and anyone can apply. But. that 9/10 are privately educated is just unbelievable, particularly when you consider that law seems to be one of the most state heavy subjects once you've even made it to Oxford: http://www.ox.ac.uk/about_the_univer...hool_type.html
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    (Original post by roh)
    They have got Shaheed Fatima who manages to be female, an ethnic minority and non Oxbridge educated for her First degree, she might give them a 1.1, but I fear they thought that having one person who did the lot was enough to cover them for a decade or two rather than, you know, having some actual diversity.

    This always scares me: http://www.legalweek.com/legal-week/...ture-stars-bar

    You might just be able to make a case for Oxbridge, because it is in theory the creme de la creme from any background and anyone can apply. But. that 9/10 are privately educated is just unbelievable, particularly when you consider that law seems to be one of the most state heavy subjects once you've even made it to Oxford: http://www.ox.ac.uk/about_the_univer...hool_type.html
    I went to a diversity panel with Baroness Kennedy at the College of Law recently, and they had Timothy Dutton QC head of chambers there, and he was basically blaming Oxbridge.

    He was saying, if Oxbridge was more diverse, then the bar would be more diverse, but because those schools lack a level of diversity, it means that when chambers look for students from the pool of Oxbridge, they get people all of the same type.

    I thought that was a bit like passing the buck.

    If the Schools are incapable of offering you diversity, look further afield.
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    (Original post by Konran)
    I went to a diversity panel with Baroness Kennedy at the College of Law recently, and they had Timothy Dutton QC head of chambers there, and he was basically blaming Oxbridge.

    He was saying, if Oxbridge was more diverse, then the bar would be more diverse, but because those schools lack a level of diversity, it means that when chambers look for students from the pool of Oxbridge, they get people all of the same type.

    I thought that was a bit like passing the buck.

    If the Schools are incapable of offering you diversity, look further afield.
    Definitely sounds like passing the buck, to me anyway. Nor does it explain how so many are privately educated when law is relatively strong for state school intake at Oxbridge.

    Agree with you on that one. Obviously Chambers don't have the spending clout to go combing other universities for students like big law firms can, but widening your scope beyond just two universities? That's got to be plausible. They can't be turning up to the law fair to 50 odd unis, but just sponsoring a few internal moots (it'd take their pocket change to do this) at some redbricks or similar and sending along a recently called Junior to judge the final and meet the finalists would not seem beyond the realms of possibility for them.

    Particularly when Oxbridge are saying that some schools prepare students so poorly they think throwing them straight into the high intensity Oxbridge atmosphere will cause them to lose faith, whilst at another university they will grow into studying and gradually hit a very high level (relevant bit around the photo of the Bridge of Sighs): http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...ns-really-work

    Sadly we don't run the BSB!
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    (Original post by Wildman)
    One must be careful with diversity. I agree with Dutton's comments to an extent. It isn't necessarily so much the Bar's problem - if I was on a pupillage panel I would want to hire the best candidate full stop. I wouldn't hire the second best candidate because they were black/disabled/[insert minority here]. Of course, I would have regard to what I perceived to be their potential in deciding who was the best candidate.

    If minorities do not provide the best candidates, that is more the fault of the education system than the Bar.
    The problem is that the person judging is most likely to be..privately and Oxbridge educated.

    Their measure of "merit" is entirely biased. Until you have people from various backgrounds judging who has merit you will end up with people judging what they know, and what they know is private and Oxbridge educations. Which due to those schools will generally mean middle class and white.

    Just because you went to Oxbridge does not make you more meritorious then another candidate who did not go to Oxbridge.

    I read something recently on pupillage that stated that chambers want to see enthusiasm AND aptitude. Enthusiasm is going to the Royal Courts of Justice to watch a case simply to have done it, aptitude is understanding and critically analysing the case material.

    Just going to Oxbridge is akin to enthusiasm.
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    (Original post by Konran)
    Yeah Blackstone Chambers really does fly in the face of diversity at the bar.

