A law degree: When it’s not worth the paper it’s written on?

If you believe the figure that there were 94,380 Law graduates in the class of 2010, you are absurdly naïve.

There were actually no more than a few thousand - students that are not graduating from Britain’s ‘Ivy League’ do not count.

Before going into the difficulties of getting your foot on the proverbial ladder, we need to think about the make-up of the herd scuffling on the ground. In the saturated graduate market, a degree is valued by comparison to thousands of others.

It is clear then, that the term ‘law graduate’ covers both diamonds and coal.

Generally speaking, seething prejudices against degrees from the bottom of the league table are justified.

This should not be taken as an elitist attitude, but a realist one. In the prestigious legal arena, applications from high calibre candidates, with strong academics and varying degrees of relevant skills are expected.

But to factor in candidates who struggle to even find offers of unpaid work experience pulls the matter off on a tangent.

To be bold, some graduates should never have embarked on a law degree in the first instance!.

There are so many entries to the legal world from people who have backgrounds in modern languages, natural sciences and other subjects that it makes you wonder if you even need experience in a particular subject to get into the elite world of law.

Instead, the running theme is aptitude for excelling consistently in intellectual and technical detail, regardless of topic, subject or field – a polymath nature of sorts.

Putting aside my general distaste for reality talent shows, the situation is like those contestants who appear to genuinely believe they do not sound like cats being strangled.

To realise ambition, you need to be acutely aware of not only your strengths but also your weaknesses.

You must pay heed to appropriate professional standards.

We receive CV’s from people who start by saying ‘hiya’ on a covering letter which is an atrocity worse than receiving no cover letter at all. Some even forget to attach their CV and others turn up to interview to flash a piece of paper which says ‘FAILED LAW’. We wonder… Whether the increase in tuition fees will skew the graduate legal demographic to those with means and deter the vast numbers of below average applicants, remains to be seen.

The only thing we ask is think before you submit your CV and make sure it looks up to scratch.

It’s a competitive market and the legal industry can pick and choose who it wants – so make sure your CV stands out from the rest.

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