Firm offers to fund LPCs for paralegals and promises 60 training contracts
22 June 2012
In an unusual offering to graduates, law firm Aston Carter
is offering "paralegal employment opportunities
" in its London office, which come with the promise of a funded LPC and up to 60 training contracts. All candidates need to do is enrol on a £9,500 paralegal course.
For the last week, the RollOnFriday discussion board has been abuzz with speculation about Aston Carter's paralegal scheme, which was first reported by Legal Cheek
. According to the firm's employment pack (which has since been removed from its website), Aston Carter is offering the following:
1. A bespoke 6 month paralegal training scheme at a cost to the employee of £9,500.
2. Permanent, full-time employment after the paralegal course on £15-18,000 p.a.
3. Fully funded part time LPC (completed whilst the paralegal works full time at Aston Carter)
4. Up to 60 training contracts for the "right" employees.
So that's £9.5k outlay for a paralegal course rather than a £13.5k spend on an LPC, and apparently there's the possibility of a training contract at the end. So the maths might make sense, but the details of Aston Carter's scheme are rather less clear.
To put the promise of up to 60 training contracts into perspective, Aston Carter currently has just five lawyers on its
website (and only four registered to the firm on the Law Society
). It has SRA approval to take on only two trainees, and currently it has none. When RollOnFriday asked Aston Carter how it could support
60 training contracts, a spokesman said that the firm was expanding
rapidly and would have 30 lawyers in the next two years. But no
indication was given of where the work would come from to feed these new
Aston Carter has said that an independent organisation, Interedwise, is providing the
facilities and tutors for the course and will receive the full £9.5k fees. But according
to its website
Interedwise is a company which matches up overseas students with
college courses and appears to run no courses of its own. RollOnFriday
has been unable to get in contact with anyone at Interedwise.
To further add to the oddness, the firm has been trumpeting APIL
and LEXCEL accreditations that it does not have. When RollOnFriday asked
the firm about the accreditation it claimed that a member of the team
was an APIL "resolution member" and that it had been "recommended" for
LEXCEL accreditation. Aston Carter has now removed references to both
||Spot the difference|
The firm claims that 30 individuals have already signed up to this course. Anyone who would like to share their experience of the arrangements can get in touch (on a no names basis) at the usual place