i-genius asked Londoner Craig Robinson about his new book for people who want a career in the legal profession.
i-genius: why did you establish the ‘Ultimate Law Guide’ and write the book – Ultimate Guide to Training Contract Success?
Craig: I founded the Ultimate Law Guide (“ULG”), www.ultimatelawguide.com and Ultimate Guides published the book – Ultimate Guide to Training Contract Success, to help people who are about to go through the journey to become solicitors. When we were students, starting out in our legal careers, there lacked a singular, all-encompassing, practical source of guidance for students / law graduates to turn to, and help them make the transition to trainee solicitor. Having seen many of our friends and acquaintances fail to secure training contracts largely due to not being sufficiently informed or, adequately prepared for the realities of what it takes to secure a training contract. Many of our peers missed out on the search for a training contract, slipped through the net and were forced to abandon their dreams of becoming a solicitor. We realised that the information we had learned during our own experiences would be massively beneficial to the thousands of students looking for training contracts. Ultimate Guide to Training Contract Success was born to offer insights, advice and the inside track on the legal recruitment process for graduates. Ultimate Guide to Training Contract Success is now the No.1 book for aspiring lawyers and can be purchased in all leading bookshops; it is unrivalled as a comprehensive 300 page guide for aspiring solicitors to dip into at every stage of the journey to becoming a lawyer, and has assisted many students go on to secure training contracts and launch successful legal careers.i-genius: Why is the legal profession in the UK so difficult to get into?
Craig: Breaking into the legal profession is no mean feat – for a number of reasons; the UK legal profession is prestigious and well-respected; and a legal career offers a great range of exciting opportunities, intellectually stimulating, varied, highly worthwhile, interesting and rewarding work helping people; and lawyers often work with a range of different types of people in dynamic environments. Law firms seek to recruit the very best and brightest talent available in order to meet their client’s needs, and remain at the forefront of a fiercely competitive legal services market. These difficulties are common knowledge among aspiring lawyers; law remains the most popular degree course to study at university, and a career in law is highly sought after by thousands of talented students trying to successfully navigate their way through the ultra-competitive journey to becoming a lawyer. This is why there is such a huge disparity between the number of applicants searching for training contracts and the number of training contracts actually available in the legal recruitment market. This is compounded by the current economic climate and tough market conditions, where graduate jobs are being deferred or evening cancelled and, more and more graduates are opting for a career in law, viewing it as a more secure and stable career choice than other sectors, such as banking and finance, which has intensified the competition for jobs in law. The huge cost of funding legal education and training is another huge obstacle which hinders a number of aspiring lawyers, particularly those from under-privileged backgrounds. Widening access to law, to encourage students from backgrounds not traditionally associated with the legal profession is a fundamental issue, and ULG together with the profession as a whole is doing some good work on this important matter right now. For a more detailed analysis of this question, readers should go to our website www.ultimatelawguide.com
i-genius: what other plans do you have to improve the situation?
Craig: ULG has launched a mentoring programme providing one-to-one career guidance on the key aspects of forging a career in the legal profession. We make a real, tangible difference to young people’s lives by encouraging and helping talented students from under-privileged backgrounds to develop a better understanding of the realities of what life is like working as a commercial solicitor at a City law firm, and provide a helping hand to improve your employability prospects. We are trying to provide you with the inspiration and aspiration to ensure you realise a legal career is within your grasp, so that you have the self-confidence to pursue a career in the legal profession. We run career skills seminars and commercial awareness workshops to improve your prospects of securing a training contract. Our Career Skills seminars offer an insight into the demands of modern legal practice. We provide you with first-class guidance on polishing your CV /Cover letter, raising the standard of your application forms and performing better at interviews. Our Commercial Awareness workshops boost your level of commercial awareness, helps you to think more commercially and, view matters from a client’s perspective. We also show you how to demonstrate this vital skill throughout the training contract selection process, so you gain a competitive edge in the employability stakes.
i-genius: you used to have a promising football career. What happened?
Craig: I have always enjoyed playing football a great deal, and in my younger days, I was told that I could possibly make a career out of the beautiful game; but this was about ten years ago now, and today, I am not the player I once was! Moreover, I do believe my passion for wanting to help people superseded my passion for football, and I know I made the right choice – as I really enjoy the work I undertake as a lawyer, and am determined to achieve my long-term vision with ULG. At ULG, we are dedicated to guiding tomorrow’s leading lawyers today by providing students with practical advice, sound guidance and a helping hand to bridge the gap between education and employment, in order to overcome those common pitfalls involved in planning and securing a career in law.
i-genius: would you rather be a footballer or doing what you do now?
Craig: I have had the best of both worlds; my younger brother, Anton Robinson is a professional footballer with AFC Bournemouth, and he has represented England at Under 23 level. I have been able to live vicariously through his success as a promising footballer and I know how hard he has had to work to achieve his dream. I am extremely happy in what I do and really want to continue my mission in the legal profession – ULG is making a real, significant and tangible difference to help transform young peoples’ lives, providing aspiring lawyers with a useful source of reference to assist you at every stage of your career planning, by signposting various factors that you must consider before starting out on your journey to becoming a lawyer. We provide a comprehensive roadmap on all you need to know about forging a career in law, as we have recently and successfully been through it ourselves and really want to give back – by helping others to achieve their dreams!
i-genius: Thank you!