Transfer to Army Legal Service from the Infantry

Discussion in 'Officers' started by Quinn, Mar 13, 2011.

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  1. Does anyone have any information or Experience about retraining as a Barrister within the ALS. I see there is a DIN for the RN/RM, but can not find anything for the Army.

  2. What legal qualifications do you currently hold?
  3. None - less 2 modules on Company Law as part of a Business Degree.
  4. Don't think you can train within the ALS to be a barrister. I know that RN only recruit internally for their advocates and thus train from within, whereas ALS require you to have done pupilage in civvy world.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.
  5. It is possible - I personally know a guy who was a junior R Sigs major and was sponsored through the relevant training last year despite having no legal experience. Afraid the name of the DIN eludes me but probably best to phone the ALS and enquire directly.

    Obviously it's dependent on the willingness of your MCM Div to release you and your willingness to accept the repayment of service. I would also add the caveat that the scheme was conceived a couple of years ago when recruitment for the ALS was looking lean. As you would expect, that situation has changed a great deal since then - the number of applications and the quality of candidates are both much higher.

  6. Thanks - I'll look into it
  7. I don't think that it is possible and here's why. Unless, there has been a dramatic shift in policy, they will only take you on if you are a qualified solicitor or barrister. That means you either have an LLB (Hons) or a GDL (if you have a degree in a subject other than law). Your law degree in England usually takes 3 years (can take 2 at Senior Status if you have another degree at 2.1), if you pursue the GDL, that will take you 1 yr, but you will again require a degree (in any subject) at 2.1 before you can enrol. Following that, you need to have completed either the Legal Practice Course (should you wish to become a solicitor), which takes one year and although you can take an LPC with a 2.2, if you haven't got a 2.1, forget it as the chances of successfully getting onto a training contract will be slim (not impossible, but slim), then you have to compete with hundreds of other hopefuls to find a firm willing to give you a 2 year training contract. That's where having more than a 2.2 is important, as you will be competing with people who have either a 1st Class or a good 2.1. Competition is fierce...and it's a long and expensive route. Should you wish to pursue a career as a Barrister, then having a good 1st degree in law or the GDL (same as before), although training providers will take you onto the BPTC with a 2.2. Be warned, there are usually about 3000 applicants for the 1800 or so BPTC places annually, so having a good first degree is a must. Once you've completed the BPTC and came somewhere towards the top of your class, then you will be fighting with hundreds of others for one of the 500 or so pupillages which become available countrywide each year (and those who were unsuccessful from previous years). If you are successful in gaining a pupillage, you've then got a 12 months period (occasionally extended to 18 months for those in need) to impress the Chambers who took you on. If you can do that, then (last time I looked) ALS will only take you on if you have somewhere in the region of 2 years PQE as either a solicitor or barrister.

    Unless there has been a complete shift in recruiting and as a result of the 'recent' (past couple of years), I think you'll find that ALS are looking for people who have good experience in advocacy, preferably in a criminal field.

    Your best bet is to phone up your local ALS and ask if they can give you some advice. Best of luck to you.

    (p.s. Having completed all of that, and having found a Chambers/Law firm who will take you on, why would you want to join the ALS?)
  8. Much as I agree with Biscuits' comment's above, I believe there is always a small potential window to exploit to join the PQO ranks. I dont think it happens often and I certainly wouldnt count on it as a realistic avenue but you rolls yer dice I guess.

    I know of at least 2 serving Offrs who have transferred to the PQO roster (albeit Dentistry). They possessed none of the pre requisites in that professional field and clearly had no experience, although they had strong degrees. Through various hoops they managed to secure dispensation to do the training whilst on the military payroll, 3-5 years I believe, I would be shocked if there wasnt an equal return of service on that as well.

    Although these 2 were quite recent, recent SDSR developments may mean that the opportinity to even investigate this has shut..... I guess all you can do is ask.
  9. It would be a bloody good career move for those fortunate enough to be taken on Choff, but I believe that a CPS inspection report highlighted that ALS were lacking in experienced advocates. You'll only get that experience in the Court room. I think that would be the rub. Who knows though, maybe there is a route in for people like the thread originator. Good luck to them.
  10. I think that movement across to the ALS has been encouraged and I know at least one success... but the route to barrister, which is afterall what the OP wants to know about, is pretty much the difficult bit.

    Uxbridge English Dictionary: Barrister (n) bloke who makes coffee, innit.
  11. I sit on the pupillage committee of a reasonably well regarded London set - We get 800 applications for 1 position, and interview 40.

    It is very rare that someone without - a very good 2.1, 3 grade A a levels, and ten or more A*s as GCSE will get an interview. I have interviewed a couple of ex officers but the difficulty is we expect that you have done as well in your first career as you are hoping to do at the Bar. That generally means Lt Col if you are around 40, and certainly no less than Major if you are in your 30s.

    We'd expect you to have had a significant range of published work, and have built up a good contact network of solicitors.