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Take 5

February application deadlines

Many firms' vacation scheme application deadlines fell in January, but plenty more have upcoming deadlines this month, including these five:

Paralegals

For law graduates not going on to the LPC or BPTC, a career as a professional paralegal is a real alternative. Being a paralegal is not the same as being a lawyer, but as doctors are supported by skilled nurses, so too solicitors are supported by skilled paralegals. And as with nurses, nowadays paralegals are becoming a recognised professional group in their own right.

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives

CILEx is the professional body representing around 20,000 trainee and qualified chartered legal executive lawyers. Changes in legislation mean that chartered legal executive lawyers are increasingly on a level playing field with solicitors or barristers, as they can now become judges, advocates and partners in law firms.

Legal apprenticeships

There's no denying it – apprenticeships in the legal sector are gaining momentum. The traditional route to being a lawyer is being challenged by, among other things, the Legal Education and Training Review, the rise of legal executives, increasing paralegal numbers, and alternative business structures.

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Features

Legal aid: why equality before the law no longer exists in the UK in 2016
Legal aid is a vital part of the justice system which provides funding for legal representation to people who could not otherwise afford it. Unfortunately, cuts to the legal aid budget and court fee hikes mean that legal aid lawyers are struggling as never before, and that many UK citizens in 2016 cannot afford to access the justice system.

Pro bono initiatives

Disability Law Service

The DLS is a registered charity run by and for disabled people, their families and carers. It provides a quality service in public and social welfare law, as well as in-house training courses in these fields.


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