Stephen Hanson, Mansfield I fully endorse Trevor F Moore’s comments (see  Gazette, 3 December, 11), with regard to the pointlessness of being a solicitor. I decided on a career change in the mid-90s, went to university, studied hard for three years before another year of study for the legal practice diploma, all at great cost and very difficult to achieve with a young family to support. Then it was two years of the training contract and being told to work on files and conclude matters that no one else in the practice could be bothered with. The rewards? A modest salary, plenty of stress, and this year – after eight years of practice – being made redundant in favour of an unqualified conveyancing clerk. I am still out of work, and like many other conveyancing solicitors in a similar position find that firms either ignore applications for employment, or are simply looking to save money and recruit paralegals, legal executives or clerks to do the conveyancing. In 1997, this government, ironically made up of many lawyers, started the downward spiral of the profession. We are now over-regulated and forced to compete with other institutions. Furthermore, it is only a matter of time before the public will be able to obtain legal services at the supermarket with their weekly shop, thus further eroding the integrity and independence of the profession.