Thursday, September 20

Year Two Begins

As is normally the case I begin my post by making mention of how long it has been since my last. There is not much that might be said on the subject of my Law study over the summer that is of interest to my readers.

It might be worth mentioning however that I have undertaken some work experience and mini-pupillages which have proved to be very helpful in determining the career I wish to pursue. Thankfully I didn't spend much time making cups of tea, though I did seem to find myself stuck to the photocopier for a week at one firm.

My course starts again in the next two days, which I await with eager anticipation. This year will have a great bearing on where I can go with my degree, and I intend to make it the most out of it.

I should be posting an awful lot more in a week or so, once I get stuck into the course again.

Saturday, June 30


I awoke this morning to the sound of my mobile phone ringing. I was not to make it in time to answer the call, but from the messages that followed it was evident that my friends had been receiving their results and wished to share the good news. I was not to receive my results until a few hours later.

I passed the time drinking a cup of tea and taking phone calls from friends, all of whom passed the year. I was not nervous about finding out my results, rather I was becoming more impatient.

I have passed the year with a high 2:2. All my exam results came in above 60%, so I know that next year I have to put more time towards my assignments. However, I would think that having done our assignments only two or so months into the course and our exams towards the end of the year, that we would develop in our abilities as time went on. I hope then that I can use the experience I have gained from this year to make sure that my assignments do not let me down next time.

I know I could have done better. Plenty of time to improve.

Thursday, June 28

The Wait

It has been two months since I began to sit my exams, and around five weeks since they finished. I am not and have never been obsessed with the arrival of my exam results. I don't spend the time before I get results going over the questions in my head attempting to work out how I may have done.

However, now I have waited some six weeks for my results I have begun to want them more. It is with much annoyance therefore, that I learnt that the day I would recieve my results coincides perfectly well with the postal strike which is taking place tomorrow.

The wait continues...

Tuesday, June 12

Boring my friends with Law - One at a time

It's been a few weeks since my last post. I never did post with too great a frequency as it was, but what with my first year being over there is little on the law side of things to write about. I am off to do some work experience next week, so that might be worth a mention.

I could perhaps start to write about legal developments and other such matters, but I feel that I am still inexperienced and my opinions are likely to be somewhat pointless. On the subject I would, however like to make mention of something I noticed earlier. I was checking BBC Parliament to see if anything interesting was being debated, only to see the Serious Crime Bill (I am fairly certain that was it's name) having it's second reading in the House of Commons. There could have been no more than 10 other members of Parliament present and listening to the Bill.

I was watching this at a friend's, much to their annoyance. Despite her protests that I returned the channel to the Apprentice, she did seem interested in the idea that this may be an important piece of legislation that has produced a very small turn out. This seems to be the exception to the norm though as most people I speak with on the subject will dismiss it out of hand as 'boring' or 'not something I'm interested in'.

Personally I can't see why people wouldn't want to know how their democratically elected representatives are acting on their behalf.

Wednesday, May 23

Law Student - An Insight

After reading a comment I received on my last post, I decided that it might be an idea to explain slightly more about my life. It must first be pointed out that my blog is written from the perspective of someone studying law. This will give rise to a rather two-dimensional portrayal of myself. Most things that have happened to me whilst a student are omitted and only the parts (generally) that relate to my study of law are written about. This post is however, intended to be different.

When I write about how I'm studying for next year's exams whilst barely out of my first year, it does not explain how I am to go about it. Despite the number of my friends, much like anyone, I need my alone time. Time when I can just relax. This is usually mid afternoon, and lasts until early evening. That is the time you will find me buried in books. Shortly after that you will find me ready for a night out, when I meet with half a dozen or so friends and go to the local bars and then enter a club. I don't write about any of this because it's just not what my blog is about. No one wants to read of another person being face down in a pool of their own vomit, or how many scuffles and scrapes people get into - Well they might, but that's not what this blog is for.

I also never write about my love-interests. I had one, but shortly before my exams I put an end to it. Not because I am a nerd and wanted to focus my attention on work, but because it was no longer working.

One thing that has begun to play a large part in my life is the feeling that unless I really try and do all that I can, I will not make it to where I want to be. If that means I have to spend a couple of hours a day studying whilst everyone else is watching Neighbours, then so be it. I would much rather spend a little time each day trying to get to where I want to be, than not and end up somewhere I don't.

I make no bones about it, I am a nerd - When it comes to my studies. The rest of life is fairly well rounded. I plan on succeeding that's all.

Tuesday, May 22

Too much spare time

The bliss that followed the end of my examinations was somewhat short lived. No more than a week passed before I was already bored. I am faced with the possibility of three months with nothing academic to do. Of course, I have work experience and mini-pupillages to attend, and the obligatory job I need to pay off my overdrafts - but three months with no law learning seems a long time.

