another question about solicitors...

Discussion in 'Officers' started by wileykat, Dec 21, 2006.

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  1. hiya..

    hoping you won;t mind if i ask a question - esp with all this chat about solicitors going on in another thread..(and having just read about colonel mendonca following dilfor's mention of his case.)

    its just about the army legal service really..i wanted to get a better idea of what they were actually like (broad question i know!..)

    they seem to come in for a lot of critisism based on conversations i've had with a couple of serving officers and i just wanted to know if any of you have ever had any dealings with them / any impression of them at all really..maybe somone out there serves with them?

    PS..Have just re-read this and realised i sound like a lurking journalist..i'm not i promise! i'm interested from a recrutiment perspective....

    thanks very much for you time, any opinions gratefully received
  2. if you are interested from a recruitment perspective, you might want to get a law degree.
  3. ... and if you have a law degree, why on earth would you want to join the ALS?
  4. The ALS come in for a lot of stick on here, and completely inappropriately IMHO. I've met a number of ALS lawyers who used to spend their days doing lucrative, but incredibly dull, City work, or repetitive and ultimately pointless CPS work, and who fancied a change, and a chance to travel. They are certainly not all rejects - advising a senior commander on his position under international law in an operational theatre would seem to be at least as challenging as doing the conveyancing for someone's house purchase?
  5. Top tip there CR..!

    Fortunately I have managed to clear that hurdle before law school and am now two years qualified (corporate). I am in very much the same position as the people you mention Dilfor and am really looking for a change...the ALS was suggested to me as a way of getting more varied (and more worthwhile) work..

    Everyone seems to be pretty negative about them though...and the general consensus seems to be in line with Oracle's opinon i.e "why would you want to waste a qualification "

    ...confusing because, as you say dilfor, my impression of military law was that it could be really challenging stuff..

    Ho hum! Thanks for your responses though.
  6. Wileykat

    Whilst there are some knowledgeable people on this forum, there are also a whole load of people who know very little but spout inherited wisdom as though they are experts. Unfortunately, you don't know who's who (and that includes me!).

    Do some research of your own rather than trusting anything you read here.

    This link is a good start.

  7. Wiley, I have worked with several DALS types who find the work far more interesting than other forms of law, and who get to meet, through their service a more varied and interesting group of workmates.

    Go for it, but beware, in civvi street lawyers still have some respect, in the Army they are fair game for a good verbal working over.
  8. why do they get so much stick though?!

    is it a dislike of lawyers in general or is it that they don't do a good job / aren't seen to be on the right side etc (just guessing here!)


  9. Mainly I think because, in keeping with many of us, as an all-officer Corps they're seen as a target due to their lack of experience or ability in the clearing of fox-holes on the end of a bayonet*

    * Note: as medical officer, have never cleared fox-hole with bayonet myself.
  10. No, but I bet some of your surgery has been about as precise. :D
  11. ah! i see. its becoming clearer now..i don;t think i'd do much to further their cause to be honest!

    bet the medics don;t get it so bad though?! what with the all the saving of lives and so on..
  12. Ah, so I've operated on you? Fantastic. I can at least say that one of my patients has survived!
  13. We don't get it so bad I think because in the back of peoples minds, deep in the sub-conscious (paging Dr Freud...) is the image of us and injections...
  14. People may bash the ALS for two reasons:

    i) Its personnel are PQOs (Professionally-Qualified Officers) and so the Army places less emphasis on the military component of their training. For this reason, they spend less time at Sandhurst and so are not as warry /institutionalised as their peers (hence complaints about standards or their dress / knowledge of military etiquette etc). As members of the ALS, their capbadge is the AGC, or Adjutant-General's Corps, aka Alf Garnett's Commandos - which suffers something of an image problem within the Army.

    ii) They are seen by some as the enforcers of unnecessary health-and-safety rules, red tape etc - just like lawyers are seen in civilian life.

    Having said that, this is largely a question of perception. From the few ALS lawyers I have met, their work sounds very interesting and much more varied than you would expect in corporate work.

    Rather than listening to Service banter, you'd be better off tracking down some serving ALS personnel and finding out how they get on...

    ...and bear in mind the pay cut!!!

    PS. If you are interested in these issues, you might wish to look at "Of War and Law" by Prof David Kennedy - a grown-up survey of current legal thinking on the interaction between the military and the legal profession

  15. This is rubbish. Everyone knows that Army doctors are on the pop the whole time, whilst Army nurses are on the shag. In fact, often the doctors are on the nurses too.

    They don't get it so bad because they are rarely sober or clothed enough to actually speak to.

    [memo to Dilfor - don't ever get ill or injured again :D ]