1 Government GLS Legal Service making law making headlines making a difference
3 The Government Legal Service is not like other legal employers Our work and our philosophy are very different We think this is a good thing
4 Creating new legislation. Providing legal advice to government ministers. Representing the government in the highest courts in the land. The work of Government Legal Service (GLS) lawyers and trainees is challenging, unique and often headline news. The legal solutions we provide pervade almost every aspect of today s society. It s a terrific responsibility.
5 It s a responsibility we want you to share In July 2016, we expect to offer between 30 and 35 trainee solicitor and pupil barrister posts. The majority of these posts will start in September 2018 but there may be a small number of places starting in September 2016 or If you have excellent analytical ability and communication skills and would relish the challenge of working on stimulating legal work that has a significant and tangible impact upon the lives of millions across the country, we d like to hear from you.
6 About the GLS What do we do? Our name says it all. We provide a legal service to the government of the day. The Government Legal Service is the collective term used to refer to the 2000 or so lawyers who deliver legal services to a vast number of government organisations. These include: The Government Legal Department, the largest provider of legal advisory and litigation services to ministerial departments and a whole range of other government organisations; Ministerial departments such as the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; Non-ministerial organisations such as HM Revenue and Customs; Regulatory bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive.
7 The government is our sole client. Whether it is creating new legislation, buying goods and services, employing people or defending its actions in court, the government requires significant levels of legal advice. To carry out this work, it needs lawyers who understand its business. Our lawyers work will be determined by the business in which their departmental clients are engaged. As a trainee solicitor or pupil barrister within the GLS, you ll experience a range of our litigation and advisory work during your training period.
8 Advisory work How should we tackle all forms of extremism? Should UK citizens who are resident abroad be entitled to vote on whether the UK should remain a member of the EU? How might reforms to the adoption system be implemented? What powers might be needed to enforce a ban on legal highs? These are just a fraction of the challenging concepts that GLS lawyers and trainees have been focusing on recently. The function we perform in providing legal advice to the government is an important element of our work. GLS lawyers and trainees work alongside government ministers and officials as they seek to turn government objectives into policy and law.
9 That s not all. Providing legal advice on the implications of existing legislation is not the full extent of our responsibility. Our role in the development and implementation of new legislation is, quite simply, unique. Creating legislation from scratch and being part of the process as it moves through Whitehall and the Houses of Parliament is an opportunity that cannot be provided elsewhere. It is fascinating and challenging in equal measure.
10 Litigation work Should all places of worship be exe Who needs to be consulted when building a high speed rail line? Or when exhuming the remains of a King of England after 500 years? Should those previously involved in war crimes be entitled to British citizenship? When you think about the scale of the activities in which the government is involved, you won t be surprised to learn that we spend a lot of time in courts and tribunals considering all kinds of questions and contentious issues. The majority of litigation work within the GLS is carried out by the Government Legal Department (GLD). The GLD Litigation Group provides litigation services to the majority of government organisations and its work encompasses litigation
11 mpt from business rates? in public and private law as well as supporting public inquiries. HM Revenue and Customs also conducts its own litigation. Litigation lawyers across the GLS attend hearings in a wide range of courts, including Coroners Courts, the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and the Supreme Court. The government dimension adds an additional and unique perspective. The outcome of a case is not the only consideration for our lawyers. The wider implication for future government policy is equally significant and many cases raise questions of constitutional importance.
12 The legal trainee scheme The GLS Legal Trainee Scheme offers you the chance to begin your legal career with a training contract or pupillage in a legal team delivering services to a government department. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Government Legal Department and HM Revenue and Customs have all offered posts in recent years. If you are successful in your application, we ll assign you to one of these departments. Your legal training will be the responsibility of that department. Trainee solicitors work in four different areas of practice ( seats ) over a two year period. At least one of these seats will be in a litigation team and one in an advisory team. Pupil barristers divide their one year pupillage between their department and chambers. Once you have completed your training and qualified as a solicitor or barrister, you ll spend a further period of time working
13 under supervision. This is usually 12 months for solicitors and 24 months for barristers meaning that both branches of the profession benefit from the same level of supervision. Whether you wish to be a solicitor or barrister, you can expect to be fully involved in a broad range of work. You ll have an active role to play in casework. You ll liaise with government ministers, senior policy makers and counsel. And you ll have the opportunity to participate in the legislative process itself. There s many a GLS trainee who will point proudly to a section in the statute book and say I produced that. So, while the broad structure of your training contract or pupillage will be similar to that found elsewhere, the nature of the work you will perform will be very different. Over the next few pages, some of our current and recent trainees will tell you more.
14 Camilla Arana Trainee solicitor Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
15 Why did you choose us? I studied government at university and have always been interested in public policy. The GLS seemed to marry this with a legal career perfectly. Working closely with policy clients within your department means that as a GLS solicitor you are not only receiving instructions but are an important member of a team focussed on delivering government policy. I knew that working in the GLS would mean challenging and varied work combined with opportunities to move between legal areas of expertise.