And so it was, with my recently acquired motivation, that I popped into the local Waterstones last week and purchased a case book on Tort law (I also purchased a book on Italian, reasoning that if I am intent on learning a year's worth of work in three months, learning a foreign language on top of it all is likely to make little difference). I am going to focus on Tort law first, for a number of reasons. The most important is that a third year friend, who is well on course for a first class degree, recommended that the best approach to take with Tort is to learn as many cases as you can. The second reason is that I would rather avoid starting to learn 'The Law of Business Transactions' before I have to.

I have sat down with my case book, and am beginning to work out (using lecture notes provided to the current second years) which cases are of most use. The list will be extensive and large in number, but when it is taken into account that my Tort exams are just under twelve months away, it seems highly possible that I should be able to almost entirely memorise every case listed in Nutcases.

I will inform my readers when I become bored of Tort and move onto the joys of Property law.

Saturday, May 12

One Year Down.....

It was with a sigh of relief that I set down my pen yesterday. For weeks I have been making constant trips to the library, burying myself amongst the dusty tomes on the third floor. Any time I didn't spend in the library was time wasted, unless spent in the company of my own books. For the time being that is all behind me now. My last first-year exam has been taken.

Our University regulations dictate that we are not to leave our exams within the last half an hour of the allotted time. This has not been a problem for me during the examinations. Many people take it upon themselves to leave around the first hour of two hour exams, but I prefer to stay and use the time we have been given.

Yesterday's exam was different. The two sections of the exam were of equal marks and therefore required an hour each of my time. I finished the first section well before the first hour. I had myself in a slight predicament. I knew that having finished the first section somewhat early I would not be working until my two hours was up. I also knew however that the time it would take to finish the section would run over into the last half an hour of the exam, thereby precluding my escape. I am not particuarly keen on sitting around at the end of exams waiting for them to finish, the time seems to drag on purpose.

To save all the bother I was mentally causing myself I stared at the ceiling for a few minutes to kill some time before I began the second section. Ten minutes before the end of the exam a girl was allowed to leave after claiming she was unwell. I hung my head in shame.

I had been outwitted.

Monday, May 7

Sorry for the delay

During the past two weeks I have taken the majority of my first year law exams. I feel quite confident about my performance, though I will have to wait and see.

In the days preceding my exams I found a rather obscure way to revise case names. I sat in one of the local student bars, overlooking the river, with some friends and my books. I read through the list of cases I had prepared a few times, and then sat watching the music videos on the television. A friend (who doesn't take a course with exams) who was also in the bar relaxing did ask why it was that I was just staring at the television, whereas my course mate who was with me was elbow deep in books.

What I was doing was going over the order of the cases on the page in my head. I didn't read the pages more than three times each before I could comfortably recall all the cases. I remember my old Chemistry teacher saying that his roommate during university had a photographic memory. I can't have that or I would have done better at Chemistry A-Level...

I don't know how it worked, or how it managed to work as during the 48 hours prior to my contract law exam I had 4 hours sleep - but it did. I had time enough at the end of my exam to count how many cases I used. Thirty one - I have no idea how many I learnt that weren't relevant to the question.

The day after the exam, more studying was needed. My friend joked that I should try to learn the full citations for the cases I was going to need in the next exam. I am glad to say that I did not attempt to do so, however I did read a case as he said this, and managed to recall the citation in the exam, but was too worried I would be suspected of cheating should I put it down.

Nearly a week later I can still recall the citation. I did remark that it's like Good Will Hunting, only better, as I'm not best friends with Ben Affleck.

Tuesday, April 17

Pro Boni Discipuli

Since my last posting I have managed to secure enough work experience placements to ensure that I am going to be having a busy summer, and gain a very rounded CV. However, one essential element is still evading my grasp. I am having difficulty in finding a placement with a Pro Bono group. To this end, yesterday, I visited the Law careers advisor, who informed me that I should consult our student law society. I am yet to hear back from the senior member I contacted. Whilst at the careers office I also picked up a copy of the Pupillage/Training Contract Handbook. It does seem to be full of helpful tips, though it's size did nothing to help the tear in my rucksack as I clipped it shut.

I have been spending large amounts of my time in the library recently, which explains my lack of posting. BatGirl may be interested to hear that yesterday the library was giving away outdated legal textbooks as they were no longer fit for purpose. I picked up a couple of Family Law books which, after managing to cleave their dusty pages apart, revealed their year of publishing to be 1999. Still, it can't hurt to have more books on my bookshelf.

By the looks of the book-filled arms of some of my fellow students, this would be the only addition to their bookshelf in this past academic year.

I have made mention before of my liking for the judgements of Lord Denning. A few days ago I stumbled upon a copy of one of his published works (I believe it was Landmarks in the Law). I spent quite an enjoyable afternoon reading his book and then finding the relevant law reports and reading them as well.

That is a a use of time I believe to be almost impossible to describe to someone who does not study the law as 'fun'.

