Friday, 17 April 2009

Official! I am a terrorist & the Scholarship Interview

Yes I am a terrorist...

Yesterday at Mile End station I was stopped under the Terrorism Act 2000. As I was walking into the station to see if they had a photo booth so I could partake in some rather ugly photos of myself to give to the scholarship panel at Middle Temple the next day.

I admit I did look a bit suspicious, a 6ft man with glasses wearing a duffle coat with the hood up because it was raining outside.

The police officer approached me
"Excuse me Sir?"
"Yes" I replied.
"We are asking people to have a voluntary stop and search"
"Right ok.... do you not need a reasonable suspicion to stop and search me voluntarily?"
"No we are stopping you under the Terrorism Act"
"Ah, I see, and what section of the Terrorism Act?"
"Section 44.."
"and what does that say?"
"erm... well basically we can stop you...."

As I seemed to become a nuisance to the police officers (whom I believe were not actual police officers, for they had those funny yellow patches on their uniform.) I was pulled aside by another officer who explained that they wouldn't take my details only my description (one assumes so as not to appear to be targeting the young asian youths that populate Mile End)

After they checked my bag I was free to go, and I walked out of the tube station, which they might of thought of as weird, but I didn't even want to use the tube!

The Scholarship Interview
It went ok.. I arrived just in the nick of time, as I had to make an unexpected change at Bank because of the escalator works.. got there on time and found Middle Temple(which I had never visited before) went up to the main building and asked the very nice gentleman.
"Excuse me do you know where Porter's Lodge is?"
To which they replied "ermm hmmm....." looking directly at the sign that said "Porters Lodge".. I felt a bit stupid however I was glad I was in the right place and just in time too!

As I went to sit outside the interview room whilst the lovely clerk went to photograph my BVC offer letter I could hear the panel talking about how good the girl was who went before me! Nothing like extreme competition to make you more nervous.

I went in they introduced themselves, and lucky me there was a criminal practitioner in there!
They asked me general questions about my work at the LAC, why would I make a good barrister.. what area I was interested in, what the most important thing I had learnt on my mini-pupillage, any interesting legal stories, then about a DNA database.

If I were the panel I would have probably scored me half marks... I had a rather tricky situation of trying to use something creative that I learnt on my mini-pupillage the idea of a "poker face" That when the prosecution is cross examining defendant witnesses a defence barrister will make certain faces in shot of the jury to suggest that the questioning was harsh or uncalled for.

The panel instead said "so the opposite of a poker face?" and I humbly agreed with them.

I then talked about the G20 protest in which the man died, I was asked what charge I would bring against the officer, I said common assault, to which the male barrister said "not manslaughter then?" COMPLETELY forgetting that the man had actually died.

They asked which Law would i reform in the Criminal Justice System and I replied with RIPA. Which caught the attention of the criminal practitioner.

Perhaps a better moment was when I was asked how do I think junior practionners cope at the Bar..

I answered it from a Criminal perspective said with the usual miss match of saying it was very competitive, there aren't a lot of pupillage about(slightly irrelevant) and the impact of the Lord Carter reforms for those people doing legal aid and the fact that it will become a struggle until one is more established...

Though I was a bit weak on the DNA database question, what is a reason for not keeping the DNA evidence if I were completely exonerated of a crime... questions followed from that what is the difference between CCTV and DNA database to which I replied that CCTV doesn't work and DNA is quite specific, which repeatedly came out of my dry mouth as SPASIFIC.

There was no chance to mention my mooting! So after the panel had concluded I managed to slip in that I was a semi finalist in a national mooting competition. The male barrister replied with" oh good you can moot for Middle Temple next year!"

I'm not sure how it all went, the more I think about it the more I try to nit pick and decide that I was crap... I shall have to see when I get the results in a few weeks!

Until then more revision!


Android said...

I can't believe you got stopped by the police - how rude of them! Did you tell them that you were late for a scholarship interview? :))

From what you've written, the interview seems to have gone well? Anyway, I'll keep my fngers crossed for you!

Law Minx said...

Ahhhh, the Jobsworth Filth.And not even REAL ones at that - Got to LOVE 'em, aint you?! What a horrid thing to happen on interview day, of all days!
I hope its gone your way, Lost. Fingers crossed!! Heard anything of your M.Phil app yet?

Lost said...

Thanks Andro

Nein Law Minx no news as of yet, I guess it will come in a couple of weeks seeming as I sent it quite late and probably the wrong amount of copies..

I have another back up plan if I don't get it, I don't feel ready to do the BVC yet, I need more wonderous things on my pupillage CV...

I didn't even have a chance to tell the interview panel.. I think they were trying to get the best bits of the lunch buffet, but I wouldn't let them and squeezed in my mooting success... in a rather desperate attempt which I am sure looked like


I don't want another interview before lunch again!

Anonymous said...

Hi. Was wondering if you had your scholarship result yet. Info pack said results would be by 8th May (today) but the postman has just walked straight past my house!! Good luck for your results!

Emily said...

I haven't heard either... I'll be anxiously checking the post tomorrow. Think we should expect the results to be out on time or late? The student office or whichever bit does it is, I imagine, fairly small but they seemed very organised during interviews... Good luck!

Lost said...

I haven't heard, I guess we will either hear tomorrow or Monday.
I now know (very sadly) exactly the time the postman comes so anxiously greet him with a cigarette in one hand and a big scholarship awaiting grin!

Lets hope we find out soon!

Anonymous said...

I called Middle Temple on Fri to check. There is a delay in getting results out and the lady said that they would be sent out next week, so it looks like it will be Tues at the earliest! I know when my postie comes too Lost, he comes at 11:15am, which is far too late I think!

Lost said...

Ah ok! Explains why it wasn't there this morning, I hope I haven't waited all this time to find out that I haven't been given anything :(

Lost said...

I've still not heard anything from Middle Temple and neither has anyone else so I understand.

This is getting very annoying!! The postman is sick of seeing me at 10:30 every morning waiting outside by my door frantically chain smoking...

Anonymous said...

My letter's here! It's just arrived! Haven't opened it yet! Bit concerned as it's rather small and thin!

Lost said...

I got one woo!
small and thin is ok.. its only one page :S

Anonymous said...

I've opened it! I got a scholarship too! Yay! Fancy revealing how much you got Lost?

Lost said...

Its a Harmsworth Scholarship.

It's a nice bit of money but also leaves me with a lot to pay the College of Law.

If you email me I will reveal how much I have been awarded.