Our students are invisible

Letter to the Editor

It is nothing short of scandalous that the Cabinet granted 10 exemptions to foreign law students while Caymanian students in need of articleship were set adrift on a sea of uncertainty. Worse yet is the news that a 55-year-old, obviously on the cusp of retirement, was given one of the rare positions with government.  

The attorney general should disabuse the public of any notion of favouritism or undue influence by making a clear statement with full details on who was the recipient of this beneficience. It is the attorney general who sought the exemptions from Cabinet and he should explain any connection with the applicants to these Islands. There should be no doubt left after that it was a balanced, open process with input from appropriate stakeholders and not a private gesture of cronyism. These revelations make hindsight odious as Dwayne Seymour stated in a 19 April, 2012, Caymanian Compass article titled Trainee Lawyer Initiative: “We have some situations, sadly, that some law students have been looking for approximately two years, trying to find a company to be paired with, trying to find a company that will employ them so they can article and they have not found anyone yet”.  

The article went on to confirm that the attorney general had discussions about the difficulties that students were experiencing in securing articles. The article does not reveal if this was before or after the grant of exemptions. Some fault may lay at the door of the unemployed aspiring lawyers who have not pressed for equal treatment from law firms who employed the exempted or let their voice be heard in the halls of power.  

Peter Polack