A source sings to me that Lamb Chambers (on neither the wall nor the buttress and so previously in a neutral position) has gone straight to the top of the buttress of acclaim charts by sending out the following rejection letter (so far as I can tell to all unsuccessful candidates).
Lamb Chambers regrets to inform you that your application for pupillage at these chambers has not been successful. There were well over 200 applicants for just 2 places and with such stiff competition it was inevitable that we would have to reject many very strong candidates such as yourself.
We must apologise for the tardy manner in which your application has been considered. We encountered insuperable problems with the OLPAS system this year and in the end were obliged to print off and sort all applicants by hand. The automated method for notifying applicants of the progress of their applications was unworkable and as a result we are obliged to transmit all email rejections individually.
Lamb Chambers is unlikely to subscribe to OLPAS next year and if you too have been inconvenienced by this system then we would like to extend our apologies on behalf of the entire Bar to you for submitting aspiring pupils to such an appalling ordeal.
And so say all of us – but in this case someone actually has said it. Good.
In an ideal world the authorities would establish what happened with the Portal and publish it. This is not a call to identify anyone responsible, but rather to demonstrate that what went wrong has been understood and sorted. I have always supported OLPAS as a system (see my very first post of all) but I think Lamb Chambers (who make the position clear for all to see here) have got this one right. Better go it alone than another year of a collective effort going so disastrously wrong.
What is needed now is urgent reassurance that next year will not just be better, but that it will be perfect. Otherwise OLPAS is in trouble. And I still think that would be a shame. There is plenty to be said for making the system a level playing field. However, at the moment the field may be level but it’s also muddy, treacherous to negotiate and full of clods.