Work experience: the night shift

Only in the world of corporate law do you get summer placement students working until the early hours of the morning – as the Lawyer reported yesterday.

In response, Financial Times general counsel Tim Bratton tweeted: “awesome story, we’ve just had a good laugh about that one around here”, before diving back into the ball pit which has recently been installed in the newspaper’s fun-packed in-house legal department.

Tim Pitt-Payne QC provided some cross-examination: “How much was student paid? How many hours did they work? Minimum wage? #ukemplaw

And the Guardian’s Maya Wolfe-Robinson weighed in with: “Ha”

It was interesting to see the law firm involved was SJ Berwin, the same establishment where junior lawyers were set an annual billing target of 2,500 hours a few years back – a figure which equates to around 15 hours a day spent in the office.

The original Legal Week article is paywalled – a shame as the comments are brilliant.

To give you a flavour, here are a couple:

To balance out some of the comments below: I think that many of these comments are uninformed. Let’s face it, Berwins associates’ hours are no longer than anyone else’s in the London legal world and it is disingenuous to imply otherwise.

Associate SJ Berwin -11 Jan 2007 | 14:22

I will eat my keyboard if the posting below which starts “To balance out some of the comments” is actually written by an SJ Berwin associate!

Associate SJB -11 Jan 2007 | 14:20

In other news, well done to the Legal Services Board for bravely approving plans to force law firms and barristers’ chambers to publish internal diversity and social mobility data on their websites. It’ll be fascinating to read the information that comes out in the first round of publication in December 2012.

And finally, another Johann Hari post over at Jack of Kent, where David Allen Green has written an open letter to Indy editor Chris Blackhurst. In it, he argues that a “health warning” should be placed “as neutrally as possible” at the bottom of all Hari’s articles warning readers about the possibility they’re not properly sourced, and that Hari should have a “subtle” tattoo emblazoned on his forehead re-stating his risk to the public.

Okay, I might have made that last bit up (but the health warning suggestion is real).

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