RN lawyer.

Discussion in 'The Fleet' started by by_the_blood_yorkist, May 15, 2009.

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  1. This is going to sound like a really silly question.

    But does the RN employ either barristers or solicitors as full time officers?

    As I cannot find anything on the careers website, or am I just been blind?

  2. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Yes. Some info here:


    The current Director Naval Legal Services (DNLS), Commodore Neil Brown, is the Royal Navy's senior lawyer and as such is responsible for the development, co-ordination and organisation of legal services within the Royal Navy to ensure the provision of timely, accurate and appropriate legal advice.

    There is a requirement to train, on average, three or four barristers per year in order to resource a number of legal posts at both the junior and senior levels. Naval Barristers work in three areas of law: criminal, operational and employment. They are drawn from the graduate population of officers, predominantly from the Logistics branch but also from other branches where branch clearance has been obtained and a sustainable career can be proven for that officer. The barrister sub-plot attracts strong interest from a considerable number of high calibre officers - significantly more than the requirement; competition is therefore intense.

    The extensive training period of 2 to 3 years (dependent on nature and currency of degree) and the requirement to recoup a return on this investment remains difficult to reconcile with a viable warfare or engineering career. Thus, whilst selection for legal training is open to all branches, the ‘umbilical link’ between the logistics branch and the Legal cadre remains necessary and appropriate. Selection will be strictly subject to manning clearance by the relevant Career Manager and Branch Manager.
  3. Right so as I understand it, the RN does not directly employ law professionals, but rather draws them from serving officers?

  4. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Yep; if you have a Law degree then it is likely that you would join as a Logistics Officer, however that is no guarantee that you would practice as a Naval Barrister. During the initial stages of your career you would serve in a variety of non-legal positions before specialising as a legal adviser.
  5. BTBY

    Is this something you are giving consideration to as a Career Option?
  6. Yes, I've had a rather significant change of circumstance recently.

    So yes it definitely is

  7. Oh dear - do you want to say what has happened, in case anyone can help?
  8. It is nothing bad,

    In school I as more or less told I was doing science A levels and have spent two miscible years dragging myself through a science degree. I have decided to cut my losses and do something I actually want to do.

    So I am now almost 100% sure im going to do a law degree (kind of part time, but more like 3/4). After which I intended to either qualify as a barrister or solicitor.

    The Army and RAF both take on qualified people, but been from a Navy family I would rather serve in the Navy

    But it sounds like it would be a case of signing up after my law degree, full year at BRNC, common fleet time, log training. Then hope I get selected for the law training. Which if that is the case I shall have to seriously consider my options

    Thanks for asking :)

  9. BTBY

    1 Have you been in to see your local ACLO for a discussion on your options?

    2 Are you applying to a new university for a place in clearing to do law? Where do you have in mind?
  10. BTBY,

    As SPB says, you will need to have completed a few assignments on the trained strength (ie after Logs Training), which will make you a mid-seniority Lt before you will be put forward for selection. This is done by an oral board in front of DNLS and a few other senior officers and is more about your Service knowledge and ability than legal prowess.
  11. I was thinking of doing it by distance learning (As it is the only way I can afford it). But it looks like the Open University is going to be the best bet, again for money reasons (and it a Qualifying Law degree, I already checked!!)

    I don’t want to stick it out as mine is a four year course so wouldn’t be worth it, as I can pull over a fair few credits from my previous study, so I’ll have about 2 years of study to do. So it’s be four years either way.

    No I haven’t been to my AFCO, ill pop over sometime next week. I’ve moved back to York from Hull recently, so I have been dealing with Hull up till now. But Leeds is now a lot closer; does it make a difference if I go to Leeds rather than Hull?

    Cheers again!


    p.s. cheers Puss_in_boats, looks like ive got some decisions to make!
  12. I wouldn't join the RN with the aim solely to become a Barrister; I know one qualified Solicitor who joined who was subsequently turned down for RN legal training. If you want to do law in a Military environment, then I would join the Army Legal Services - with the introduction of the new Tri-Service Armed Forces Act, and the fact that most of the 'crunchy' legal jobs are now 'purple', you will not be missing out on anything.
  13. Not many do, but you usually end up in a mess full :D :roll:
  14. Messdeck lawyers Alfred! Never heard the term? Don't worry, you'll have the pleasure of meeting a budding Perry Mason on 2 Deck at some stage!
  15. Why do a law degree? You then have to do the LPC or BVQ and then secure a training contract or pupillage, which I understand in this current economic client, are rarer than hen's teeth. Additionally, I believe it would be foolish to join the RN on the basis that you might be selected for barrister. Let me assure you that the barristers I have met are only the best.

    What about going down the FILEX route? qualify whilst working in a real job, continue with the CPE subjects, do the LPC, no training contract needed - et voila - you are a solicitor.

    PM me if you want more details. I have worked in both RN legal and am a FILEX myself.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Ah, mess-deck lawyers, I understand now. And in my 10 years of service I have had the mis-fortune to meet more than one of them...
  17. How long does it take to be selected to become a naval barrister from when you first qualify from BRNC? Could one possibly apply for training after a year of service as a logs officer or do you have to do a longer spread, say 5 years for example?
  18. Most of the Barristers I've met have done at least one shore job and one sea job after finishing ILOC; I would suggest no less than 5 years or so. The selection process involves a fair number of hoops to jump through, and I'm pretty sure this year less than half a dozen were taken across the RN (which includes the RM and branches other than Logs).

    Remember that people like me will be ringing you up for advice on a legal matter, and if I have to explain to you about someone missing both watches, and then telling his part of ship killick to fuck off, I would be un-impressed if you didn't know what those terms were and what they implied!
  19. Serious question. Why would you ring a lawyer for the above offenses, does the skipper no longer weigh the people off?

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