A leading legal magazine has listed the top ten young barristers in England and Wales after contacting more than 350 solicitors, barristers, QCs and senior clerks to ascertain their views on the rising stars of the profession. 325 barristers were recommended before the final ten were profiled by journalist Ben Rigby for the magazine's annual Stars at the Bar list.
Seven of this top ten are graduates of The City Law School:
Simon Atrill Fountain Court Chambers (BVC, 2005)
Siddharth Dhar Essex Court Chambers (BVC, 2005)
Charles Raffin Hardwicke Chambers (BVC, 2005)
Amy Sander Essex Court Chambers (BVC, 2006)
Luke Pearce 20 Essex Street (BVC, 2007)
Can Yeginsu 4 New Square (GDL, 2007)
Michael Watkins One Essex Court (Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Legal Skills, 2009)
Professor Carl Stychin, Dean of The City Law School, commented:
"It is tremendous to see our alumni achieving this level of recognition so early in their careers. Our rigorous professional programmes are well known for attracting some of the most able and hard-working students, so it is extremely gratifying to see them reaching their potential".
Thomas Mogford (who Lawbore interviewed in October last year) has made the longlist for the prestigious Crime Writers' Association John Creasey Dagger 2013. The CWA John Creasey Dagger is awarded for the year's best crime novel by a previously unpublished author.
Tom's first novel Shadow of the Rock is a crime thriller based in Gibraltar where the book's central character, tax lawyer Spike Sanguinetti, gets embroiled in a murder case whilst trying to save the accused, old friend Solomon.
Shadow of the Rock received much acclaim; described by The Times as 'evocative, engrossing and entertaining', Mogford's work has also been praised by William Boyd, author of Restless, Ordinary Thunderstorms and Waiting for Sunrise, as 'Very original … and brilliantly rendered … a rare and enviable talent'. Judges of the CWA John Creasey Dagger described Mogford's book as:
'Well written, beautifully crafted with a wonderful sense of place and voice. This fast moving adventure is more than just another accidental private investigator racing through an exotic landscape, this is a first-class thriller in which lawyer Spike discovers the underside of the Gibraltar dream and establishes a major new character in the criminal pantheon'.
Since writing Shadow of the Rock, Tom has also published the second in the Spike series, Sign of the Cross.
City University London Honorary Graduate, The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MBE MP (Civil Law 1993) will be the guest speaker at our forthcoming City Law Alumnae Network event (CLAN).
CLAN is our network for female City Law School graduates. The group meets twice-yearly and provides a unique opportunity for alumnae to meet like-minded solicitors, barristers and other law graduates from across the UK. However for this special event all graduates and current students are welcome. Please find out more and book via the Events Signup.
At this event, Margaret will speak on the topic of 'Women in Public Life' followed by questions from the audience.
“NOT a Barrister? NOT the end of the world!”
On 30th January, four former City Law students discussed their career paths following graduation. The evening commenced with former City GDL and LPC student, Jo Joyce, who generously gave the audience an insight into her weekly routine at commercial law firm Shoosmiths. “Urgent corporate support, burning client problems, new customer checks” and so on all sounds quite orthodox in a life of an up and coming solicitor. Early starts to the Monday morning that don’t end until 3AM on Tuesday, did not really shock anyone. Neither did Wednesday’s exhausting off-peak journey to Birmingham for a pressing meeting!
But it was not until she mentioned her initial craving to become a Barrister that the audience was suddenly all ears. It was right then, in that specific moment, when the audience and undoubtedly I, myself started to panic. Is it not obvious that we spend a fortune on education and accommodation as students? Why should our careers take a completely different route to what we initially aspired? Still, our many questions regarding the justice of this remain rhetorical.
Nevertheless, she states that you have to be “prepared to let yourself be moved in different legal careers”. Explaining that it was through her work experience that she completed at Shoosmiths that opened doors and allowed her to excel. Although it was not what she initially set out to do, perseverance rewarded her as she was then offered a Training Contract in 2007 (when law firms were still capable of splashing cash!). She ended her talk leaving us spectators with a lot of food for thought:
“Think where you are going and keep yourself focused. Be prepared to embrace change because not everything follows through and you can’t plan everything.
