Be completely honest in the trainee solicitor application process – the alternative isn’t worth it.

career advice

The law careers forum at throws up the occasional little gem of a question from law students, aspiring solicitors and barristers who want a little advice on the way forward.  
But there are times that a question appears to have emanated from a mind almost totally devoid of any ounce of intelligence that I’m tempted to post a response along the lines of: “Look love, I don’t think you have the brains to be a lawyer – get out while you can and don’t waste any more of your precious money on course fees.”
One particular trainee solicitor recently posted a question and I’m still undecided whether to be even a little sympathetic.
He is due to qualify in a few months’ time but he admitted to the HR manager that he lied in his training contract interview, although he does not specify what he lied about. He soon admitted to lying but still got the training contract – however, the senior partner doesn’t know about the lie and he’s worried about it coming out, and not being allowed to qualify.
He admits: “It was stupid but looking for TCs for 3 years sent me a bit crazy.” So that’s ok then.  
Or is it? Maybe I’m going soft but it’s hard not to be even a little sympathetic in such horrendously difficult times for aspiring solicitors – although I’m surprised this guy was offered a TC in the first place, once he’d admitting to lying. And it is a very serious issue which many do not grasp.
The temptation to lie in applications, CVs and interviews is huge, but the individual who gives in to that temptation should not expect to get away with it. And he or she who succeeds in securing a TC on the basis, in whole or in part, of a lie, has deprived an honest applicant of a training place.
And all aspiring solicitors, this guy included, need to bear in mind that when they apply to the SRA to be admitted to the Roll of Solicitors on qualifying, they are specifically required to disclose anything that may impact on their suitability to be a solicitor. This includes lying in interviews to secure a TC.
Lying in the application process at any stage precludes the person responsible from having the character suitable to being a solicitor.
Students and trainees – be warned.

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