Thursday, April 12


I wrote a post or two ago that I was of the opinion that a career at the Bar held a certain degree of prestige. 'Bagpuss' was kind enough to comment that the majority of the public believe lawyers to be "somewhere between sharks and politicians". I know the profession I intend to enter is not held in the highest of regards by some.

I recently read the Times article about the solicitor who earned 16.8 Million pounds in a year. Some of the comments left by posters seemed to hold lawyers in a very dim light indeed. I'm not sure if I should be bothered by the public perception of lawyers or not. In all honesty, I don't really mind if people think I am of the intention to become a self-serving parasite.

...What is a more pressing worry to me is that on Tuesday I was in receipt of another rejection letter for a mini-pupillage. The difference with this letter however is that it was from the chambers I most wished to gain a mini-pupillage with. Not to worry I suppose, I can always re-apply next year, hopefully with a better CV after my summer placements.

Tuesday, April 10

The Library

Today I found myself deep within the musky confines of the Law Library at my University. There is nothing unusual about this of course. I am after all a student and to not visit the library would be to miss out on the wonders of research... However, the difference with today is that I wasn't looking up cases for my own revision or learning (technically). Still, regardless of motive, I spent a reasonable part of my afternoon traipsing back and forth, no doubt something that caused great annoyance to my fellow library users. I'm not entirely sure if I should feel ashamed that a minor part of my traipsing was down to me being unable to recall what the acronym IRLR stands for.

Rather than for purely academic reasons, I was reading up on case law surrounding bank charges. A friend wished to claim back some bank charges and felt that relevant case law would further his aim. After the relevant cases had been found and photocopied a trip to the bank was in order to discuss the issue further.

Upon reaching the bank and speaking to an assistant, my friend was informed that claims for charges cannot be made in the bank and all must be submitted in writing. There is probably a reason for this, but this is from the same bank that would not accept my driver's licence (provisional only I'm afraid - I don't have the time to learn at the moment, honest) or birth certificate as proof of my identity, but would accept my NUS card. When I collected my photographic NUS card from the SU and told them exactly why it was I had come to collect it three months after it was issued the member of staff said 'But we don't even run any checks on these'.

It felt good to spend some time researching an area that I wasn't being made to learn, but rather an area I was actually interested in looking at. It's not to say that I don't like the units that I currently undertake, but I am looking forward to that point a few months from now when I will never (hopefully) have to learn Company Law again.

Monday, April 9


What with it being Easter break there is little I can write regarding legal education. Instead I thought I might ask a (somewhat) rhetorical question.

Why do certain individuals wish to become lawyers?

I don't know if I have an answer to this question myself. In previous posts I have made note of the fact that I am unsure about exactly what type of lawyer I wish to become, but I know that I want to enter the field in general. (Whilst I am on the subject - as it may be possible to tell - I have been looking more seriously at the barrister route than solicitor, though nothing is yet set in stone). I know what I want to do, but I do not know why.

Fortunately I have a little time to formulate an answer to the question I anticipate I am soon to be asked - Be it at pupillage interviews, mini-pupillages, work experience, joining an Inn etc. When I was slightly younger I thought that I would quite like to try medicine as a career path. After all, it's a good honest profession, (possibly) befitting a product of a Grammar school education. I wanted to help people.

I ruled out medicine when I decided that there where certain aspects of the job I did not think I could handle. However, before I had these idealistic notions of a career in medicine I had already contemplated Law.

A few years later I am a law student (rather quickly) approaching the end of his first year. I have looked more seriously into law now. I am very interested in getting into family law, again, as a means of helping people. But I know if I am completely honest, two of the overriding reasons why I want to become a lawyer are money, and the prestige that goes with the job.

I'm not entirely sure that those last two points are wise to bring up during interviews though.

Thursday, April 5

Gaining Mini-Pupillage?

Not that I post with such frequency as the likes of Charon QC, but my blog will be quiet for a few days as I take some time away. On the one hand I want to stay and work. On the other I want to take a break of two or three days, lest I should be consumed by the subtle intricacies of illegality before Easter even comes.

I mentioned on one of my previous posts that the only google searches that seem to lead to my blog always contain the phrase "Mini-pupillage cover letter". I assume that these people are trying to find a standard cover letter that someone else has written. However, somewhat unforeseen by myself, the fact that I wrote about these searches means that I now get more hits from google searches in this fashion, as I am now almost the top of the search list.

To anyone that found this page when you were searching for mini-pupillage cover letters I am afraid that I do not have a cover letter to give you. I do, however, as someone who has over the past month of writing letters and sending e-mails managed to attain two mini-pupillages, have some advice to give. I don't profess to know much about the process, after all this is the first time I have tried to get some, next year may well be different for me.

