ECH came to London when she was 17, almost 18. Now she is 30. She's done her degree in journalism. She has worked as a journalist in a Publishing House which publishes an annual compendium/encyclopedia about all major UK Law Firms - of course the biggest stress is made on the corporate international ones. Because her work involved interviewing many barristers and solicitors, she became familiar with law in general. Naturally, she possessed a fantastic knowledge about all law firms and the rivals they had. All good and bad points.
She applied for the Training Contract* and from ONLY five applications she got three offers. She had this advantage and liberty to actually choose the law firm she wanted to work in! For today's standards, it is UNBELIEVABLE. That law firm paid for her both GDL** and LPC*** courses AND gave her yearly grant - they've spent on her more or less £45,000.
On the GDL she has failed at least 4 subjects. She passed them on the second attempt and was told that on the LPC such situation won't be tolerated. On the LPC she has failed one subject - a core subject called Property Law and Practice. The pass rate is 50%, she got 48% - only 2% difference means that if she would have answered correctly in one more multiple questions (A, B, C, D), she would have passed. Her law firm was understanding - tin my opinion extremely understanding - and told her that she has to pass under the second attempt or it's over. Second exam was at the end of August. Of course she appealed against the decision, but as the exams are checked by three independent examiners - there was no chance for change.
She has failed second attempt. Even though she had whole summer to study, she decided to go home (Greece) for a month, party and study in the meantime. I told her what AM told me when she didn't pass her LPC exams year earlier - that second attempts are ALWAYS harder. It is understandable - they are using the material you were supposed to learn and know, but which was not really covered in the same detail in the classes. Nothing you can do about it. Pass rate remained the same - 50%. She got 37%. She has received the results at the end of October. During all that time she was working in her law firm as an assistant. She didn't wriggle her way out of this one. She was immediately fired. The results came in the morning, on 2pm she was already sitting in her flat.
All this time she is blaming others. Despite the fact that on the eve of her first exam she went to a pub with her ex-boyfriend or the fact that she went away, without books or will to study. She had EVERYTHING and now she has NOTHING. But she is still blaming others. She again appealed against the decision, but she has achieved nothing. Of course College of Law will not admit to their fault - even if there would be their fault. And there isn't. There simply isn't.
I just needed to get it out of my system. The whole story makes me really angry. I remember her boasting around, telling everyone and pointing me out that she had a training contract. And when I started to look for work (which I am still doing) she was telling me how easy it is to find it and suggesting that I'm not trying hard enough! At the moment she doesn't have a job. Even though she has much more experience on her CV than I have. Right now she is blaming her agent for her failed interview claiming that he offered too big remuneration, which was rejected.
At least I've passed all my exams on the first attempt and never in my entire life have I failed something and she still has to write Property Law and Practice. In April. Without the help of College of Law (meaning that if there is any change of law she has to dig it up herself).
* Before you can become a qualified solicitor in England & Wales you need to complete a two year training contract at a law firm, with at least four different seats - in the areas of law like tax, corporate, media. Depending on in which law firm you have your training contract, you will be committed to the particular seat.
** Graduate Diploma in Law is a postgraduate law course that is taken by non-law graduates (graduates who have a degree in a discipline that is not law) wishing to become either a solicitor or a barrister in England & Wales. It allows people with a greater variety of educational backgrounds into the legal profession.
*** Legal Practice Course is the vocational stage for becoming a solicitor in England & Wales. The LPC is regulated through the Law Society.