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Archive for March 24th, 2009

Listen to the Podcast: Charon Reports: Cheating or taking professional advice?

There has been a fair bit of coverage in the blogosphere and the dead tree press about the services offered by Oxbridge Training Contracts,

Legal Week reports: “A controversial company which provides model essays to university students has broadened its services to help prospective lawyers complete training contract and pupillage applications…… The move has provoked anger from some lawyers since the blog Android’s Reminiscences brought it to the wider attention of the legal profession last week when Simon Myerson QC of St Paul’s Chambers claimed in his blog, ‘Pupillage and How to Get it’, that it equated to “cheating”.

Today I talked to John Foster, spokesman for Oxbridge Training Contracts about the legality of his service, his view of the ethics and exactly what Oxbridge Training Contracts is actually offering to students who wish to use their services.  We also talk about the provision of model answers, tailored to specific questions put by the student client, and the problems that could arise if a student submits these model answers as their own work for coursework assessment.

I am a firm believer in the old adage that there are two sides to every story. I asked John Foster some difficult and direct questions and told him in advance of the podcast about the warning placed on the Bar Council OLPAS site this afternoon. Listen to his answers, make your own mind up, and if you wish to comment – please do so in the comments section below.

The Bar Council warning on the Olpas site

Bar Council Warning
The Bar Council is aware of companies operating via the internet who offer to write pupillage applications and provide other services to assist with applications and interviews. We strongly advise applicants that it is likely to be detrimental to their applications to use any service containing customised model entries or answers on application forms or for interview. We have warned chambers about their existence and to be alert to their use.
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