June 08, 2013

Why does everyone want to go to Law School? Ctd

I think the former barrister Harry Mount writing in the Spectator is onto something:

"There’s no reason why they should be paid any more than other graduates in less overrated jobs. But their high prices, and their dashing reputation, stoked up by Charles Dickens, John Mortimer and a million courtroom dramas, have conspired to produce this delusion of brilliance. It is a delusion many of them fall for themselves."

He's referring to the shrieks and wails of horror being emitted by the legal profession as the Lord Chancellor and non-lawyer, Chris Grayling implements swinging cuts to the legal aid bill.

But it still has resonance with the question of why everyone wants to go to Law School?

Because, as he suggested, Dickens, Mortimer and TV court room dramas have conspired to create a delusion of brilliance. On that is a fiction and but a grotesque characters that does nothing but lead young people up the garden path.

Harry tears into the legal profession, which he calls a "overcharging charade" and the "last unreformed profession", a little more which provides some interesting reading:

"A few specialist areas — banking law, trust law, intellectual property — require brainiacs with Oxbridge firsts, who deserve to be well paid. Most of the rest of it is child’s play. Divorce, death and housebuying are straightforward enough — lots of us manage them with little difficulty — and so is the law associated with them. But over the centuries we’ve let a small group of not particularly gifted people monopolise the legal control of these routine, if crucial, acts."

A little more:

"Most things barristers do for hundreds of pounds an hour could be done as well not just by solicitors but by any intelligent person. Many of the things high-street solicitors do, too — conveyancing, divorces and wills among them — are a doddle, especially in the age of the internet."

Read Harry Mount's piece in the Spectator in full here: http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8927101/take-it-from-a-former-barrister-chris-grayling-is-right-to-reform-legal-aid/

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