This month we have a really excellent series of lectures and workshops for you to sign up for, featuring many of our alumni.
Some of the events are capped because the sessions are designed to be really interactive, so you'll need to get in quick. If something is really popular we can look to run it again the new year.
So...what's on offer?
Wed 7th November
5-7pm is Adam Ross's workshop, which offers an introduction to competitive debating for 16 students. Adam will look at the essential skills: public speaking, making arguments and responding to arguments and preparation. You'll then move onto the structure and rules involved before getting your teeth into a mini-debate. Adam will provide full feedback!
Adam won the Lincoln's Inn Debating Shield whilst at City and has debated/coached for the English Speaking Union and Oxford Union.
7-8pm is Rupert Wilson and Andy Campbell, who will be taking you through the secrets to fantastic mooting; acting out how to deal with different mooting challenges, and most importantly how not to look a fool!
You'll get the chance to quiz them at the end too.
Wed 14th November
6-7pm is Matthew Watson with his workshop on public speaking. Whether you're keen to get involved in mooting, debating or just looking for a way to increase your confidence for interviews and training days - this workshop is guaranteed to help. Matthew has coached debating and public speaking at Oxford in the past.
No experience necessary but the session will be very interactive, so be ready to get involved! Numbers capped at 20.
7-8.30 is Harry Adamson. Harry will be leading this workshop on the use of logic and how the application of it can help your mooting preparation. You'll take a look at what makes a good argument and learn more about the concepts of validity and soundness, as well as how arguments can be separated into distinct premises.
This session will be capped at 20.
Harry completed a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, teaching there until recently - he is now a pupil at Blackstone's Chambers.
The following 2 Wednesdays will be advertised shortly!
As I was drawing closer to the end of my Training Contract I was pleased to be approached by Emily to write a piece on my legal journey from embarking on a Law degree at City in September 2004 to qualifying as a Solicitor in November 2010.
After obtaining average A-Level results I was elated to receive a call from Lynn Childs to confirm my place on the Law LLB programme was secure. As I went through the degree I was keen to explore what kind of law firm I wanted to work for. Initially I was drawn to working for a commercial law firm which seemed glamorous but I quickly realised this was not the path I wanted to follow. After undertaking some voluntary placements at local high street firms at the end of my second year I quickly realised I wanted to act for people and not commercial entities!
On completing the degree in 2007 I began the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law. I had decided that the Solicitor route would be best for me as I didn’t want to undertake Court work day in day out.
After the LPC I worked as a paralegal for the in-house legal department of Whitbread plc. At this point I was slightly disillusioned as drawing up legal contracts and franchise agreements was not the most exciting work in the world! I was therefore happy to leave and work as a paralegal for a local high street firm, Indus Solicitors.
The blog offers a lively round-up of human rights-related news and commentary. Postings are extremely comprehensive with links to full judgments, case summaries and other documentation where possible. Their regular case comments are excellent and detailed. Users can sign up for email alerts and RSS.
Had you guys considered blogging would be a part of your role within Chambers I wonder?
Craig's interview is wide-ranging; offering Future Lawyer readers an insight into how Craig's career in law has panned out, from his experience of studying at City, becoming a commercial lawyer, right through to his current role as author of The Ultimate Guide to Training Contract Success and creator of The Ultimate Law Guide website.
Craig has developed The Ultimate Law Guide to help students sketch their path out to a training contract - his website offers the following snapshot of his mission:
We are a team of qualified solicitors, who were the first in our families to go to university and come from backgrounds not traditionally associated with law. We beat all the odds to achieve our ambitions of becoming lawyers at leading law firms, and now want to give back - by helping to inspire the next generation of talented students to get-ahead and successfully forge careers in law.
Hot content in this interview includes Craig's tips for training contract interview, the most difficult question he's been asked at interview and some thoughts on demonstrating commercial awareness successfully.
To find out more about Craig - read the piece featured in The City Law School's In Law Magazine Spring 2009