Doctor looking to do GDL then possibly BPTC or LPC, need some advise Watch

Scipio
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Hello everyone,

I'm currently a doctor, 4 years qualified, I'll shortly complete GP training and be a full GP (GP priniciple). For some time I've been considering a change in career, and with recent difficulties in the NHS and primary care, I'm thinking about this more seriously.

I've been planning to to commence the GDL for a while, primarily to become a medico-legal advisor for a medical indemnity insurer such as the MDU or MPS.

However, I've recently been thinking of taking things further and considering the BPTC and to a lesser degree, the LPC.


Regarding this, I have some questions;

Is this a bad idea?


Is there any preference from employers in where the GDL is done in order to get a job as a) a solcitor or b) barrister

Currently I'm leaning towards Nottingham Law School as it's very local and wouldn't require me to move.

I understand that following BPTC getting a pupilage is very competitive, would having a medical background be of any help in this? Would I be more competitive in any particular area?

Any advise in general would be appreciated, I'm quite open as to what areas to work in currently as I simply don't have enough experience to have a real preference.

cheers
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typonaut
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First thing: most barristers are self-employed. But you will still have to go through a recruitment process, ie gaining pupillage.

The consensus seems to be that barristers chambers have no preference for where you did the GDL or BPTC. I think this is essentially because there aren't any Russell Group universities running those courses. They do seem to prefer Russell Group graduates, in particular Oxbridge graduates.

From your perspective it may be that they will be less concerned about where you did medicine, than about your actual qualification - it seems relatively uncommon for people to switch from medicine to the Bar You would most likely be valued by a set doing clinical negligence.

You can find some statistics on BPTC courses here as well as the percentage of junior barristers who have GDLs rather than qualifying law degrees:

http://www.indx.co.uk/pupilbase/?mod...&rtype=bptcgdl

You'll see some links to other stats reports on that page.

If you go here:

http://www.indx.co.uk/pupilbase/

You will be able to search for chambers that do clinical negligence (I see 34), or other types of work you may be interested in.
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Scipio
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Thank you, that's very helpful. I suppose clinical negligence would be where my experience is most helpful, but I'm very uneasy about that field, having seen the other side where inappropriate cases have been brought against doctors I know, and affect them deepy, but certainly worth looking into.
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Da Di Doo
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(Original post by Scipio)
Thank you, that's very helpful. I suppose clinical negligence would be where my experience is most helpful, but I'm very uneasy about that field, having seen the other side where inappropriate cases have been brought against doctors I know, and affect them deepy, but certainly worth looking into.
I honestly think you'd have an advantage coming from a medical background because that's unusual. You'll need a good story though for the career change.

Also, law firms and chambers don't care where you do your GDL/LPC/BPTC. They do, however, care about where you did your undergraduate but since you did Medicine I don't know if they'll care as much? As it's not common to study Medicine and then become a lawyer so you will probably get lots of interviews when you apply for pupillages or training contracts.
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Le Nombre
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(Original post by Scipio)
Thank you, that's very helpful. I suppose clinical negligence would be where my experience is most helpful, but I'm very uneasy about that field, having seen the other side where inappropriate cases have been brought against doctors I know, and affect them deepy, but certainly worth looking into.
You could do defendant clin neg, although then you may have to defend someone you think is in the wrong on a technicality or, more likely, work to massively reduce the pay out for someone you feel has been genuinely wronged. However, not always being wholeheartedly behind your client's case is sometimes part of the job.

The other options where your background may be particularly useful are GMC defence/prosecution work (I think Radcliffes pick up a lot of this, but sure other firms do too) or pharmaceutical IP (which would pay better than the other 2).

Alternatively, you could do any area of law ranging from capital markets to Residential Conveyancing. Although you may need a stronger story for the career switch, it's still an impressive enough background to more than clear any academic hurdles.

Firms and chambers won't really care where you did the GDL/LPC/BPTC, although larger firms (eg. virtually anywhere doing big pharmaceutical work or the defendant clin neg firms) will pay for the GDL and LPC, and they will normally specify where you do that as part of the bargain.