  • Firstly, no-one is going to hand you a mini-pupillage, and unless you are very lucky no-one is going to hand you a list of chambers to contact either.
  • (Possibly too late now) Do it early. I searched and called dozens of chambers who had deadlines set in place for applications, many in March, though several were long before that.
  • Hand writing applications adds a personal element, though many also allow application by e-mail.
  • When writing your cover letter, explain why it is that you wish to experience life at that particular set. I don't think it needs to be said, but that will require that you look into what work the chambers undertakes.
  • Do not allow yourself to be disheartened if you are unsuccessful. Continue to write letters to more chambers. If you want a mini-pupillage enough you will keep going depsite rejections. I believe I have sent applications to around 25 chambers. I have gained two mini-pupillages out of all those applications (so far at least).

Tuesday, April 3


I have just listened to Charon QC interviewing Lawyer-2-Be for Charon QC's podcast. Having been reading both their blogs for some time I found it very interesting. For those interested in a career at the Bar that have not seen Lawyer-2-Be's blog I strongly recommend it.

....Easter break has arrived. Much unlike most of my friends who will find themselves with an awful lot of free-time, I now have a large amount of work to do. Rather unexpectedly those of my friends who study media, sport or design have no exams this year. If not for the fact that I actively enjoy reading about law I might have found myself saying 'It's not fair'.

I've so far been unable to decide whether a law degree is harder than any other degree. However it certainly seems that this is the perception many people hold. For a time, fellow students that I met on social occasions would ask what course it is that I study, I would reply only to be met with an expression I will describe as 'Ooh that's a bit fancy'. Thankfully this is a much rarer occurrence now. For some unknown reason our Law Society is not holding a Ball or Function (as far as I am aware) this year, so I have had to resign myself to attending the Forensic Science Society Ball instead, and I am looking forward to meeting people who will have a mild understanding of my degree.

My only worry about the Ball is that one of my date's friends will have brought along a Medicine student and I will lose my spot as the most arrogant man present.

Saturday, March 31

Law Apprentice

Many other blawgers have been commenting on the Google searches that have lead people to find their blog. So far the best I've managed to find are (presumably) from students looking to get a standard cover letter or CV with which to gain a mini-pupillage or work experience placement at a firm of Solicitors.

However whilst searching I did come across a new Law blog: Law Apprentice - A blog that has only just started, written by an individual who has decided to deviate from his current career and become a lawyer (though is yet to start his LLB).

...Elsewhere in the blawging world, Legal Scribbles gives advice to students on choosing their third year options. His suggestion is Conflict of Laws. As a first year I know next to nothing about this subject, and won't be choosing my options until next year. That aside however, given the writings of legal scribbles on the subject it may very well be one to look out for.

The only subject that I have given any thought so far into taking in my third year is family law. I am hoping that I will catch a glimpse of family law in action over the summer- to help make up my mind.

Wednesday, March 28


Lectures have all but finished for the first year of my course now. This means (rather unusually) I am sitting indoors working. Working is not strictly the correct word to use, but it better describes what I am doing than 'not working'. I am currently at my desk working out what percentages I need in my exams to attain different degree classes. So far I have worked out only a couple of subjects. My chances of gaining a first for the year seem somewhat impossible, what with my requiring almost full marks on one paper. I would like to qualify that statement by telling my readers that the moots were worth 40% of this particular unit, and my moot team were less than helpful - I may have mentioned before that when organising the moot our senior counsel remarked 'I hope no-one is expecting us to do well'.

I don't actually expect to come away from the year with a first. A 2:1 would be fine for my first year. Having said that it if there is a chance that I can attain a first I will endeavour to do all that I can.

Tuesday, March 27

Mens sana in induviarum pulchro

Since writing my last post I have been in receipt of another acceptance on a mini-pupillage. I have also been suit shopping. I was so excited with the prospect of mini-pupillages over the summer that I decided it was time I bought myself a proper suit.

On the other hand I have also recieved several rejection letters. Most were to the point. One was a little less than 'nice', no doubt offended that I had wasted their time. The set I was most impressed with however did not accept me as they restrict mini-pupillages to third years only. Despite this they suggested that I reapply when I am in my third year, and in the mean time apply to other sets that are less specialised.

Removing myself from the uncertainty that is my future career, and landing firmly back in the present - The exams are creeping more quickly towards us. Today I picked up the pre-released case studies for both my Contract Law and Law of Business Organistations units. I've read through them and I feel quite confident that I know what it is I should be focusing on.

I'm a little upset that the topic of Illegality does not appear to be on that part of the paper...I spent hours on those notes.

Wednesday, March 21


Today a friend and I went to a presentation given by a practising female barrister. I must say that I was surprised that only fifteen students turned up for the talk in total. I have had the date for this talk on my notice board for at least three weeks and it was definitely mentioned to a lecture theatre full of students on Tuesday. As our University runs a GDL scheme that means only fifteen people out of four years of Law students actually thought the talk was worthwhile. I have sat in seminars with more people present.

I am not complaining however; the less people set on the same career ambition as myself the less people I must compete against.

Returning from the talk I was somewhat disheartened to discover three envelopes with addresses written in my handwriting on the front. The first two informed me that I had not been accepted for a mini-pupillage.

