Does she have a chance? Watch

Benjamin1989
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#21
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#21
(Original post by ninon)
In my experience, the determining factors that shape a candidate's prospects are their degree of intellect, their academic achievements, degree class, prizes, further study, how articulate they are, ability to think quickly under pressure, perseverance, their capacity for hard graft, charm, likeability, the efforts they have put into CV building, interesting previous careers, relevant work experience, mooting, an enthusiasm for rock climbing, a stint in the TA, charitable endeavours etc, etc, etc.
My friend is thinking of taking a year out between finishing her LLB and starting the BPTC to beef up her CV with more work experience/ earn some money to help fund the BPTC. Would that be a better idea than doing the BPTC, and then looking to fill up CV if applications aren't going to plan?
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ninon
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#22
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(Original post by Nononsense)
This is a very nice post, but you are arguing with yourself because I have not made any of the points you appear to be attempting to dispute. What I have put in bold above is effectively what I said - I said that someone with say an LSE 1st would be at an advantage compared to someone with a Leicester 1st. You don't seem to dispute this. Nor did I say that this was in any way conclusive. It is simply one of a multitude of factors, and not by any means one of the more important ones. But it remains the case that where candidate A and candidate B are identical save that candidate A has ABB and a Leicester 1st and candidate B has AAA and an LSE 1st, the latter is at an advantage. That is all I was saying.

As to her interests - the OP said she was interested in employment law. I did not say that someone with a Leicester 2.1 should not contemplate the Bar - I said I wouldn't do it. She would be betting £15,000 on a 20% chance or less. I personally wouldn't do that. It is a logical fallacy for you to say that most pupils have 2.1s from redbricks, therefore the OP has a good chance of pupillage. One can only assume from the statistics that the great majority of people with 2.1s from redbricks who apply do not get pupillage. Your reasoning is along the lines of "Most women have children, I have children, therefore I am a woman."
Thanks for the lesson in logic, however that was not my point and I did not make the statement you attribute to me. I merely quoted the statistics. I entirely concur with your analysis. The majority of our applicants this year had redbrick 2.1s, as did the majority of our interviewees, as did the majority of our rejected applicants.

The redbrick 2.1 for the common law bar is pretty much the neutral position - it doesn't assist and it doesn't hinder.

You did not state that you personally would not apply for the bar with a Leicester 2.1. You stated that you “personally wouldn't advise her to go for the Bar with a Leicester 2.1”.

I could not in good conscience, on the basis of my personal experience, make a pronouncement that a candidate with a Leicester 2.1 should not apply for the bar. However, I would agree that missing a first will significantly weaken her chances.

I also do not agree with your candidate A and candidate B analysis - unless the Chambers in question scores more for a given institution and scores for A level grades (we don't and I don't know of any other set that does, perhaps aside from giving additional weight to Oxbridge), their prospects would be the same. To say that most practitioners have an awareness that certain institutions outside of Oxbridge have a decent reputation is not to say that most practitioners would score an application from a candidate from one of those institutions more highly.

Assuming A and B both have impressive extracurricular achievements and relevant work experience, they both stand a good chance of securing an interview at a solid common law set with a strong employment group e.g. Cloisters. Thereafter, it will be about nothing other than interview performance.

Even if I am wrong and there are chambers that would score LSE more highly than Leicester, I have never encountered the hypothetical scenario you pose of two otherwise identical candidates. You cannot separate out institution from the multitude of other factors that make up a given candidate’s application and it is not therefore possible, in my view, to draw any meaningful conclusions about the advantage of having studied at institution A rather than institution B.

I have taught both LLM and GDL students at two different institutions and have externally examined at one further institution. My colleagues come from a wide variety of backgrounds, some are qualified practitioners and some have come from purely academic backgrounds. I have taught alongside members of staff who have taught and/or studied at institutions ranging from Oxford through to Oxford Brookes. We have been externally examined by academics from an equally broad spectrum of institutions. Stands do vary; however, it is not my experience that there is a sliding scale of assessment rigour that correlates with an institution’s position in the league tables.

I personally do not consider that it is legitimate to confer an advantage to a student based solely upon the collective reputation of their institution (rather than that candidate’s personal characteristics and achievements) – Oxford and Cambridge are an exception due to the stringent entry requirements, the quality of the teaching methods and the rigour of the marking standards.

