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    Has anyone here been successful in getting on the open day in April? If so, I may see you there Anyone considering a career in the GLS?

    What is the general feeling about working there? I get the impression that some lawyers in the private sector see it as a bit of a cop out or an inferior career path. Why?

    The kinds of isses the lawyers in the GLS deal with tend to be much more interesting than in commercial law firms, in my humble opinion. The only thing that would put me off would be the low salaries. Can anyone confirm/dis-confirm that GLS lawyers get paid much less than those in private practice?
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    I did the GLS vacation scheme and loved it - everyone's so friendly and helpful. The open day is really useful too as they give you negotiation activities and things so you get an idea of what they do, and also for future assessment centres. It's a fascinating balance of politics and law, and the location for most depts is really good (if you want London).

    However, the lawyers there did say that salaries tend to stagnate and the main perks are flexi time and the pension (and who knows how long they'll last?), and recommended I apply to commercial firms and consider moving over later in my career if I still wanted to do that. From what I remember a lot of people worked in legal aid or tax related areas and managed to move over, as the work of the GLS is broader than in private practice.

    I think it depends on how much a work/life balance means to you, and what your future aspirations are. Good luck and enjoy the open day!
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    I will be starting in the GLS next year as a trainee, I didn't however do the vac scheme or open day.

    It is true that the salaries are lower than in the big commercial firms, but the work life balance is much better, and the type of work done is certainly more down my street than the commercial stuff. It certainly is as competitive to get into as the major commercial law firms, therefore the idea that going into the GLS is a cop out is certainly not true in terms of the academics required.

    Lots of lawyers do move over after qualification, but from what I have heard people don't tend to leave because they enjoy the work and the lifestyle. Although pay is left it is still nothing to sneeze at and well over the minimum required by the SRA.
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    (Original post by Aerasay)
    I will be starting in the GLS next year as a trainee, I didn't however do the vac scheme or open day.

    It is true that the salaries are lower than in the big commercial firms, but the work life balance is much better, and the type of work done is certainly more down my street than the commercial stuff. It certainly is as competitive to get into as the major commercial law firms, therefore the idea that going into the GLS is a cop out is certainly not true in terms of the academics required.

    Lots of lawyers do move over after qualification, but from what I have heard people don't tend to leave because they enjoy the work and the lifestyle. Although pay is left it is still nothing to sneeze at and well over the minimum required by the SRA.
    Yeh, what attracts me most about the GLS is the work. I'm interested in Human Rights law and it seems like I just wouldn't be able to do the same kind of work in a commercial firm. It's a toss up between really enjoying the work and not getting paid as well or doing a boring high-pressured job and earning a hell of a lot more. It just seems as if the work would seem shallow and meaningless in a commercial firm. Looks like I know I want to work in the GLS after all, but whether I get there or not is another question...:P
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    (Original post by ToffeeMuffin)
    Yeh, what attracts me most about the GLS is the work. I'm interested in Human Rights law and it seems like I just wouldn't be able to do the same kind of work in a commercial firm. It's a toss up between really enjoying the work and not getting paid as well or doing a boring high-pressured job and earning a hell of a lot more. It just seems as if the work would seem shallow and meaningless in a commercial firm. Looks like I know I want to work in the GLS after all, but whether I get there or not is another question...:P
    This is something I see/hear quite often and it worries me a little bit - most GLS lawyers deal with human rights in terms of denying breaches etc.
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    (Original post by Ethereal)
    This is something I see/hear quite often and it worries me a little bit - most GLS lawyers deal with human rights in terms of denying breaches etc.
    In fairness, people who say they want to do human rights at the bar and go to a place like Blackstone will be instructed by the Treasury as well as by applicants. I think a lot of people don't realise that you can end up working both sides. (I don't have an issue with this--everyone is entitled to competent legal counsel--but if someone is dead set on only appearing for applicants/claimants, the bar is not necessarily going to suit them. My impression is that, at least at first, you need to take the work you're given while you establish a practice.)
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    (Original post by jjarvis)
    In fairness, people who say they want to do human rights at the bar and go to a place like Blackstone will be instructed by the Treasury as well as by applicants. I think a lot of people don't realise that you can end up working both sides. (I don't have an issue with this--everyone is entitled to competent legal counsel--but if someone is dead set on only appearing for applicants/claimants, the bar is not necessarily going to suit them. My impression is that, at least at first, you need to take the work you're given while you establish a practice.)
    I did a litigation workshop at a university and I ran across this problem - there were masters students who were convinced they wanted to enter one of the branches of the profession and yet were openly stating they didnt want to run arguments they didn't agree with morally. :lolwut:!