    I understand the BSB released a new toolkit recently, I keep meaning to download it, it is supposed to help you measure your diversity.

    I expect if it is a scoring system, Blackstone will score 1. Whether that be out of ten or hundred.

    What makes you laugh about them though is that their "big name" is Lord Woolf the man responsible for the infamous "Woolf Reforms" mainly about access to justice.

    Apparently access to justice doesn't include being able to find someone to represent you that has a similar background, unless you happen to be white, privately educated, and studied at Oxford or Cambridge, and then of course you should have no problem.
    This is simply wrong. Blackstone, like all the other top sets, discriminate on one ground alone: academic achievement.
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    (Original post by Wildman)
    I agree with you. People do have a tendency to hire in their own image.

    I do think it is short sighted to offer interviews to people with Oxbridge first and no others, as some chambers to. I have met numerous people who went to Oxbridge, some of whom had firsts. Some were very bright, many of them were quite thick.

    It is a lazy way to make decisions.
    Plenty of people without 'Oxbridge firsts' get interviews at Blackstone.
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    (Original post by resipsaloq)
    Plenty of people without 'Oxbridge firsts' get interviews at Blackstone.
    Getting an interview and gaining a position are two entirely different things.

    A cynic could point out that you can offer interviews to tick boxes and make yourself feel better, while still holding that Oxbridge is a defining factor in your decision making process.

    Who you give the job to tells the fuller story and looking at Blackstone's list of members tells you everything you need to know. Oxon and Cantalab are the defining feature between, pretty much, all of them.

    We are not talking 50% here, we are talking 99% of members have Oxon and Cantalab.

    That can't JUST be down to those people having the most merit. There is clearly something at work within those making the decisions.
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    Forget ethnicity/gender/university. Shut your eyes and listen to the voices.

    And as for the OP's question, of course you can. But don't expect to be on the right side
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    (Original post by Konran)

    What makes you laugh about them though is that their "big name" is Lord Woolf the man responsible for the infamous "Woolf Reforms" mainly about access to justice.
    Why do you say that? As someone who practised under the old RSC and CCR the CPR represent a major improvement.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Why do you say that? As someone who practised under the old RSC and CCR the CPR represent a major improvement.
    Couldn't agree more: the changes were largely sensible and generally successful. I fail to understand what was so "infamous" about them.

    Mind you, didn't really see the point in changing from "plaintiff" to "claimant".
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    (Original post by Konran)
    Getting an interview and gaining a position are two entirely different things.

    A cynic could point out that you can offer interviews to tick boxes and make yourself feel better, while still holding that Oxbridge is a defining factor in your decision making process.

    Who you give the job to tells the fuller story and looking at Blackstone's list of members tells you everything you need to know. Oxon and Cantalab are the defining feature between, pretty much, all of them.

    We are not talking 50% here, we are talking 99% of members have Oxon and Cantalab.

    That can't JUST be down to those people having the most merit. There is clearly something at work within those making the decisions.
    I just counted at 6 barristers out of the first 24 at which I looked on the Blackstone's website who didn't do their first degree at Oxford or Cambridge.
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    (Original post by resipsaloq)
    I just counted at 6 barristers out of the first 24 at which I looked on the Blackstone's website who didn't do their first degree at Oxford or Cambridge.
    Choosing your words very carefully there aren't you.

    Didn't get their first degree at Oxbridge....how many were graduates of Oxbridge for LLM or BCL?

    The claim is that Blackstone's believe that Oxbridge is more important than anything else, that it is Oxbridge graduates deciding that other Oxbridge graduates are better than everyone else, without any grounds for doing so.

    What you have posted here does not challenge that accusation, because out of the 6 of the 24 you checked, how many never attended Oxbridge at all? 0? 1?

    It is still 99% Oxbridge graduates, whether it was their first degree or the LLM or the MA is irrelevant.

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