Remember the need for integrity? Well, according to Oxbridge Training Contracts you can pay someone to write your application, fill in your form and answer your interview questions for you. This will cost you anything up to £2,000.
Never mind the people prepared to shell out the money. Anyone who believes that you can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear is simply stupid. BVC students who believe that someone else’s answers will get them an interview, still less a pupillage, still less a tenancy are not looking for a purse so much as a set of matching luggage.
The more important issue seems to me to be that this is cheating. I am not talking about a bit of help to present yourself properly – this site, your BVC course, your University Careers Office, numerous barristers, your friends and your Inn will all help with that for free. But that is a bit different from a ‘personalised’ service for which you pay big money but which promises nothing save to make you a lot poorer. These people are lawyers and – according to the site – they are pupils and junior tenants in band 1 and 2 sets as per the Legal 500.
So what is the position of a pupil or a barrister who charges a potential barrister for a service like this? Well, personally speaking I would regard it as conduct likely to prejudice public confidence in the Bar. After all, if you are exploiting your own position to charge the potential competition that hardly looks good. And I doubt your Chambers would be terribly pleased to interview someone whose answers had been written by someone else in the same Chambers (an option in the pull down menus this site offers).
Integrity, as I have said before, is vital to the Bar. There is no integrity in allowing other people to write your essays, construct your CV, tell you the answers or plan your interview. If you can afford it, you are also getting the jump on those who can’t. If you are using this service you ought to be ashamed. You ought also to be careful because the draft application letter for pupillage is written by someone who – according to the site – has a current pupillage at ‘a leading Chambers’ and a Distinction in the BCL – but who cannot write proper English to save their life. The letter opines that “I know from conversations that awards are taken with a degree of salt at Chambers”. If the writer really is a pupil they ought to be looking elsewhere come June. Salt may be taken in degrees in other jurisdictions but in England it is usually taken in pinches. One may be “at” Chambers in other jurisdictions but in England one is “in” Chambers. The writer may be a real pupil but I doubt it.
Of course, if the owners of this money mill would like to contact me I will happily allow them a fair say. The site says nothing about these people. No names. No qualifications. No personal details. No integrity.
If you are one of the people helping others to cheat then you are an embarrasment to your profession and you ought to stop. Now.
Finally, I am not linking to the site. If you want to give them the traffic then find them yourselves. The Bar can do without these people and – if you are any good and have the slightest desire to uphold the values of the profession you want to join – so can you.