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Generation gap

The LPC equips young lawyers for the commercial world but leaves them without fully developed family law skills, says Marilyn Stowe as she despairs of her potential trainees

12 September 2011

Here in the office, it’s trainee interview time. This year we are looking to take on three new trainees: chicken feed compared to the numbers taken on by large London commercial firms, but, like them, we are looking for high-calibre candidates with the ability to think on their feet.

The first interview, with our firm’s HR team, is pleasant enough. The candidates who impress are invited back for a second interview… with me.

Now, before I go any further, I’d like to point out that I don’t bite. However, my son, who recently secured a training contract at a firm in London, pulled no punches when he heard about my interview technique. “You aren’t easy, Mum!” he said, listening to me complain about the standard of some of our potential trainees, and how I had written them off immediately.

Perhaps I am a tough interviewer, but these days the competition for traineeships is – or should be – tougher than ever. The most recent Law Society figures sho...

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