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Becoming a Solicitor with spent convictions. watch

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    So, when I was 15/16 to be frank I was a little idiot. After a family sucide I went off the rails a bit and was convicted of 2 things. I'm now doing Law at Uni of Sheffield. Will this prevent me becoming a solictor through the regulation board? I don't really want to ask my tutors, cause its a past mistake, one was a dishonesty, theft of something small from a friend. Before you all blab and give me grief everyone makes mistakes but will that year of mistakes now effect my future?
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    (Original post by naylor12)
    So, when I was 15/16 to be frank I was a little idiot. After a family sucide I went off the rails a bit and was convicted of 2 things. I'm now doing Law at Uni of Sheffield. Will this prevent me becoming a solictor through the regulation board? I don't really want to ask my tutors, cause its a past mistake, one was a dishonesty, theft of something small from a friend. Before you all blab and give me grief everyone makes mistakes but will that year of mistakes now effect my future?
    Hi, check the SRAs suitability test here:
    https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/ha...t/content.page

    Particularly Part 1, section 1 - criminal offences.

    You could see if they have a Registrar you could contact for advice.

    I know here in Scotland the Law Society has an admissions comittee/panel which consider these types of things.
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    Have a read of https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...ent+conviction

    There is guidance the SRA has published on this.

    It is a good idea to speak to your tutors about it. Your tutors don't have any impact on the eventual SRA process and should be willing to help you.

    That said, the tutors may not know the answer. You might need to contact the SRA.
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    Thanks for the response, bearing in mind I'm 21 now so by the time I apply ill be 24, so would be over 6 years ago. Also I was not over the age of 18 at the time of any offence. Man, why was a dumb teenager hahaa
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    (Original post by naylor12)
    So, when I was 15/16 to be frank I was a little idiot. After a family sucide I went off the rails a bit and was convicted of 2 things. I'm now doing Law at Uni of Sheffield. Will this prevent me becoming a solictor through the regulation board? I don't really want to ask my tutors, cause its a past mistake, one was a dishonesty, theft of something small from a friend. Before you all blab and give me grief everyone makes mistakes but will that year of mistakes now effect my future?
    1) Your tutor will already know. Unless you lied about it on your UCAS form, in which case, I would say you have probably made an even bigger mistake.
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    (Original post by naylor12)
    So, when I was 15/16 to be frank I was a little idiot. After a family sucide I went off the rails a bit and was convicted of 2 things. I'm now doing Law at Uni of Sheffield. Will this prevent me becoming a solictor through the regulation board? I don't really want to ask my tutors, cause its a past mistake, one was a dishonesty, theft of something small from a friend. Before you all blab and give me grief everyone makes mistakes but will that year of mistakes now effect my future?
    How long ago was this?
    What was the other conviction for?
    What sentence did you get?

    You will basically have to make an application to the SRA and they will consider your explanation and suitability to be let into the profession. It is by no means certain they will let you in, so it will depend on the quality of your application. Not seeing the issue of sharing with your tutors.. It may possibly still show on your record. It depends on the facts.
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    I didn't lie on my UCAS my conviction was spent before I even went to university. But I see where you're coming from.
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    (Original post by naylor12)
    I didn't lie on my UCAS my conviction was spent before I even went to university. But I see where you're coming from.
    There are additional checks if you wish to join the profession. They can still potentially see your convictions.
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    Did you receive a custodial/suspended sentence for either of the two crimes? Also, you have not detailed the second crime, so without the full facts no one can really give you helpful advice.
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    I basically stole someone's sunglasses (yes I know) with my mates but it was me who took them and committed the act of theft. I was charged with that and had to pay a fine, this was in 2014.Harassment of an ex-girlfriend and I wasn't very nice to her persistently and this then led to the youth justice court got and was given a suspended sentence and some community service. This was a long time ago, since then I've worked an investment management firm in London, done relevant work experience within three local firms in different legal fields. Actually, it was all this that made interested in Law, was a defining moment in my life both for the right and wrong reasons. Thank-you for taking the time out of your day to read this and help. Glady appreciated.
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    (Original post by naylor12)
    I basically stole someone's sunglasses (yes I know) with my mates but it was me who took them and committed the act of theft. I was charged with that and had to pay a fine, this was in 2014.Harassment of an ex-girlfriend and I wasn't very nice to her persistently and this then led to the youth justice court got and was given a suspended sentence and some community service. This was a long time ago, since then I've worked an investment management firm in London, done relevant work experience within three local firms in different legal fields. Actually, it was all this that made interested in Law, was a defining moment in my life both for the right and wrong reasons. Thank-you for taking the time out of your day to read this and help. Glady appreciated.
    Read the information provided to you in the first response..
    Imo the odds are against admission or at least very much up in the air.
    One of them would have been easier to get past than two. 2014 isnt that old either plus you got a suspended custodial..
    You would have to make a strong case as to why you were suitable in spite of the evidence.
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    (Original post by naylor12)
    Thank-you for taking the time out of your day to read this and help. Glady appreciated.
    This is the requirement straight from the SRA website, to save you rummaging through it.

