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Blog Name: Jamie's blog

Hogan Lovells trainee retention is pretty average
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03 March 2015

Hogan Lovells is looking at a poor trainee retention rate this Spring, with 21 qualifying trainees out of 32 taking jobs so far.

That's a 66% retention rate, although it could rise to a much healthier-looking 72%: two trainees are currently considering offers for international positions.


    How two trainees considering an international position might look if I wanted to crowbar in this picture

The firm made offers to 26 trainees. Two others didn't make applications. So overall, seven trainees (but possibly five in the end) turned down the firm. Training Principal David Moss said the rate was "not as high as we had hoped", blaming a lack of jobs in the areas in NQs wanted to qualify. He said that while "We offered more places than people qualifying", the roles "on this occasion were not always in areas that our people wanted". He added that the majority of those leaving "did so to work in practice areas where we were not hiring". Moss said the firm was focussing on finance and corporate.

More on Friday.
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Law student fails on Tinder with Nazi meltdown
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2
03 March 2015

Looking for dates online has long ceased to be an embarrassing revelation at a dinner party. Today dinner parties end with half the guests drunkenly swiping through the men and women available within a two mile radius and the other half shouting over their shoulder to stick or twist. So, this is a timely warning: if you're playing the field and have set your Tinder perimeter to 3,600 miles, watch out for Marwa the Canadian 2nd year law student.



One day Marwa messaged a guy, "Heyy good morning". Instead of reading her caps-ridden profile and swiping left so hard the nails flew off his fingers, he replied, "Hey, what's uo". Flammable Zeppelin-sized mistake. Marwa may be looking for a culturally-blind non-racist, but she's also testing the theory that opposites attract.



Reader, he married her.

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Exclusive: Probably not the best marketing in the world
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03 March 2015

A barristers' chambers has produced a surprisingly aggressive bit of merchandise. Leeds-based Broadway House Chambers has knocked up this beer glass:

   
 

A source told RollOnFriday that the glasses were produced with a view to the set offering a Direct Access service in competition with solicitors, but a spokesman for the chambers says they were actually whipped up for a charity pub quiz event "exclusively for solicitors". He said the beer glasses were "a light-hearted way of helping our guests – many of whom will not have known each other – to “break the ice” and have a fun, relaxing evening, and the slogan was a quite obvious tip-of-the-hat to a well known beer advert".

Which is great, except if they pop up for years to come across the Yorkshire area, outraging solicitors who aren't aware of the context and just see Broadway Chambers slagging them off.

Swag at upcoming charity events will hopefully include a pen with "Barristers refresh the parts solicitors can't reach" printed down the side, a mousemat bearing the legend, "Solicitors. F***ing expensive", and an umbrella declaring, "If Broadway House made t-shirts for solicitors, they'd probably say 'I'm a twat' ".
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Orrick makes sad, self-defeating advert
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2
26 February 2015

A hip job ad from Orrick appeared in February's edition of Juve, a German legal magazine.



There are couple of minor problems wth it.

Firstly, it shows an old man who has realised, too late, that he wants to do something else. His attire and the context of his appearance suggest that he has spent his entire working life as a lawyer, and has now, finally, ten seconds before dying, realised he actually always wanted to be a DJ. Which is the wrong way round, of course. What it should show is an ancient Tony Blackburn or a dessicated Annie Nightingale hobbling towards a data room with undisguised glee, and also sadness because they have finally realised that their dream was always due diligence, and now it's too late, death has their necks in its steely grip.

The second problem is that the needle is not on the record, which means the music he is hearing is only in his head, and he has lost his marbles.

But aside from being the wrong way round and tragic, it's a good ad. .... read more >
The perils of stock photos
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1
25 February 2015

Thanks to the reader who spotted a strange similarity between the employees of Penningtons Manches and the employees of Holman Fenwick Willan.

 
HFW People?

 

The same perspective

 
 
Presumably the firms have secretly merged. Either that, or their diverse workforces were too busy to stand together and look up, and they had to think outside the box. In which case it's a pity they picked exactly the same place outside the box.
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Tom Cruise astonishes chambers staff
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2
16 February 2015

To the surprise and delight of onlookers, Tom Cruise ambled into barristers' chambers One Crown Office Row on Friday.



The last thing evil computer experts see


He was snapped by clerk John Mclaren, who did not use facial recognition technology or sucker pads up the side of the building to capture the star on camera.

   

Cruise gets a lot of flak for testing Oprah's sofa springs and possibly using scientology slaves to wax his motorbike for free, but it's unwarranted. In the first instance, his wife auditions had just been satisfactorily completed, and in the second, most people would happily buff Tom's spokes for free. He's Tom. Cruise. Doing his chores and maybe being allowed to make eye contact with him when he brings out some refreshing lemonade and a flannel so you can towel off the sweat at his sun-dappled Telluride ranch while Playing With The Boys blasts out on repeat doesn't mean you're a Xenu-blinded drone, it means you're human. 

Also he's famously great with fans. Look at him with these guys.



Look at that dazzle! And he's a true movie star. No-one invests as much effort in putting energy on the screen as Cruise. He's run in 75% of his films. So, easy jokes aside, I'm very jealous to have missed his visit. It's unclear whether he was scouting for locations for Mission Impossible 5, currently filming in London, or looking for his own Alamuddin. If it's the former, Tom, please be aware that RoF Towers already looks like it's been blown up, so would be an ideal set for the movie. And if it's the latter, I love volcano gods and can get a divorce.


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BLP mediocre 70% trainee retention rate
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13 February 2015

Not the greatest retention rate in the world just in: BLP has offered jobs to 15 of its 20 final-seat trainees with 14 accepting.
That's a 70% retention rate for its Spring NQs, the lowest since Spring 2013 when it only kept on 64% (14 out of 22).