The last letter however has secured me a mini-pupillage in a London chambers during the summer.

Monday, March 19

A Break

Despite that none of my friends are Irish we felt that St Patrick's day was worth celebrating together as a group. A hearty breakfast was cooked together and then we enjoyed the sunshine indulging in a spot of football and cricket. As is normally the case with a group of people old enough to know that their actions will cause them an obligatory hangover but cannot quite stop saying 'I'm 20, I can handle this', the day degraded towards nightfall into what can only be described as a bender.
For some time now drink-fuelled shenanigans have been few and far between. Exams are approaching, and the prospect of not being able to get up in time for lectures stops being funny when you spend extra hours in library attempting to catch up. St Patrick's day however was a welcoming day off.

Monday has arrived and all the weekend related silliness has been put to one side. The last of my mini-pupillage applications went in the post today. Along with this I have also found around a dozen chambers willing to accept application by e-mail. I received a prospectus from the BPP law school in the post, reasoning that it can't hurt to research into where I would like to study after my degree. I have been reading lawyer-2-be: Redressing the balance... on the current state of the BVC course. It's not going to put me off aiming to get onto the course but I will remember to go in with my eyes open.

Lawyer-2-Be makes mention of the amount of students on his course that do not do the required amount of preparation and let down others. I know from my own experiences that there are some very lazy people on my course who will either have to motivate themselves more or will end up the way he describes them. It is not just the odd one or two though, the last time the register went round in a lecture the column for the previous week was headed '70 absentees'.

Friday, March 16

Law Geek

Today during an inquisitive mood I decided to see exactly how people were finding my blog. I only placed this new feature into my blog yesterday and as a result have had no humorous google search results leading here yet.

I did however find a link from detailing a list of Law blogs. I thought that I'd give this site a mention, as though currently under construction it does look as though it may eventually be quite useful to law students. It even has a forum for all your law needs.

A new law blag has started up here .

I had my penultimate Public law lecture today. I'm not sure exactly how I feel about that. On the one hand it means that my exams are definitely within sight. On the other hand though I found public law to be interesting and wrought with ideas that keep my mind questioning I know that it is not for me. I do not wish to pursue this topic further. On the non-existent third hand, I know that though it was a difficult subject in it's own right it was nice to have a unit that was not just solid law as such. I don't know if I will have such a luxury next year.

Thursday, March 15

Work Experience Part II

It was with an aching wrist and ink stained hand that I posted a set of mini-pupillage applications at 2am last night. Another seven done. Once the last set is done I will have either written to or e-mailed twenty seven chambers. Even though I am dreading receiving rejection letters sealed in envelopes penned by my own hand I am starting to feel a bit better about the whole ordeal. When I have some time to myself I attempt to work out the odds of just one application being successful, and how many available placements there are at twenty seven chambers. I then realise the reality is probably strikingly different due to the sheer volume of numbers of people applying.

A friend arrived back at University after a trip home for the weekend. Like myself he had only just begun his quest for work experience. Upon his arrival he informed me that he had secured work experience at a very large Solicitor's firm in a major city. Quite an impressive doubt helped by the fact that he happens to be incredibly chummy with a senior partner.

Despite how it may come across I am not bitter about people gaining places through their connections. I am however a realist. I know that I have to strive to do this myself. I know that instead of an Uncle who is a barrister, or a family friend who happens to be Lord Chancellor I need to have something else;

Grit, Determination, and the Desire to Suceed.

I don't imagine I can use them as references though...

Saturday, March 10

In Pursuit of Work Experience Part I

With respect to work experience I've been as pro-active as my timetable will allow over the past two days. What with Thursdays and Fridays being quite full days, the hours I had left to call Chambers and Solicitors practices wasn't as much as I needed. However, I have been calling Chambers and finding out the names of whom I should write to. Nothing to be particularly proud of, but the speaker that came in on Wednesday told us how he will open post not specifically addressed to him slightly later and cast a more disparaging eye over the sender.

On the subject of applying to Chambers I have decided to send applications for mini-pupillages to twenty. Twenty seems like a good number. Actually it will be twenty one, as I applied for one set online (clearly moving with the times). I'm going to write twenty individual cover letters, and include twenty stamped self-addressed evelopes. If I don't manage to attain a place out of twenty I will be slightly concerned as my back up plan for a placement with a solicitor's firm is not quite going to plan either.

One firm I called yesterday only accepted students for work experience if they were in the third year of a law degree or GDL and agreed to take a training contract with them. A bit catch 22 I thought.

That's all I've got time to post for now, I have to fight my way through the Saturday crowds to purchase 40 first class stamps.

I'm posting twenty applications on Monday, I don't think I can afford not to.

