Good for a giggle: Solicitors don’t solicit. Well, not in that way...

solicitors soliciting

I still find it staggering just how bad some university websites are at marketing their courses, given their budgets and specialist marketing departments. What with the hikes in tuition fees, increasing doubt over the value of degrees and the fact that traditional law school prospectuses are going the same way as the Yellow Pages, the effectiveness of their websites has never been more crucial.

I should probably explain: I’ve visited loads of law school websites over the years. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one, when, as a procrastinating student stuck fast in the grips of a never-ending paper, I decided to research the authors of some of the materials I was citing. There’s nothing like a trawl through the staff profile pages of law school websites to while away a few minutes, (and if you can convince yourself it’s a productive use of time, so much the better). And don’t knock it until you’ve tried it; sometimes it even bears fruit.

It’s very refreshing, then, to see the University of Glamorgan adopting an aggressive stance embracing social media that isn’t (just) confined Facebook and Twitter. As part of their ‘Glam-Insight’ programme, they have bravely decided to let a selection of current students blog about their experiences of studying at the university.  The resident law student, Rachael, is in her 3rd year with aspirations of qualifying as a solicitor and is keen to offer up nuggets of wisdom along the way.

The latest post on ‘Rachael’s blog’ (sometimes the simplest names are the best) was an absolute corker.

From Rachaelsblog 02/01/12:

“To be a good lawyer, you need to spend some time out of the library”

Good stuff: always start with a quote … she could have almost been a pupil of the Law Actually school of blogging.

As for the sentiment behind the words, I think it’s the old ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy for a boring CV’ message. Yep - that ol’ chestnut.

But wait - there’s more. Rachael’s got quite a way with words - in a laugh-out-loud kind of way.

Those are the words of advice given to me at a law fair a few weeks ago. At a first glance, such words seem quite dramatic – particularly in the context of soliciting.

In the context of WHAT, Rachael?!? Heavens above, girl!  Does your mother know about this?  I know the legal job market is grim at the moment but surely there’s no need to plan on breaking out the mini skirt, fishnet tights and red stilettos? And besides: that kind of get-up (and associated shenanigans) will almost certainly get you thrown out of the law library.

Rachael goes on:

However, today, the advice is invaluable. Of course, academic achievement is essential to being successful in law, but today, employers often look for ‘something special’ in their ideal candidate and thus place much importance on other aspects of your application as well as your grades.

I hope the ‘something special’ isn’t a euphemism. Graduates are desperate to land a training contract or pupillage at any price and senior partners might not be above taking advantage. And, fresh out of law school, there’s nothing worse than a Monika Lewinsky type of incident all over your new suit. (I mean: you could try claiming the dry cleaning bill back on expenses, but prevention’s better than cure and all that).

But I digress.

The moral of the story, then, children, is that proof reading is vital. Secondly, it seems there’s a bit more mileage left in blogs after all; maybe they’re now regarded as so old, they’re back in fashion. But perhaps most significantly of all, it’s that whilst solicitors do a lot of things (some good, some bad), most aren’t guilty of “soliciting”. (That sort of thing goes down very badly with the SRA).  I wonder what the official advice might be on this point?  Probably to confine it to the bedroom with your beau and to stay away from street corners.

Maybe there’s a practice note on this?  Be right back


  1. I absolutely agree about the woeful advertising. The last I heard Edinburgh University is going to charge English and Welsh students £36,000 to study law and that means they're in the same price range as a used Land Rover. A lot of universities aren't too far behind. They need to advertise accordingly.
    I think it's the sort of thing that prospective students wouldn't mind seeing but my gut says that blogging students providing testimonials isn't enough anymore.

  2. I think your gut's right, Stephen. The 'Glam Insight' idea is very '2005', but at least they're trying something. (And I couldn't be too mean to Rachael). :-)

    Btw, £36K is crazy money... I'd go for the Land Rover I think.

    Fun fact: as a kid, I thought they were called "Lan Drovers" (you know, because you 'drove' them)... then again, I was always a stupid child. Not much has changed then! ;-)

  3. I can't honestly say that I would be studying law today if I had to pay £36k fees on my LLB. It's a massive sum to put round your neck at 17-18 with only a vague understanding of what it involves and no promise you'll immediately become a QC afterwards.

    There's a logic to that, what did your younger self think of bulldozers? ;)


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