Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Article on car seats, parental responsibility and the law

Heads up for an article over at Personal Injury Brief Update Law Journal on car seats, parental responsibility and the law by barrister Laura Johnson of 1 Chancery Lane.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Book Recommendation: Friends at Court

Roger Thursby is prospering in the legal profession and is about to be made a Queen’s Counsel. In this brilliantly funny sequal to Brothers in Law we follow him through a further series of hilarious legal highs and lows.

Available from Amazon

Friday, May 24, 2013

Paola Antonelli: Why I brought Pac-Man to MoMA

Do the locum-motion...

Brought to you by our friends at the Sellick Partnership

The economic woes of the past four years have forced many firms, especially those in the legal sector, to change and adapt their recruitment process to meet the pressures of spending cuts and the changing economic environment. Enter the world of the locum - a legal professional that can offer an encouraging light at the end of an uncertain tunnel. Previously reserved for covering maternity and sick leave, locums now have the potential to stabilise the otherwise rocky future of local governments and law firms.

In a recent legal salary survey conducted by recruitment specialists Sellick Partnership, it was found that the demand for legal locums has increased by 30% in the last year. With the promise of economic growth, law firms are beginning to dip their toes into new markets, using professional locums to test the water before employing permanent staff members.

So, what’s changed?
Legal firms have finally woken up to the benefits professional locums can bring to organisations in this changing market. Temporary staff cannot only vastly improve the productivity of the team, but also provide firms with invaluable flexibility, whether they are there on a short term stopgap or the company is window-shopping for new employees for implementing new projects or simply assisting with increased workload.

Gone are the days of mediocre solicitors offering themselves on a locum basis because they can’t secure a permanent position; now, ambitious and forward thinking professionals are looking at locum as a career option. Exposing individuals to a wide variety of legal placements, life as a locum can be challenging but rewarding – an opportunity to be adaptable and determined, ready to move for work and commit to short term contracts. There is still an overwhelming sense of doubt when it comes to securing a permanent placement, particularly amongst trainee and newly qualified lawyers who are finding the job market saturated and highly competitive. Working as a locum enables them to gain experience and explore career options - enhancing their CV and long term career prospects.

Making yourself available on a locum basis drastically increases the opportunities on offer, and enhances your exposure in the market. From my experience within the recruitment industry, employers who frequently recruit locum lawyers often go on to offer permanent positions to those who have the talent required; working as a locum no longer comes with the threat of needing to find new work within a few months. Instead, it is more comparable to an extended interview, giving individuals the opportunity to prove themselves over a period of time rather than in a brief meeting.

For clients, access to a vast database of quality candidates available on short notice is providing real value for money, moving businesses forward in a positive direction. Sellick Partnership's salary survey revealed that the biggest issue for firms over the next twelve months is achieving more with a limited team – locum staff solve this problem by providing vital cover when existing businesses lose key members of their team, and enables organisations to improve their performance.

By implementing a well-defined locum recruitment strategy, and offering clear management and support, a professional locum can be as effective and productive as recruiting a permanent member of staff. 

Thanks to Anna Gibbons, Corporate Communications Manager at Sellick Partnership for submitting  this post. Click here to find out more about the latest Locum job opportunities in the UK.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Help for small businesses from The Admin Agent

A friend of mine called Kat Curtis who lives in Braunton runs The Admin Agent offering administrative help to small businesses and in particular with their monthly book-keeping and advertising. Details are above and you can see more information here.

Book Recommendation: Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University

Letters to a Law Student relays all that a prospective law student needs to know before embarking on their studies. It provides a useful guide to those considering a law degree or conversion course and helps students prepare for what can be a daunting first year of study.

Available from Amazon

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Article on whether it's time for a unified legal profession @thelegalterrier

I've done an article for a firm of solicitors on whether it's time to have a unified legal profession. You can read it here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New Smartphone App Solves the Personal Injury Claim Puzzle

Brought to you by our friends at Walker Prestons Solicitors

Since the Government announced plans to ban referral fees, legal firms specialising in personal injury claims have been scratching their heads as to how best continue their levels of custom. Despite the large savings that they will make now that they will not be paying out referral fees, higher marketing costs may be incurred. Business plans have had to be revised as law firms enter an uncertain plane.

