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Who wants a training contract?

View profile for Shaun Jardine
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The other day I spoke at a university about mediation and the role that it has to play in today’s legal world.  For those of you that don’t know, I am passionate about mediation and undertake a dozen or so mediations every year.

At the end of the session, we had a few minutes left.  I was looking at an audience of 40 third year law students.  They were looking at me.  I asked if they had any questions and the answer was “no”.

Faced with the prospect of a lengthy 10 minutes or so, I decided to ask them some questions.

“Who wants a training contract?” I asked.

About 15 hands went up.

I said, “Okay”.

“Who has read “Tomorrow’s Lawyers” by Richard Susskind?”  This is a book that I rate very highly.  It talks about what the legal future is going to be in the next 20 years.  Not one hand was raised.

I tried another question.

“Who has read “Reimagining Legal Services in the 21st Century” by Mitch Kawlaski?”  Again, a shake of heads, no hands.

“Who has ever heard of PRINCE2 project management?” – No response.

“Who has heard of process mapping?” – Deathly silence.

Whilst I was probably not going to get many people knowing about PRINCE2, I would have thought bearing in mind they were university students and appeared to have unlimited library resources at their disposal, they might have read a couple of books or might have heard about project management or process mapping.

It is a real shame.  If any one of them had been able to raise their hand three out of the four times, the chances are I would have given them a business card and told them to send me a CV.  Sadly, 15 people failed their first interview.  The good news is, I don’t know their names, I couldn’t pick them out of an identification parade and I wouldn’t be interviewing them if they were to apply to Brethertons some time in the future.  So, they have the chance to redeem themselves if they are serious about getting a training contract.  Similarly, if you or someone you know is interested in getting a training contract, then these are some of the books they should be reading.