    Unless there are exceptional circumstances, we will refuse your application if you have been convicted by a court of a criminal offence:
    (a)
    for which you received a custodial or suspended sentence;
    (b)
    involving dishonesty, fraud, perjury and/or bribery;
    (e)
    which demonstrated behaviour showing signs of discrimination towards others;
    (j)
    you have been convicted by a court of more than one criminal offence.

    I have cut out the parts not relevant to you, but I would say that the above are completely in line with your application.
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    thank so much. So i'm guessing i should do my masters in something not legally related cause there is just no point?
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    (Original post by naylor12)
    thank so much. So i'm guessing i should do my masters in something not legally related cause there is just no point?
    I dont want to be the person who tells you cannot do something, however, I do not like giving false advice. I appreciate it is just an unfortunate situation you are in, you did something when you were young and now will suffer the consequences.

    The legal sector is fiercely competitive, as I am sure you know. Firms receive hundreds/thousands of applications for very few places, they are looking for any reason to reject you, to make their decision between as few applicants as possible.

    Even if you were to get through the SRA, which from their stance is very unlikely, you will then have to overcome the bigger hurdle of explaining all of this to a law firm. The legal sector values integrity very highly, for obvious reasons, so I am not sure how rational it is to carry on. It might not be impossible but it seems unlikely.

    I think J-SP will be able to give you a concrete answer, being a legal recruiter.
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    You're completely right, but i'm aiming for a 2:1 or a 1st and on track. I think a law degree is well respected throughout many different career fields. Thanks guys
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    Being cruel to be kind here, but i would suggest if your attitude towards your convictions is that people on TSR are not to 'blab and give you grief' then you may need to reflect on your convictions and think hard about how you can demonstrate remorse and a changed outlook. The SRA will give you grief as well otherwise.

    We all make mistakes, but two of them may mean you should look elsewhere for a career elsewhere. You may be disappointed if you apply to a competitive field and find you get rejected at the paper stage.
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    I simply meant I didn't want obvious replies to the post. It was my fault, I committed a crime, ive moved forward, never been in trouble with police again. Surely my changed outlook should be the fact I went to study law because of what ive done? Actually, the guys' sunglasses who I stole I'm now friends with as I apologised to him if I asked him I'm sure he'd even give me a reformed character reference. And during the time this all happened one of my close family members took there life and it was quite down to the people i hung around with
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    I cannot give a clear answer unfortunately. Only the SRA could and that’s at the point of your submitting your suitability test.

    There are a few people who have experience of this though and can probably share their experiences.

    Check the wording carefully on declaring spent offences (or not). There seems to be a difference, although I suspect this depends on the level of the crime.

    I also advise getting a SAR on the details of your arrest(s). Check what information is available about your record, not just the offence/record itself.

    Get evidence of your rehabilitation. In your situation your age and the age of the offences are likely to play to your favour, although won’t necessarily just be completely ignored. It’s just if these had happened more recently or as an adult, it’s more difficult.

    Get people lined up who are professionals who are happy to vouch for you and to say your character is not in question from their perspective now. You should get someone from your uni and someone in a highly respectable profession, ideally as closely related to law as possible.

    Speak to a legal advisor about this

    Speak to the SRA about this too
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    People have been approved to practice by the SRA for a lot less by the way. This isn’t an absolute lost cause based on this very basic information, but it’s worthwhile exploring your personal circumstances much more.
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    A suspended sentence for harassment sounds quite serious to me. That is not just a 'teenage mistake'. The SRA's guidance on what they will do if you received a suspended sentence is self-explanatory.

    I'm no expert, but honestly I wouldn't fancy your chances if you have to disclose that. It might be worth trying to get the SRA to clear you ahead of time. Personally I wouldn't spend money on the GDL/LPC etc. unless the SRA clear you.

    A law degree is a well respected degree in general and is relevant to lots of different jobs.
 
 
 
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