16 What type of work have you been involved in recently? I have been involved in preparing a BIS-led Bill for introduction to Parliament. I really enjoyed seeing how law is developed from a policy idea to a written clause in a Bill, as well as being involved in instructing the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel. After answering key legal questions about the policy and several rounds of instructions to Parliamentary Counsel, it was immensely satisfying seeing the clauses I ve worked on appear in the first draft of the Bill. I am looking forward to watching these clauses debated in Parliament!
17 What s been your best experience since joining? In my first seat I was given the responsibility (while supervised) of drafting a statutory instrument (SI), which is a piece of secondary legislation. The SI expanded the scope of the Regulators Compliance Code to include more regulators under its wing. Having consulted, alongside BIS policy clients, with various regulators, drafted the SI and briefed a Lord before the SI was due to be debated in the House of Lords, I was very proud to see my SI come into force and appear on Westlaw!
18 Christie Monaghan Pupil barrister HM Revenue and Customs
19 Why did you choose us? Similarly to many people who are interested in a career in law, I wanted to pursue a career which had a real and tangible impact. The GLS provides you, at a very early stage in your legal career, with the ability to get involved in cases which are high profile, high value and legally complex. The outcomes can make an actual difference to legislation enacted and how cases are dealt with in the future. I was also very attracted by the prospect of being able to work in different departments throughout my GLS career.
20 What type of work have you been involved in recently? Since returning from Chambers, I have been working in HMRC s Enforcement and Insolvency team. This is a very varied team and the work I have been involved in reflects as much. I have my own caseload and also assist other members of the team with cases they are working on. I have conducted hearings in the High Court, the Central Family Court and in the Magistrates Courts. In addition, I have had the opportunity to draft various court orders, witness statements and pieces of advice.
21 What s been your best experience since joining? My first time on my feet in court. I had to draft the order while the hearing was ongoing whilst also trying to liaise with counsel for an interested party! It was very stressful but the Court granted what I was seeking and it was a huge sense of satisfaction and achievement.
22 Beena Kabir Trainee solicitor Government Legal Department
23 Why did you choose us? The work in the GLS really is very different from anywhere else. You are able to gain experience in dealing with legal and political issues, which are interesting, high profile and often in the media. I wanted exposure to a wide range of legal matters and the GLS is able to offer this. What type of work have you been involved in recently? My current seat is in the Cabinet Office European Legal Advisers Division which is split into two teams; the Advisory team (COELA) and EU Litigation. COELA provides advice to
24 government departments and ministers on EU law issues which could involve any topic including environmental issues, migration, intellectual property, taxation and monetary policy. The work often involves complex areas of law and ensuring that national provisions comply with EU legislation. I have recently drafted a Designation Order (Statutory Instrument) which has now been published. I have advised the Home Office on how to notify the European Commission with regards to retaining national provisions in relation to marking explosives. I have also attended a hearing in the Court of Justice of the European Union about evasion of tax.
25 What s been your best experience since joining? There were many but working on the Children and Families Bill during my seat at the Department for Education stands out the most. This was invaluable as I gained firsthand experience in meeting and providing advice to ministers, clearing policy and speech notes as well as going to Parliament to watch debates on the Bill. It was a great opportunity to understand and be part of a Bill as it progressed through Parliament and received Royal Assent.
26 Martin Jordison Trainee solicitor Government Legal Department
27 Why did you choose us? As an existing civil servant (I previously spent 11 years with the Crown Prosecution Service), it was a natural home for me. I enjoy the opportunities to become involved in both public and private law areas of work. Above all, the range of law is second to none.
28 What type of work have you been involved in recently? I am currently in my final seat and based in an advisory team in the Department for Education. I have been involved in some high profile education matters of national importance which have recently dominated the headlines, specifically within the Academies and Free Schools programme. There is a lot of work in drafting new legislation and its consequential and associated regulations has seen me working directly with policy colleagues (clients), assisting and supporting on ministerial briefings and providing legal support, including in a session in Parliament.
29 What s been your best experience since joining? Being involved in urgent, high profile work which was receiving wide exposure in the media. The coverage and dominance of the matters added a dimension of realism and emphasised the significance and national importance of the work.
30 Chris Burge Newly qualified solicitor Government Legal Department
31 Why did you choose us? One of the major attractions for me was the ability to move teams and areas of law throughout my career rather than being pigeon-holed on qualification. Another attraction was working at the very cutting edge of law we don t just interpret the law, we get to help make new law too, which is unique to government legal work. The healthy work-life balance was also very appealing!
32 What type of work have you been involved in recently? During my training contract I worked on a huge variety of matters. This ranged from assisting on a reference to the Supreme Court regarding whether one of the devolved institutions was acting beyond the relevant devolution settlement, through to drafting secondary legislation to enable a Local Authority to host the Tour de France. The latter was made using a power and procedure in the Localism Act 2011 which had never been used before so it was a steep learning curve not only for me but also for the clerks of the relevant Parliamentary Committees.
