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Likeleyhood of passing SRA application with spent theft conviction? watch

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    Brief facts

    24 yr old male, 2nd year law student will apply for SRA registration next year.

    Offence, 1 count theft, and 1 count false accounting when I was 15/16 years old. Basically receiving and cashing dodgy cheques. Convictions now spent

    Mitigating circumstances; when I apply for SRA, my convictions will be approx 10 years old. no other priors, been clean since. Sentence - 8 month referral order (basically detention). Some volunteer work, good finances

    Academics - really good A-level AAB, on course for a high 2:1 possible 1st in LLB.

    So my question do I have a chance at being a solicitor? If need be I could pay for my own LPC.... I don’t expect to get a TC with Magic or Silver circle firms.. a low end High Street firm? Would it be possible to be a Paralegal for a few years with a firm, develop “trust" then upgrade to TC?

    I have read the SRA guidelines and it says Past convictions for dishonesty offences (incl theft) will give rise to a presumption that you are not trustworthy unless you can demonstrate exceptional circumstances, i.e. 10 years, volunteer work, good finances etc...

    I will call the SRA on Monday, for know any useful/helpful information would be appreciated. Has anybody heard of a solicitor with a spent theft conviction????
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    (Original post by misguidedsoul)
    Brief facts

    24 yr old male, 2nd year law student will apply for SRA registration next year.

    Offence, 1 count theft, and 1 count false accounting when I was 15/16 years old. Basically receiving and cashing dodgy cheques. Convictions now spent

    Mitigating circumstances; when I apply for SRA, my convictions will be approx 10 years old. no other priors, been clean since. Sentence - 8 month referral order (basically detention). Some volunteer work, good finances

    Academics - really good A-level AAB, on course for a high 2:1 possible 1st in LLB.

    So my question do I have a chance at being a solicitor? If need be I could pay for my own LPC.... I don’t expect to get a TC with Magic or Silver circle firms.. a low end High Street firm? Would it be possible to be a Paralegal for a few years with a firm, develop “trust" then upgrade to TC?

    I have read the SRA guidelines and it says Past convictions for dishonesty offences (incl theft) will give rise to a presumption that you are not trustworthy unless you can demonstrate exceptional circumstances, i.e. 10 years, volunteer work, good finances etc...

    I will call the SRA on Monday, for know any useful/helpful information would be appreciated. Has anybody heard of a solicitor with a spent theft conviction????
    You're obviously familiar with the guidelines which is good.

    As you note, the difficulty in your situation is that your conviction involved a dishonesty offence which the profession looks on particularly harshly. Essentially, the SRA needs to make sure that the public can trust and rely on the members of the profession and their view is that individuals who have been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty may damage the profession's reputation.

    You certainly have mitigating factors - especially the age at which you committed the offences. Unfortunately, I can't give you a feel for your chances: only the SRA can really give you any firm guidance.

    You know that you can't do the LPC until you've been granted student membership of the SRA (which will involve the assessment of your character etc)?

    Best of luck with the call with the SRA on Monday. I imagine they won't give you any concrete guidance on the phone: they'll want you to apply formally and then make a decision.
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    I don't have much to add to what chalks has said, apart from to let you know that when you're applying for student membership of the SRA you will have to provide two (maybe even three) references rather, than the usual one reference, to confirm that you have a suitable character.
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    Thanks for your help so far...I phoned the SRA today and explained my situation to them, I was advised to apply and I would be given a decision after. Unfortunately for me they refused to go any further saying they could not comment as my application would be sent of to an adjudicator.

    Are there any legal advice organisations that could advise me? I'm still going to go for it...my dream lives on
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    What legal advice do you think you could seek?
 
 
 
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