Saturday, 22 March 2008 Basic Training Event, and alot of women!

I recently attended the basic training event hosted by, it is a really good website for anyone who needs advice or a guiding hand when first adopting the path of becoming a lawyer. The event itself was a simple lecture based presentation by Lawcareers website representatives. Alot of law firms were also present, such as Denton Wilde Sapte, Mayer Brown and Sidley Austin, there were some others but they were the ones that stood out the most.

The presentation was held in the BPP College of Law just off Red Lion Street, right near Holborn underground station. There was a presentation by one of their representatives, and that was a fantastic speech, he was a barrister and his voice and body language commanded the respect of the room, it was quite fascinating to watch, he provided me with some good tidbits of information in deciding a law school to complete my LPC.

Overall it was an enjoyable experience, I had read or heard most of the information that was being provided before, and I couldn't help feel a little out of place compared to the multitude of young students.

Especially the large amount of females that attended the event, I had also noticed this on my Law degree course there was a dramatic inbalance of the female to male ratio. Don't misunderstand me, I wasn't intimidated nor concerned, I guess I was just a little overwhelmed as my belief was that law was traditionally a male dominated profession (I am assuming it still is) but here I was surrounded by hungry female lawyers.

I found it quite liberating as it emphasised to me a potential shift in the balance of male/females in the legal industry, not to mention the fact I would potentially have less males to compete with for training contracts

However I seemed to have digressed from the actual event, but it was something I felt needed to be blogged just to see if anyone else noticed a large amount of females on their courses.

Anyway, the presentations were quite informal, the most striking presentation was by the Sidley Austin trainee solicitors. It was a witty, funny and satisfying presentation which left an impression in my mind, especially the brief comment about having to stay in work till midnight to finish a deal. That seemed to draw a few gasps from the audience but it never really phased me, I didn't apply to be a lawyer expecting 4pm early finishes and crawling into work at 9:30am, my eyes were wide open actually expecting 14hr days, maybe I am just a weird one.

Well thats enough for today, I am going to go open some easter eggs and stuff my face with chocolate till I pass out, provide another update soon

Thursday, 20 March 2008

I live once more! I am missing a title graphic....

Been a long time since I decided to actually make a blog post on here been busy studying for my Law Degree which I began in September 2007, and I am nearing the finishing line for the 1st year in May 2008.

Currently studying hard (well hard is subjective) for my Constitutional and Contract Law exams/coursework and some other modules as well. The Constitutional Law exam defies belief at how much information you are suppose to digest and then regurgitate
, its the main reason I am starting a couple of months early on the revision.

But I will try and keep the blog up to date again as a few people e-mailed me regarding the blog asking if I would be carrying on with it, so I decided to cave in and give it some more updates.

I am alot wiser to the actual workings of a law degree now and have attended a few law fairs, which have been interesting to say the least and I will be attempting to translate these experiences for the benefit of everyone who happens to stumble onto my blog

Thanks for reading, and I hope to be sorting the title graphic out at some point in the future

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Slow blogging, tons of work

Sorry for the lack of blogging, but currently working my ASS off and studying law.

At some point when the work cools down I will get right back to blogging again.

Friday, 11 May 2007

Nearly Legal Blog

Whilst perusing over the ever growing number of blogs currently on the internet, the NearlyLegal blog was brought to my attention. I am sure it's a long standing blog, but I found the site very informative on current matters of law, accompanied by a witty opinionated response to some topics.

I especially liked NearlyLegal's response to the law firm starting an office in the Second Life virtual word, quotes such as " they want their trainees turning up as Daleks, purple baboons and winged dominatrixes?" had me laughing out loud whilst at work.

I would highly recommend adding it to your favourites, it certainly lightens my day and keeps me informed at the same time.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007, mature student stories has just published a super article from two mature students who changed careers into law. Its a real bonus to me, to actually see that people who transferred to law older than me and managed to secure training contracts in fantastic law firms. The link to the article is located here

Here is a highlight of it:

"Kathryn's Top 10 Tips on Getting a Training Contract

Target the right firms
Aim high, but be realistic - and remember that one of the main things regional practices look for in candidates is stability, which gives those who emphasise their connection to the area an advantage. Remember also that some firms are willing to take on prospective trainees as paralegals first, which can be a good option for career changers.

Go to the right university and law school
Prestige and fees play their parts - Gavin, for instance, headed straight for BPP's City LPC - but you should also look at learning options. "I didn't realise at the time how difficult distance learning is," says Kathryn, and yet it was one way of fitting the GDL around family life. Note also that less well-known regional colleges can be a good choice for those keen on firms local to the provider.

Do well at law school
"Aim for a distinction," advises Kathryn, "be happy with a commendation - especially if you have kids or a job or both - and re-evaluate things if you get a straight pass. It sounds harsh, but it's reality." Try also to participate in any extra-curricular activities on offer. "Law firms worry that mature applicants are old dogs who can't learn new tricks. Show them that you are willing to take on new challenges, learn new things and muck in with the youngsters."

Get yourself recognised
You need to get your name on that preferred inbox list, but there are ways and means. "It's kind of intimidating just to call someone up and say I'd like to have a chat with you. But when you're at an event like LawCareers.Net's Basic Training, they're standing there waiting to talk to you, so that's the ideal opportunity for a mature student to get in there and get their face recognised."

Know the application deadlines
Make sure you apply before the deadline date! But if you do miss a deadline for a firm you're really keen on, keep checking their website - sometimes circumstances do change.

Follow application directions
"Don't think that because you are older and your credentials and experience are non-standard that the rules don't apply to you," warns Kathryn. "Make your qualifications fit. They will bin your CV without looking at it if you don't."

Send out practice applications
Inevitably, you learn by doing, and your first applications may not be as good as your final ones. Therefore, start by applying to a few firms lower down your list and leave your favourites till last.

Do not blow the interview
Be prepared to answer the two questions almost all career changers face: why the change and how will you feel being supervised by people younger than yourself? As goes for any interviewee, it is important to convey as much energy, enthusiasm and openness as possible.

Mind your manners
Don't underestimate the power of a follow-up email or thank you card after an interview, letting the recruiter know you're grateful for the opportunity. "Taking this extra step shows enthusiasm and good client care skills, which are vital for ambitious law firms in the 21st century," Kathryn comments. On the other hand, bugging recruiters for a decision is unlikely to go down well.

Always be prepared
"You never know who you'll meet at your son's sixth birthday party or while sitting on a train," says Kathryn. "Always look presentable and follow up every lead. A girl on my LPC met a guy on a train who was a partner at a firm and this contact eventually led to an interview. It does happen.""

Barrister2b blog is a blog that was recently brought to my attention. The individual writing the blog is much like myself, moving from a IT background into law. He is a little further along in the whole process but his blogs make for a good read, and it is nice to know I am not the only IT convert.

As his blog title suggests he is attempting to secure a pupillage, its quite a nice alternative to my blog, where it is more likely that I will be attempting to qualify as a solicitor and not a barrister.

So head over there and have a read, I enjoyed it so felt it deserved note.

Revising at the moment for some extra qualifications I want to achieve before I begin my degree in September, hence the reason that there are not so many blogs at the moment. Normal blogging will re-commence after I finish the exam in a months time