Perhaps you would clarify what your experience of the recruitment process for the bar is - are you a current candidate, pupil or tenant?
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ninon
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#23
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#23
(Original post by Benjamin1989)
My friend is thinking of taking a year out between finishing her LLB and starting the BPTC to beef up her CV with more work experience/ earn some money to help fund the BPTC. Would that be a better idea than doing the BPTC, and then looking to fill up CV if applications aren't going to plan?
A year out isn't a bad idea, per se. I would say pre-BPTC rather than post-BPTC. The bar course very quickly becomes stale.

It very much depends upon what she is planning to do with her time. I don't think, for example, that a year spent working for a local law firm would improve her prospects.

A stint as a Judicial Assistant or working for the Law Commission may very well improve her prospects.

I would urge her to get a substantial amount of FRU ET experience under her belt if she is interested in employment law.
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Nononsense
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#24
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#24
(Original post by ninon)
Thanks for the lesson in logic, however that was not my point and I did not make the statement you attribute to me. I merely quoted the statistics. I entirely concur with your analysis. The majority of our applicants this year had redbrick 2.1s, as did the majority of our interviewees, as did the majority of our rejected applicants.

The redbrick 2.1 for the common law bar is pretty much the neutral position - it doesn't assist and it doesn't hinder.

You did not state that you personally would not apply for the bar with a Leicester 2.1. You stated that you “personally wouldn't advise her to go for the Bar with a Leicester 2.1”.

I could not in good conscience, on the basis of my personal experience, make a pronouncement that a candidate with a Leicester 2.1 should not apply for the bar. However, I would agree that missing a first will significantly weaken her chances.

I also do not agree with your candidate A and candidate B analysis - unless the Chambers in question scores more for a given institution and scores for A level grades (we don't and I don't know of any other set that does, perhaps aside from giving additional weight to Oxbridge), their prospects would be the same. To say that most practitioners have an awareness that certain institutions outside of Oxbridge have a decent reputation is not to say that most practitioners would score an application from a candidate from one of those institutions more highly.

Assuming A and B both have impressive extracurricular achievements and relevant work experience, they both stand a good chance of securing an interview at a solid common law set with a strong employment group e.g. Cloisters. Thereafter, it will be about nothing other than interview performance.

Even if I am wrong and there are chambers that would score LSE more highly than Leicester, I have never encountered the hypothetical scenario you pose of two otherwise identical candidates. You cannot separate out institution from the multitude of other factors that make up a given candidate’s application and it is not therefore possible, in my view, to draw any meaningful conclusions about the advantage of having studied at institution A rather than institution B.

I have taught both LLM and GDL students at two different institutions and have externally examined at one further institution. My colleagues come from a wide variety of backgrounds, some are qualified practitioners and some have come from purely academic backgrounds. I have taught alongside members of staff who have taught and/or studied at institutions ranging from Oxford through to Oxford Brookes. We have been externally examined by academics from an equally broad spectrum of institutions. Stands do vary; however, it is not my experience that there is a sliding scale of assessment rigour that correlates with an institution’s position in the league tables.

I personally do not consider that it is legitimate to confer an advantage to a student based solely upon the collective reputation of their institution (rather than that candidate’s personal characteristics and achievements) – Oxford and Cambridge are an exception due to the stringent entry requirements, the quality of the teaching methods and the rigour of the marking standards.

Perhaps you would clarify what your experience of the recruitment process for the bar is - are you a current candidate, pupil or tenant?
We will just have to agree to disagree. I know you are a barrister, but you are only one barrister, and having canvassed the views of many, I am satisfied that all things being equal, a candidate with ABB and a Leicester 2.1 < a candidate with AAA and an LSE 2.1. Yes, it is rare that all things will be equal, but the question was whether it was an advantage/disadvantage, and the only way to answer that is on the basis of it being looked at as a criterion on its own.

If you want to say that a 2.1 from Leicester is neutral and a 2.1 from LSE is a slight advantage, then that is exactly what I am saying. I said that Leicester was a disadvantage relative to some and an advantage relative to others. If you say that Leicester=LSE then I simply don't agree.

I may have said "I wouldn't personally advise it" or "I wouldn't personally do it" or whatever - I stand by both, I would not advise someone with a 1 in 5 chance of success (and probably a worse chance given that she wants to do employment) to back themselves to the tune of 15k. I know the question was "does she have a chance?", but often when people ask this question what they really mean is a "good" chance, and in my personal opinion someone with a Leicester 2.1 and fairly standard ECs does not stand a good chance at getting an employment law pupillage.
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