    The BLP retention rate as a creature on a skateboard

Since then BLP had been hitting consistently in the 80s, with 86% retained in Autumn 2013 (18 out of 21), 89% in Spring 2014 (16 out of 18) and 82% in Autumn 2014. So the latest result isn't great by comparison, nor is it helped by the Magic Circle having just announced rentention rates which are all 88% or higher.

Full round-up next Friday.
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Linklaters keeping 91% of trainees
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12 February 2015

After Slaughter and May this morning, Linklaters has confirmed its own, excellent, trainee retention rate, and so has Clifford Chance.

Out of a cohort of 54 trainees, 51 applied for NQ jobs. Links made offers to 49, none of which turned it down. That gives it a retention rate of 91%.

    Playtime's over

Nick Rumsby, partner at Linklaters, focussed on the fact that unlike many firms Linklaters has not massacred the size of its intake in response to the recession, saying “We are delighted that we have been able to yet again retain so many of our extremely talented trainees, especially given that the number of trainees starting their training with us has remained consistent".

Clifford Chance has offered jobs to 41 out of 45 of its Spring qualifiers, and all accepted. Which also gives it a 91% rate, and means it's been a velly good year for the whole Magic Circle.
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Judge bollocked for insulting 13-year-old girl
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11 February 2015

A panel of Court of Appeal judges has shamed a family judge for being "gratuitously rude" to a 13-year-old girl.

The Law Society Gazette reports that Judge John Dodds told the child, who had made an application for a DNA test because she didn't believe her dad was her biological father, that he was "bitterly resentful" at having to spend his Saturday reading up on her case, which he described as "codswallop". Though the Legal Aid Agency had already agreed to foot the bill for the DNA test, Dodds told the girl that he was considering making an order for her to pay.

Dodds, who was formerly head of chambers at 15 Winckley Square, also mocked the girl's lawyers, asking whether they would have answered "yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags full" if she had told them "that the moon was made of green cheese". Dodds went on to declare that "the lunatics" had "truly taken over the asylum", but said that just because the lunatics said they wanted something did "not mean that they should be spoon-fed".
 
Dodds prepped the girl for his dismissal of her application for a declaration of parentage by saying that she "might want to put her crash helmet on".


Who's your daddy


In their oral judgment a CoA panel comprising of Lords Justice Aikens, Black and King gave Dodds a humiliating dressing-down. They said his "unrestrained and immoderate" language "had to be deplored" and represented a "serious procedural irregularity" and that Dodds' appointment to judgeship did not give him "licence to be gratuitously rude to those appearing before him". And, a bit like rubbing a dog's nose in its own mess, hoped that he would read the transcript of the hearing and "be embarrassed".

Allowing the girl's appeal against his decision, they ruled that Dodds' threat to make a costs order against a child showed that he'd gone into the case with a "closed mind", and had also failed to allow proper submissions. Presumably because that would have meant even more boring weekend reading.

A day later and Dodds got a fresh panning when another of his decisions was overturned, this time for being "fundamentally unprincipled and unfair". The Appeal judge said that all parties in the case had "crumbled under the judge’s caustically expressed views", which sounds like perfect Judging. The Gazette reports that his conduct is not being investigated as no complaints have been made.
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Left Shark bites back
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3
11 February 2015

If you rarely dive into the deadly currents of the web, you might be unaware that during the half-time show of the Super Bowl, pop singer Katy Perry was overshadowed by a backup dancer in an unwieldy shark costume on her left-hand side who danced like someone in an unwieldy shark costume, and that the internet fell in love with 'Left Shark'.



Having watched Left Shark steal the show and anticipating the public's hunger for more than just 11 billion gifs, artist Fernando Sosa published a free 3D-printable plan of the differently-coordinated fish so that everyone, or at least everyone with a 3D printer, could have a Left Shark of their own. And then things got nasty.



Rather than basking shark in the glow of her viral success, Perry told her other dead-eyed killers to dance for her. Lawyers at Greenberg Traurig duly sent a cease and desist letter to the website hosting the Left Shark instructions, claiming Perry was the sole owner of the "shark sculpture" IP and accusing Sosa of copyright infringement.

Left Shark cease and desist



The website appears to have complied, but those who believe Left Shark belongs to all of us are fighting back. A supportive New York University law professor has fired off a response to Greenberg Traurig on Sosa's behalf, arguing that the Left Shark costume is not copyrightable and that Perry is being a bit of a spanner.







Sprigman implies that Perry is being foolish by "declaring war on an Internet meme", adding "but that's her business". And that's the point he misses. Left Shark is a potential goldmine for Perry, and if she could become the sole vendor of Left Shark merchandise it would be her business; huge business. Left Shark shark-hunting trips, Two Left Shark Feet dancing classes, Left Behind Shark novels to milk the Christian dollar - the possibilities are endless. Taylor Swift can take her copyrighted lyrics and stuff them in her Left Shark With Swinging Jaw Lid Pedal Bin. Perry probably feels she can almost touch it, that shining future where she doesn't have to wear corsets and shriek for an indifferent public, because she has become the Mother of Sharks.

But as sensible as her ambitions are, there's more at stake here. Left Shark isn't about Perry, or wealth, or power. Left Shark is about celebrating people and sharks who have the confidence to have a good time whatever their skill level. Left Shark says 'It Gets Better' to everyone who dances like a wedding dad. To stifle their uninhibited, flailing joy is a sin. That's why Perry must drop her threats, and why everyone must take a stand this Valentine's Day by making their own Left Shark costume, getting in it and thrashing around in front of their loved one. Or, if they haven't got a loved one, in front of other people's loved ones at the nearest Pizza Express.



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