One thing to be aware of if you went the solicitor route, is that most firms auto-filter a 2:1. If you intercalated just use that, but otherwise it's probably best to give HR a ring before you apply explaining how the whole decile thing works. I'm sure there won't be an issue with this though, even the most inept, air headed, Durham History of Art grad called Tilly (not to steretype grad recruitment at all...) can understand any Medicine degree should make the cut.
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Scipio
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(Original post by Da Di Doo)
I honestly think you'd have an advantage coming from a medical background because that's unusual. You'll need a good story though for the career change.

Also, law firms and chambers don't care where you do your GDL/LPC/BPTC. They do, however, care about where you did your undergraduate but since you did Medicine I don't know if they'll care as much? As it's not common to study Medicine and then become a lawyer so you will probably get lots of interviews when you apply for pupillages or training contracts.

(Original post by Le Nombre)
You could do defendant clin neg, although then you may have to defend someone you think is in the wrong on a technicality or, more likely, work to massively reduce the pay out for someone you feel has been genuinely wronged. However, not always being wholeheartedly behind your client's case is sometimes part of the job.

The other options where your background may be particularly useful are GMC defence/prosecution work (I think Radcliffes pick up a lot of this, but sure other firms do too) or pharmaceutical IP (which would pay better than the other 2).

Alternatively, you could do any area of law ranging from capital markets to Residential Conveyancing. Although you may need a stronger story for the career switch, it's still an impressive enough background to more than clear any academic hurdles.

Firms and chambers won't really care where you did the GDL/LPC/BPTC, although larger firms (eg. virtually anywhere doing big pharmaceutical work or the defendant clin neg firms) will pay for the GDL and LPC, and they will normally specify where you do that as part of the bargain.

One thing to be aware of if you went the solicitor route, is that most firms auto-filter a 2:1. If you intercalated just use that, but otherwise it's probably best to give HR a ring before you apply explaining how the whole decile thing works. I'm sure there won't be an issue with this though, even the most inept, air headed, Durham History of Art grad called Tilly (not to steretype grad recruitment at all...) can understand any Medicine degree should make the cut.

Thanks guys, lots to think about!
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typonaut
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(Original post by Scipio)
Thank you, that's very helpful. I suppose clinical negligence would be where my experience is most helpful, but I'm very uneasy about that field, having seen the other side where inappropriate cases have been brought against doctors I know, and affect them deepy, but certainly worth looking into.
I'm sure there are lots of fields you could work in, but that seemed the most logical - I didn't mean you'd be restricted to that.
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Muntasir24
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A medical background would be fine in all honesty. There's many people who follow up from a non legal background. You should satisfy the UCAS requirements for most firms which you apply to which is at max 340 UCAS points. I think it would be best to get a firm to fund your GDL for obvious reasons. As well as that, you should be looking to apply to vacation schemes as well as mini pupillages.
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Xanyi
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(Original post by Scipio)
Thank you, that's very helpful. I suppose clinical negligence would be where my experience is most helpful, but I'm very uneasy about that field, having seen the other side where inappropriate cases have been brought against doctors I know, and affect them deepy, but certainly worth looking into.
At the Bar, you would certainly struggle to join a medical negligence set with the intention of only doing Defendant work. Most clin neg sets (if not all) cover both Claimant and Defendant practice.

You would have more scope to specialise if you were to go down the solicitor route. There are many Defendant-only firms with strong clinical risk/negligence practices - e.g. Hempsons, DAC Beachcroft.
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AsandaLFC
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OP, what did u smoke

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gulbenkian02
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It's a tough life being a barrister, jobs are not easy to come by - I went to a Barrister v Solicitor talk, they weren't really against each other they were just telling us about the jobs and dear gosh would I never wish what that barrister went through when he first qualified and that was when there were jobs around and the economy was better, I can't imagine what it must be like now.
You'll have an easier time doing the LPC and being a Solicitor rather than the other route, but it's down to what you would prefer to do I guess.

Bearing in mind getting a training contract will also not be a walk in the park.

Good luck to you.
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