August has been a productive month for Accutrainee; we saw a significant increase in demand for trainee and paralegal requests, as well as developing new partnerships with several new clients, ultimately offering even more opportunities to our aspiring lawyers.
While providing opportunities for legal professionals is one of our founding principles, we are a training company at our core which means we spend a considerable amount time developing and mentoring our trainees. It is only natural that we think carefully about the skills and experiences our trainees need to thrive in the constantly evolving legal eco system.
I make no apologies for sounding grandiose when I say that the legal system is and will continue to be one of the most important support systems for humankind to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. That is why this month I have decided to share my thoughts on some key concepts we are looking to imbed in our training and development programme.
Who is the 21st Century Lawyer?
In recent years there has been mounting pressure for lawyers to reinvent themselves. Richard Susskind, a renowned legal futurologist and author of the book ‘The End Of Lawyers’ is one of the most obvious examples of this call to action. While I might not agree with the deliberate eye-catching title, the concepts in the book are worthy of serious consideration.
One idea that has gained popular support among legal commentators is the ‘T-Shaped Lawyer’. The ‘T-shaped’ professional is not a new concept and was referenced by McKinsey & Company as far back as the 1980s as the ideal recruit for their business. The concept being that it wanted to find individuals with strong core skills and an ability to learn quickly. These T-shaped professionals would excel in their main responsibilities, possessing deep technical knowledge, but also contribute to the growth of the business as a whole by demonstrating strong core skills like communication, collaboration, flexibility in approach, creative thinking and solid project management and organisational skills. It is no surprise that this has made its way into the legal world where deep technical knowledge is a bare minimum to survive and core skills an opportunity to thrive.
Perhaps even more interesting is the rising popularity of ‘The O-Shaped Lawyer’, the brainchild of Network Rail General Counsel, Dan Kayne. This pushes the envelope even further away from the traditional view of a lawyer, focusing on the idea that we should develop and care about the person first and the lawyer second.
Both concepts are interesting to us at Accutrainee because they align with our goal of developing our lawyers’ core skills. One of the unique aspects of what we do is to offer qualifying work experience within different law firms and legal departments. While it is not a new concept to send trainees on secondment, Accutrainee was the first and still the only organisation that was approved by the SRA to specifically foster this type of training contract.
Our recent review of Accutrainee alumni revealed that our trainees can comfortably thrive in both in-house or law firm settings post qualification, something we are very proud of and continue to nurture through our working practices.
Training Contracts of the Future?
The origins of the training contract can be traced as far back as the 1300s, but gained more rigor after the Attorneys and Solicitors Act of 1728 which specifically stated no man could practice as a Solicitor unless his name was on the Roll, and significantly, no man could practice as a Solicitor unless he had undertaken an Articled Clerkship for at least a term of 5 years.
As we approach the biggest single change in the way our trainees qualify in modern history with the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), we consider this a great opportunity to build on our success, taking the necessary steps to further enhance our model and develop our lawyers in the best ways possible moving forward.
By encouraging creative thinking, innovation and better collaboration with business colleagues, we will insure our aspiring solicitors against whatever changes may come in the future, ultimately adding more value for our clients by delivering the shape of lawyer they want and need. So perhaps given our logo, we will actually be delivering the shaped lawyer!
Introducing some of our current talented trainees/candidates
Quality and diversity are intrinsic to Accutrainee. We are extremely selective about the candidates we put forward to clients. Applicants are required to successfully complete our thorough selection process giving quality assurance to the shortlists we prepare for clients. Here is a small selection of available trainees/candidates.
Candidate A gained AAB at A-Levels and completed a BA in History at Trinity College Dublin with a 2.1. She then went on to obtain Distinction in her GDL and LPC.
Candidate A is looking for her second seat after completing her first seat in a top law firm working with the Corporate team.
Candidate B gained AAA* at A-Levels and completed a BA in Human, Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge with a 2.1. She is in the process of completing her LPC. Candidate B is looking for her first seat and has experience in dispute resolution and criminal law.
Candidate C gained ACC at A-levels with a 2.1 LLB from Brunel University. She subsequently obtained a Commendation for her LPC from the University of Law.
Candidate C is currently finishing her second seat at a well-known law firm where she has worked on a wide variety of commercial disputes and civil fraud matters.
Candidate A achieved AAB at A level and completed a 2.1 from the University of Exeter in his LLB. He recently completed his LPC achieving a distinction.
Candidate A is seeking further work experience as a paralegal. He has had prior work experience in civil litigation and family law having worked for a regional law firm.
Candidate B is a General Counsel, DPO and Company Secretary with extensive legal experience. Specialising in commercial law, gained from government, in-house and private law firms, including magic circle firms. Areas of expertise include drafting and negotiating commercial contracts, insurance, IT, advising start-ups, digital technology, Intellectual Property Law, Consumer and e-commerce law, GDPR, B2C and B2B.
Candidate C is an experienced in-house lawyer with 27 years’ experience in the technology, software, and the IT industry. Candidate C has broad legal and commercial experience with strong corporate/commercial background. Significant exposure to a varied range of commercial contracts for Telecoms, IT, Software, Construction, Mining and Renewable Energy industries. Candidate C is a Certified member of International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM), an CEDR accredited mediator and recognised legal trainer.