However, a graduate from Liverpool John Moores University may have found a cost-effective and elegant solution in the form of a smartphone app. Lawyerly, available on both Apple and Android formats, allows the victims of accidents to connect directly to applicable solicitors.

The app provides the victims with important personal injury solicitor information including user ratings, services and contact information. Designer, Matt Cavanagh, has highlighted the significant impact that the app could have on people hoping to make a road accident claim:

“The app effectively acts as a seamless link between client and lawyer. For example, if someone has a road accident and is in a position to record the damage via a smart phone or tablet, it will allow them to find a solicitor right there and then.”

Law firms can register with a monthly subscription to the app so that their details can be shared with users who can download Lawyerly for free.

"Lawyerly is fool proof despite its many benefits to both parties. The potential client can reduce ambiguity by obtaining advice at the scene of the incident, while the solicitor receives a direct referral. This will reduce any friction in doing business."

The app could negate the need for excessive marketing campaigns in the wake of the ban on referral fees. This will be especially welcome news for no win no fee solicitors who have found business hard to come by with the new regulations and can help maximise the compensation that goes directly to the claimant and the solicitor working on their behalf rather than a referral company.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Book Recommendation: Legal Skills

Legal Skills encompasses all the academic and practical legal skills essential to the law student in one manageable volume. It is an ideal text for first year law students and is also a valuable resource for those studying law at any level. Clearly structured in three parts, the book covers the full range of legal skills you will need to succeed from the beginning of your law degree, through your exams and assessments and into your future career. The first part covers 'Sources of Law' and includes information on finding and using legislation, making sure you understand where the law comes from and how to use it. The second part covers 'Academic Legal Skills' and provides advice on general study and writing skills. This part also includes a section on referencing and avoiding plagiarism amongst a number of other chapters designed to help you through the different stages of your law degree. The third and final part is dedicated to 'Practical Legal Skills'; a section designed to help you to develop transferrable skills in areas such as presentations and negotiations that will be highly valued by future employers. The book contains many useful features designed to support a truly practical approach to legal skills. Self-test questions and diagrams are set in a user-friendly colour design. More extensive activities give you the opportunity to take a 'hands on' approach to tackling a variety of legal skills from using cases to negotiation. Each skill is firmly set in its wider academic and professional context to encourage an integrated approach to the learning of legal skills. Online Resource Centre Legal Skills is accompanied by an innovative online resource centre offering a range of resources to support teaching and learning. Video clips of good and bad 'real life' moots in action bring the subject to life for students. Practical exercises appear throughout the book so you can test yourself on your essay writing, problem solving, revision and exam skills. Examples of good and bad answers to these exercises appear on the online resource centre providing insight into the varying approaches that can be taken to the same question with commentary on the strengths and weaknesses of each answer. Lecturers can track student progress using an online bank of 200 multiple choice questions offering immediate answers and feedback that can be customised and loaded on to the university's VLE.
Available from Amazon

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Article on claims flowing from defective products

I've done an article for a firm of solicitors on claims flowing from defective products. You can read it here.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Book Recommendation: Decline and Fall (Penguin Modern Classics)

With his distinctive dark wit, Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall is a masterful social satire sending up the social mores of 1920s England, edited with an introduction by David Bradshaw in Penguin Modern Classics.
Expelled from Oxford for indecent behaviour, Paul Pennyfeather is oddly unsurprised to find himself qualifying for the position of schoolmaster at Llanabba Castle. Hi colleagues are an assortment of misfits, including Prendy (plagued by doubts) and captain Grimes, who is always in the soup (or just plain drunk). Then Sports Day arrives, and with it the delectable Margot Beste-Chetwynde, floating on a scented breeze. As the farce unfolds and the young run riot, no one is safe, least of all Paul. Taking its title from Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Evelyn Waugh's first, funniest novel immediately caught the ear of the public with his account of an ingĂ©nu abroad in the decadent confusion of 1920s high society.
Available from Amazon