33 What s been your best experience since joining? One that will stay with me for a long time is from my first seat. It was the first case I had conduct of from receipt of the claim form all the way through to judgment; having put in a lot of work preparing for the hearing (disclosure, interviewing witnesses, drafting statements, briefing Counsel etc) it was satisfying to defend the claim successfully and receive judgment in favour of my client. And being notified that the Tour de France Statutory Instrument had come into force was a proud moment something I had drafted had become law!
34 Joining us It s not just our work that is unique. Our approach to graduate recruitment is different to that adopted by many other employers. Factors such as the school you attended, the A levels you obtained, your university or your degree subject do not form part of our decision-making process. In fact, the only time that we see any personal information about you is at the Assessment Centre stage and this is restricted to your name and any work experience. Our selection process is competency-based. This means that we have identified the skills that legal trainees in the government legal profession require and we test for these skills throughout the selection process. These skills are listed opposite and the extent to which you can demonstrate that you possess these skills will ultimately determine whether you are offered a position.
35 The skills you ll need Making Effective Decisions being objective, using sound judgement and evidence to provide accurate and professional advice. Leading and Communicating leading from the front and communicating with clarity, conviction and enthusiasm. Collaborating and Partnering creating and maintaining positive, professional and trusting relationships to help get things done. Delivering at Pace delivering timely performance with energy and taking responsibility for delivering quality outcomes. Building Capability for All having a strong focus on continuous learning, being self-aware and able to learn from experience. Motivation having a clear interest in and motivation for the law, public service and the work of the government lawyers.
36 Eligibility Before you apply for a place on the GLS Legal Trainee Scheme, you must ensure that you meet all our eligibility criteria. Nationality The GLS is part of the wider Civil Service and therefore the Civil Service nationality rules apply. Applications can be accepted from: UK nationals European Economic Area (EEA) nationals Swiss nationals and, in some circumstances, Turkish nationals Commonwealth citizens Full details about these requirements and exceptions can be found on the Civil Service website. If you hold dual nationality, with one part being British, you may apply.
37 Immigration Status In addition to meeting the Civil Service nationality requirements, you must also be legally entitled to work in the UK. Degree Criterion You must have, or be predicted to obtain, a minimum of a 2:2 in an undergraduate degree. This does not have to be in law. Alternatively, if you hold a Certificate of Academic Standing or Equivalent Means from the Bar Standards Board (BSB) or the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), you will be eligible to apply. Fellows and graduate members of CILEx who have satisfied the SRA s academic stage of training are also eligible. Timing: Degree Stage Applications are welcomed from people who graduated some time ago as well as those newly graduating. For current undergraduates; Candidates studying law cannot apply any earlier than the penultimate year of their degree; and Candidates studying a non-law degree and Scots law students cannot apply any earlier than their final year.
38 Recruitment process and calendar The dates below may change in the lead up to the legal trainee scheme recruitment campaign. You can check for updates. Our website also provides more information about the online tests you ll take during the recruitment process. Stage 1 - An online application form and an online Situational Judgement Test (SJT). Our application process opens on 1 July 2016 and will close on 29 July Stage 2 - An online Verbal Reasoning Test (VRT). To be completed in the first week of August Stage 3 - An online Critical Reasoning Test (CRT). To be completed during the second week of August 2016.
39 Please note that only those applicants who successfully complete Stage 1 of the process (i.e. meet the eligibility criteria and pass the online test) will progress to Stage 2. Only those applicants who successfully complete Stage 2 will progress to Stage 3. Stage 4 Half day Assessment Centre. Comprises a written exercise and an interview. Expected to take place in late August 2016.
40 Course fees and salary Course fees The GLS will pay your Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) fees in full provided you have not yet started the course. We have no preference which law or Bar school you attend. Departments will make a proportional payment based on the number of months remaining if you ve started your course. We won t reimburse you if you ve successfully taken and passed your LPC or BPTC. You may be eligible for a grant of about 5,400 to 7,600 for the vocational year if you intend to study for your LPC or BPTC on a full-time basis, or possibly part-time, basis. You ll need to discuss your eligibility for a grant with the recruiting department at the offer stage.
41 Salary Your salary as a trainee solicitor or pupil will vary according to your department. First year salary is in the range of 23,900 to 24,600. The second year salary range is 25,300 to 26,500. After qualification, you will continue to work under supervision for 12 to 24 months and can expect to be paid around 35,000. Upon satisfactory completion of your supervisory period, you will be re-graded and will receive a salary of around 42,000 to 47,000 according to your department.
42 Find out more There are many ways in which you can find out more about the GLS before you apply for a place on the Legal Trainee Scheme. During the year we run events which allow you to discover more about the GLS. These can include activities such as vacation placements, open days, talks at universities and law schools. We also aim to visit a number of law fairs during the autumn. The best way to keep track of our activities is to visit our website at You ll find a wealth of information here, including everything you need to know about our Legal Trainee Scheme. You might also want to keep an eye on the news headlines. Whether the stories relate to the introduction of new legislation or court cases involving the government, you ll know that as a GLS legal trainee, you too could soon be playing an active role in legal work that really does make a difference.
44 Contact Us GLS Recruitment Team 11 th Floor Lower Castle Street Castlemead Bristol BS1 3AG or
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