Wednesday, March 7

Work Experience

I have been to the talk mentioned it in this post. As it turns out the talk was about gaining work experience places. It has left me in quite an odd state. Firstly, the firm the speaker represented does not accept applications this late for summer work experience. I do hope this is not the case with the majority of firms as no-one told us this. Why put on a workshop/talk for gaining work experience if it is already too late to gain any? However it could quite rightly be argued that we should be looking at this ourselves. If we are not motivated enough to do this by ourselves what hope is there for us?

His second point however was more disturbing yet blindingly obvious; Despite all the interviews, checking of A-level grades and correctly spelt cover letters, one of the best ways of gaining work experience is through a family member or a friend of the family. My family are not legal professionals. This is of course a classic case of 'life isn't fair'. There are many people on my course who have family connections that will aid them. I wont have that luxury. Regardless of how 'fair' it is, I also wont allow someone to get ahead of me based on who their parents are.

I think I may have finally found something that I can use to drive myself forwards and not accept being beaten.

P.s If any Barrister's Chambers are currently looking to give work experience to a first year law student with no previous legal work experience, feel free to post....

Time Constraints

Finding myself with a little time off during the day I have been surfing a few blogs when I should normally be reading books. I still have to read several chapters in Smith and Keenan's Company Law, but I've found myself with some time-related problems now.

At one o'clock there is a guest speaker coming to the University from a local solicitors firm explaining the process of becoming a solicitor...or to explain gaining work experience. It's not that I don't listen; there are several of these talks planned and booked at the moment and I know that I need to attend them all, so which is which isn't strictly important.

I only realised the time a few minutes ago. Taking out my phone to call a friend to remind them of the event I saw that I had gained several text messages. Strangely, from the letting agency that we are going to be renting our house from. I've not quite worked out yet why they don't just call. Apparently because we are yet to return the tenancy agreement (no-ones fault, a number of us were instructed by parents to wait until solicitors had been sought) it is now a matter of urgency that we get to the office to talk it out with them.

Not that I am intent on causing a fuss, but they have charged five of us 40 pounds each to hand us a few papers and to not let the property to somebody else; I have a talk to attend, they can wait a few hours.

Tuesday, March 6

Why turn up?

This morning I sat through a few lectures where the subject-matter was such that the topic demanded my full attention, without which I would rather quickly become lost. It was for this reason that I started to get more and more irrate as the group behind me would not stop talking. Now I'm not normally one to start saying 'We're here to learn'. However being honest with myself and not caring what it makes me sound like, I am here to learn. What I don't need is for the people behind me to giggle, hum, sing and generally disrupt my learning experience. How they didn't manage to realise that half a dozen others were scowling at them is beyond me.

I'm off for more lectures. Fortunately no-one turns up for these ones and if I'm lucky I'll have an entire row to myself with no distractions.

- Also I've finally succumb and upgraded to the new blogger.

Edit - I was correct in thinking that there would be less distraction at this afternoon's lecture. I managed to follow what was the lecturer was explaining, and with no interruptions. It was a shame when she informed us that the topic was highly unlikely to appear on the exam...

Monday, March 5

'I’d be more apathetic if I weren’t so lethargic'

I'd like to say that I've been too busy in the past week to write a blog entry but that has not been the case. This week has been the same as most, following the same routine ever onwards. In fact the most exciting thing to happen to me this week on my course was that I recieved the marks for the group presentation in Public Law. It wasn't a great result but that's what happens when your group has less members than it should. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank John Reid for his recent performance regarding the number of prison spaces left - Always good material for The Rule of Law.

I've been reading LawDent, I am slightly concered that he appears to show many of the tendancies that I myself have, however I am still without the addition of a few extra inches of waist - plenty of time for that though. He makes a reference to Douglas Adams, my favourite quote from the author is that of Sunday afternoons being referred to as the 'Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul'. I'll admit that my Sunday afternoon wasn't quite so dramatic, but I can never get any work done on Sundays and always end up feeling like I should be doing something.

I like to leave this post with a note that I assume something more interesting will happen over the course of the next few days. I would also like to mention what a relief it was to finally get back to having lectures.

Monday, February 26

Slippery Slope to Hades

I would like to explain a little further about the events of this post - Inspiration. After we had watched an hour or so of cases with very few defendants actually attending and as far as I can recall only one defence solicitor presenting arguments, a very helpful usher explained that there are usually more interesting cases the following day.

My friend and I duly returned the next day to sit in the public gallery and observe again. After watching around 3 or 4 cases with defence solicitors and defendants actually attending, a new case began. The defendant was awaiting a trial date and the hearing was to determine whether to grant bail. The solicitor for the prosecution asked that he not be granted bail, on the basis of his previous convictions......and that the last four times he has been on bail he has either broken bail conditions or been charged with another offence, and is currently in the possession of a suspended sentence for a previous crime.

His defence solicitor stood. Put his case to the bench - Bail was granted. All that I thought as this occurred was 'What a professional'. As we left the Court I discussed what we had just witnessed with my friend. I remarked how impressed I was with what the solicitor had just done, and that I had been further inspired by his actions. My friend however then pointed out something that I had so far not even thought of. Was what we had just witnessed moral? It seemed legal, certainly, but moral? Thinking about it this doesn't seem moral at all.