    My point with the GLS thing is that I've heard so many times - "I want to advance/enhance human rights, I'll apply to the GLS" without really considering what the GLS is likely to do.
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    (Original post by Ethereal)
    I did a litigation workshop at a university and I ran across this problem - there were masters students who were convinced they wanted to enter one of the branches of the profession and yet were openly stating they didnt want to run arguments they didn't agree with morally. :lolwut:!

    My point with the GLS thing is that I've heard so many times - "I want to advance/enhance human rights, I'll apply to the GLS" without really considering what the GLS is likely to do.
    Yes--barristers will at least occasionally be instructed for claimants. The GLS is always going to be trying to argue that the government's actions are legal.

    I heard a law student at a dinner ask a criminal qc how he defended people whom he knew to be guilty. I cringed a little inside... It's one thing for members of the public to ask that question, but law students really ought to know how many problems there are with such a question.
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    (Original post by jjarvis)
    Yes--barristers will at least occasionally be instructed for claimants. The GLS is always going to be trying to argue that the government's actions are legal.

    I heard a law student at a dinner ask a criminal qc how he defended people whom he knew to be guilty. I cringed a little inside... It's one thing for members of the public to ask that question, but law students really ought to know how many problems there are with such a question.
    :rofl: I look forward to them never being available for instruction
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    (Original post by Ethereal)
    This is something I see/hear quite often and it worries me a little bit - most GLS lawyers deal with human rights in terms of denying breaches etc.
    Surely it depends what department you are in and what type of work you are doing. Something like ensuring legislation or policy complies with the Human Rights Act or other international obligations would be more in line with supporting human rights in the UK. Surely that is what at least some GLS lawyers get to do, for example some of the ones in the MOJ?

    Obviously you are always there to support the governments position, and so the likelihood of being asked to sit on the other side of the table is definitely something everyone looking to start in the GLS should be aware of.
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    (Original post by Aerasay)
    Surely it depends what department you are in and what type of work you are doing. Something like ensuring legislation or policy complies with the Human Rights Act or other international obligations would be more in line with supporting human rights in the UK. Surely that is what at least some GLS lawyers get to do, for example some of the ones in the MOJ?

    Obviously you are always there to support the governments position, and so the likelihood of being asked to sit on the other side of the table is definitely something everyone looking to start in the GLS should be aware of.
    All depends doesn't it - if you are trying to stretch definitions so something is HRA compliant, are you actually promoting human rights?
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    The GLS say the line between solicitor and barrister is fairly blurred with them. For someone who has applied for TC's, but with a nagging guilt that they would be more suited to the bar (but put off by the numbers etc) - could applying to be a barrister with the GLS an alternative route to the bar?
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    In theory
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    I'd say in terms of human rights working for the GLS means working for the dark side. I'd be interested to know if, and why, this isn't correct.
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    I put my email down on their address a few months ago, then totally forgot about it (this thread reminding me just today). I've missed their open day application deadline. Is there much chance of getting a TC without having been on the open day?
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    Attendance at open day makes no difference
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    (Original post by Ethereal)
    This is something I see/hear quite often and it worries me a little bit - most GLS lawyers deal with human rights in terms of denying breaches etc.
    Why does it worry you? It's still an opportunity to deal with human rights law. That would be interesting to me, whichever side I'd be on...
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    (Original post by jjarvis)
    In fairness, people who say they want to do human rights at the bar and go to a place like Blackstone will be instructed by the Treasury as well as by applicants. I think a lot of people don't realise that you can end up working both sides. (I don't have an issue with this--everyone is entitled to competent legal counsel--but if someone is dead set on only appearing for applicants/claimants, the bar is not necessarily going to suit them. My impression is that, at least at first, you need to take the work you're given while you establish a practice.)
    Although there are sets like Tooks where you would mainly be saving the world if that's your thing.
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    (Original post by resipsaloq)
    Although there are sets like Tooks where you would mainly be saving the world if that's your thing.
    Doughty and Matrix also come to mind...
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    (Original post by ToffeeMuffin)
    Why does it worry you? It's still an opportunity to deal with human rights law. That would be interesting to me, whichever side I'd be on...
    It isn't even really an area in its own right. Unless you get in a specific team in a specific department your exposure will be fairly limited.
 
 
 
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