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Career Opportunities

Willsden County Court is looking for duty advisers. It is an opportunity to get some advocacy experience and there are currently four roles the Court would like to fill with BPTC/LPC graduates and current students. The job is limited to London only, but still offers a significant opportunity to some of you. Advisers deal primarily with repossession but there are overlapping legal issues which should mean that you get a chance to look at quite a lot of areas. I sit in general County Court civil and I would have thought that these roles would be challenging, enjoyable and offer real experience that looks good on a CV. It’s also a chance to help other people.

You can find out more by going to the site they have set up for recruitment purposes. You will be supervised by practising solicitors, so there will hopefully be real feedback and support. The application process closes on Wednesday, so you can do it over the weekend. Good luck, and if you get the job, please let me know. I will ask you to write something about it if you would like and will publish your (anonymised or not, as you wish) post.

As for the picture – whilst you are doing your application you can listen to one of the greatest bands who ever made an album.

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4 thoughts on “Career Opportunities

  1. First, thank you very much for posting this Simon, it is much appreciated.

    Second, just a clarification; for the September volunteer roles there are actually up to 8 available slots.

  2. You promote this as a positive opportunity and, indeed, it may well be. But The Clash’s song, best remembered by many for its line concerning YOP teens being used by the Post Office to open parcels during the IRA mainland bombing campaign, is about everything but opportunity.

  3. I am currently a Duty Adviser with this scheme and in all seriousness my day in court is my favourite day of the week. Nothing like the thrill of appearing before real judges with real clients in difficult situations.

  4. I was part of that scheme for around 4 years off and on. I was taken on when I was in the 2nd year of my LL.B, but I was very unusual in that I worked in the property business and I was a mature entrant to the Profession. I wouldn’t recommend anyone does this until they’ve at least finished the LL.B or conversion course and preferably until they’re on the BVC or LPC. I imagine the scheme have their criteria set at that level anyway (I only scanned the post, so I’m happy to be corrected). 

    Not only is the advocacy experience invaluable, you get a real and often moving sense of achievement having often made a huge difference to people’s lives. Even if you only get them an adjournment for a couple of weeks, that might buy them enough time to resolve their arrears and ultimately mean the difference between eviction and remaining in their home. As for the “thinking on your feet/public speaking/grace under pressure” CV points, then how does juggling half a dozen clients, most with no paperwork, many with little or no English, whilst simultaneously trying to negotiate with the housing officer for a local authority, the barrister acting for a bank and sweet-talking the usher into putting your case back down the list so that you can take some instructions and fashion a stunningly cunning legal argument from scratch in 10 minutes flat?

    Mooters? Pah! 10 a penny. Debaters? Fun, but that’s just a case of “read the papers and then have a good natured argument about it”, really. FRU? Yawn – like every other pupillage candidate hasn’t done FRU work. 

    The Willesden scheme offers the opportunity to put forward the technical legal  arguments offered by mooting and FRU, whilst also putting you into a situation where you need to make judgements and formulate arguments instantly (like debating)…..except you’re also doing something that really matters. Nothing can simulate the responsibility of holding someone else’s future in your hands.

    I’m a tenant now, practicing almost exclusively in crime, and I am convinced that the experience I gained at Willesden and the baptism of fire I received there was the foundation of the skills which I now call upon daily in the Mags and Crown Courts to manage facts, time, people and expectations under great pressure and, basically, to make bricks (successful arguments) from straw (clients’ instructions plus the facts and law). 

    Another thing – I had lots of pupillage interviews, a few 3rd six interviews and 2 tenancy interviews, and I think I was asked about my Duty Advocacy work in every one. 

    Hope that helps.
    A

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