Morals wasn't what I first thought of. The job was. I can't help but feel that I'm well on my way to losing my soul entirely.

Sunday, February 25

Constantly Overthinking?

During the past week my future housemates and I collected our tenancy agreements from the letting agency. Two of us are law students, and therefore cared more about reading the contract in it's entirety. One sub-clause of the contract stated that signing the contract would show our intention to be bound by the terms of certain Tenancy and Housing Acts. It should be noted here that the letting agency is used to dealing primarily with students and took the rather helpful action of following each sub-clause with a brief summary of what the sub-clause actually meant in plain English.

Upon reading this sub-clause the part of my brain that has been soaking up legal knowledge this past 5 months or so began it's internal musing;
If the summary of the Housing Acts is wrong would that amount to an effective misprepresentation based on a false statement of Law?

It's not whether I was right or wrong in my thinking that bothers me, it is more that I seem to keep anaylsing situations using what I have been learning. I wonder if this will be a practise that I will continue for the length of my stay in the legal field?

Thursday, February 22


Today I did something I've never done before. Strange though it sounds, what with my being a law student, for the first time in my life - I set foot in a courtroom. A friend and I had decided to take a visit to the local Magistrate's Court.

It was good to get a feel for the whole process rather than just reading it out of books. I only have one gripe with the process - that the ushers assumed we were with the group of journalism students who had been sitting in the corner reading the Gaurdian.

Seeing a prosecution solicitor questioning a witness was both interesting, and inspiring. However what truly impressed me was (I may have been mistaken about what happened, but this is what it sounded like at least) when a defence solicitor entered, shuffling papers and pulling out pens. The prosecution solicitor stood "We ask that the case might be withdrawn on the grounds of insufficient evidence.". On being asked by the Magistrate how he felt about the proposal the defence solicitor replied "Of course I have no problem with the decision - and might I apply for costs?". Several hundred pounds granted. It didn't seem too bad a decision, bearing in mind he had been in Court no longer than 3 minutes before he left again.

Wednesday, February 21

Enthusiasm II

Following from my first post today, I have since been into town to pick up some more books. I asked my friend the same question I posed on my blog - can one manufacture the desire to succeed?

The reply I recieved was as blunt, yet useful as ever - "I can't afford not to have enthusiasm now, not after all the money I have had to spend on these books.".



I have recently been reading Legally Blonde in London. The enthusiasm that eminates from her postings is really something to be admired. It has made me wonder if I could create my own enthusiasm. It's not as if I don't like my course (that would be quite a bad idea as I intend to make a career of it), I do, studying law is very interesting. I just feel that I don't have enough 'get-up-and-go'. It sounds like she'd stop at nothing to get a distinction from her law school.

Can you force yourself to act like that - not accept second best and have the need to always be better than your peers? Is it built in or can you condition yourself over time to be that way? I get the feeling that this is what I need to become to succeed.

People lie and act almost constantly, it can't be too hard to act like I actually care about beating everyone else.

Monday, February 19

Reading Week

For the second time since my arrival I have found myself starting a week without lectures and seminars - the aptly titled 'Reading Week'. There is little Law learning to post about today. I am still struggling through the series of folders that mark the amassed collective of lectures that I have attended through out the year. Hopefully, with no need (technically) for me to leave my apartment over the next week I shall have enough time to make such a dent in my work that it will only take another week to complete. That's just as well, as I now have almost exactly two months until my three week period of exams commences.

As a minor piece of Law with which to tempt the readers of my blog; On Wednesday I attended a (non-compulsory) seminar on the role of National Parliaments and the European Constitution presented by Professor The Lord Norton of Louth. The 'seminar' was attended (unsurprisingly) by few of my peers and several more mature individuals. I cannot recall a word of the seminar as, directly after a quip was made about how many titles His Lordship has, my brain turned to what can only be referred to as 'mush'. After an hour, when the floor was opened up to questions, a few friends and I made our escape.

Pity I didn't notice before I vacated my seat that the head of Law was sitting directly behind us.

Wednesday, February 14

Non Est Vexatum

Yesterday, instead of my usual (and quite interesting) Legal Skills and Process lecturer we were spoken to by a local lay-Magistrate. It was quite an interesting talk, as usual I had sat as far back as was possible in the lecture theatre.
My Contract lecturer has gained the rather helpful habit of turning off the back lights when giving lectures so I tend to sit at the back, no longer with the intention of napping, but rather because I've usually only just got out of bed and the dark seems to help. The only minor problem with this approach is that every week fewer and fewer people attend the legal skills lectures which are directly after the contract lectures. As I sit at the back savouring the few minutes peace that I can grasp before my next lecture begins my fellow students dart out of the lecture theatre, many enter again with hands cupping a coffee, but quite a large number do not return. This results in several rows of vacated seats in front of me, and my feeling awfully exposed to the gaze of my lecturers.
Perhaps I have become slightly bookish recently but I can not see the point in purposefully skipping lectures. I may, however, be taking this view because I am sitting indoors attempting to memorise the two necessary conditions for a successful plea of non est factum and trying not to give myself panic attacks every time I think of the amount of cases I have yet to learn. Others seem to be going through the course without worry and many without even attending.

Monday, February 12


For almost a week now I've been looking into the choice of careers that lay ahead of me. It's not a definite decision, but I was leaning more towards the idea of becoming a Barrister. I found this blog PupilBlog - A blog written by someone who began their pupillage around the same time I started my LLB. The more I read the more I can see myself fitting in and doing that particular job. However, it would appear that competition is fierce and places few and far between with no guarantee of success even after pupillage.
However, even with no clear idea of what it is that I am aiming for I still know that what I must be doing right now is studying. Which is why, at ten to eight on a Monday evening, when most of my friends are on their way out into the town I am sitting in my room making notes on Non-Identical Mistake. It's not that my social life has begun to fall apart - for instance, in the last 48 hours I have been thoroughly beaten at Snooker and a seemingly endless 2 hour session of Squash by my friends - it's more that I seem to be able to work better in the evenings.
Still it's only two months solid study before the exams.... and then I have the next 4 or 5 years of study and an entire career of continual learning ahead of me...

Tuesday, February 6

The Future

This morning I had a legal skills lecture. The topic for today being the Legal Profession. Despite the fact that I am a Law Student I still am unsure as to what direction I wish to take in my career. The idea of a Barrister's work interests me somewhat, but I'm not sure that I have the right charisma for advocacy. I have been reading this blog which does make being a Solicitor sound interesting to say the least. Though, I don't know enough about either Solicitor or Barrister as professions to give my own appraisals on their merits.
I was slightly put on the back foot when I realised what age I would be were I to qualify as a Solicitor. I knew that it would be a long process, but had never taken the time (to avoid coming over in a cold sweat) to work out exactly how many years. I am close friends with two Architecture students; every now and then the length of their entire course will be mentioned and I am always amazed that they are able to see themselves that far in the future.
For those interested to know, I could expect to qualify as a Solicitor around the same time as the London 2012 Olympics begin.

The good news is that I don't have to decide today. The bad news is that I will have to decide soon. Apparently the Inns of Court are even open to first year Law students....

Friday, February 2


In my first few weeks at University after every lecture I would come back to my room and type up the lecture notes onto my computer. Somehow shortly after this period the apathy, directly attributed to not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, of the constant typing and filing set in. It was at about this time that 'The Pile' began it's existence. Over the past few months this 'set of notes' has grown steadily, almost covertly, to become quite a nagging worry in the back of my mind.

On Monday a friend and I went into town where I bought several binders, dividers and plastic wallets with the intent of tackling 'The Pile' - subdividing it into so many sections that it would be crushed and thoroughly unable to ever rise again to the size and power it had once achieved. My friend pointed out that spending money on the equipment does not mean I am going to use any of it for it's intended purpose.

It is now Friday, and every shred of paper that I have amassed is hidden in the ominous row of folders on my shelf that imply I am actually working. However, that was only the first phase of organisation. The second is to take every lecture, making revision notes, case lists and summaries from each. Having now started this process I am quite relieved that none of what I am re-reading feels 'new'.

Wednesday, January 31

One semester down...

My first semester studying Law has come and gone already. In my last week before Christmas three assignments were to be handed in, and I had a moot to perform. I have since had my assignments back, all of which I passed.
The moot was more stressful than I had anticipated. This was mainly due to the way the majority of my moot team conducted themselves. Being the junior counsel, if my work was not prepared the team would more than likely fail. Others in my team, however, were spared this pressure and indeed used this freedom to full effect by performing such feats as; not preparing the bundle, not preparing the case summaries I required, not turning up to the moot. In the end however the moot went well and we ended with a higher (group) mark than the opposing team. Speaking to my lecturers on the subject I was told two important pieces of advice, which I can only imagine will apply throughout my entire career;
'Group work will always remain a problem, there will be those that do more work than others. Only you will know how much work you did and will have to answer to yourself.'
'By the next moot you will know who to work with and who not to work with.'

However the moot was not all bad. I did really quite enjoy presenting my arguments to the judges. It was good to practice skills that I may use one day as the basis of my job.

Since returning, we have been told that despite the exams being three months away we are to start revising now. I am slightly apprehensive about this, but feel that I should have enough time to learn all I need to pass the exams well. To that end I have decided to really knuckle-down and crack on with my revision and learning cases.
We were told that we should develop our own legal writing skills. One particular way suggested was to copy your favourite judge's own style. I am quite looking forward to reading as many judgements made by LJ Denning as I can get my hands on.

I shall attempt to update my blog on a more frequent basis than I have been from now on.