Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Results are in...

So I found on Tuesday that I passed my masters with Merit. I gained enough in my dissertation in order to be eligible to be accepted onto a PhD programme if I wanted to.

However . . .

I must say I wasn't very happy about the result and I spent some time beating myself up about it. I asked for some feedback and I was told that if anything I was probably slightly too descriptive in some places.

I've spoken to friends and they all say this is a good result, however I know that there will be others wanting to go to the Bar, into the same area of law, that will probably have masters degrees who obtained distinctions. I know that if I wanted to go on and do a PhD there would also be applicants with Distinctions.

So after being slightly disappointed with my result, I was told that I should try and get an article or two out of it! I am not sure exactly how possible this is. Given that I am currently very busy being unemployed. I may have to schedule in some time between eating, smoking and watching Come Dine With Me.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Accident and Health Insurance

A certain internship I am applying for requires that I purchase accident and health insurance cover..

These raises two questions.

1.What will they be making me do
2. How can I (an unemployed law graduate - of which there are many) afford accident and health insurance?

The mind boggles.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Lost - Again?!

It is not without some anticipation that I jump back into the legal blogosphere. However as I now find myself without employment (again), combined with the decision to not do the BVC (or whatever it is called now) in order to get some more 'experience'; I feel that I have little else to do.

My life for the past year has been somewhere between hectic and lazy. I finished my masters' degree of which I should hopefully be told the results sometime in October. I have also finished my stint of teaching criminal law, which apart from a long tearful story I shall not go into.

So now I find myself, again, Lost in the sea of life and legal misery. After having only just finished my latest degree in the last weeks of August, I cheerily thought to myself that things would get easier and soon I would be awashed with legal internships of the most prestigious kind.

This is not so the case! As I now find myself sleeping long hours everyday, playing a game of how long will I let my beard grow before I shave it off, or rather when will I be able to afford a razor...

So yes - I am back, amidst these other brilliant law blogs - trying to find my way again.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Keating Chambers - Opportunity

Not my cup of tea at all, but Keating are recruiting for a legal assistant within chambers. The salary is up to £25k

See the advert here

It would appear to be a fantastic opportunity for those who want experience within chambers.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Riots and Mania on Brick Lane!!

Click here!!!

Full out riot over American Apparel 'Rummage' Salge that had to be shut down by the police!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Monday, 29 March 2010

For Moscow

Feeling for Moscow today.
For my Russian Uncle and two cousins, and their extended family.
Also my russian friends, who may have lost someone today or may have come close to losing someone.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Woe is me

Term is OUT... YES or SHIT, what am I going to do?

After having spent the year teaching undergraduates and not really doing anything on my masters( well I do have half of it written, just another 10,000 words to go) I wonder if I will miss my students? I doubt it.

I'm left in a state of perplexion as I wonder what career options I should choose.
My recent decision is to post-pone the BVC or whatever it will be known by then, to teach for another year, save up some money to go towards the BVC, hoping that the criminal Bar might have just sorted its self out by then, and also spend time on gaining much more needed brilliant work experience (or should I say mind numbing admin work for various legal bodies?)

Perhaps some international pro-bono wouldn't go a miss, however I often feel that I am up shit creek without any paddle. Competition for all these voluntary (and completely unpaid a point for further discussion ) internships is tough, really tough, tough as nails, tough as, some other example..

What really quite annoys me is that most if not all, internships require you to work for a certain period of time unpaid. Fair enough they may cover travel expenses and lunch, however some of us do have bills to pay, and courses to save up for! I think a month would be a reasonable amount of time to go unpaid for, providing the internship is prestigious enough. My main problem however with the system is that this obviously puts those who are supported by others/wealthy families, in PRIME position to pay for these internships, whilst others who have loans and bills to pay, will not be able to accept them because they need to earn money!!!

I have seen some internships often Overseas, that are a solid three full months, where you have to upfront all the money yourself! Some may say that's the reality of things, if you want to go and do it, then cough up. But with the majority of barristers telling us we must have MORE on our CV's, if we can't get pupillage the first time round, then go off and work for FREE for a LONG PERIOD OF TIME, to show your dedication to law etc etc hardly acceptable in my humble opinion.

It was much like Anna, from the Barristers, who was told to go get a lesser paid legal job because it looked better. Humph. Disgraceful. Whilst I don't mind working for free, and don't mind contributing, I find it difficult that there are a lot of these internships, which run for a long period of time, without getting paid, so it puts well off people in a better position. Scandalous I hear you cry!!

In other good news my CV may have actually got me somewhere! So all is not amiss, hopefully I will hear at the begining of the week of whether my optisim worked out, or whether it is business as usual, and I shall be once again broken hearted.

So what do you think? Am I making a good choice by taking a year out to do more probono (assuming that is that people will take me on) or should I do the BVC anyway? or do the PhD without a scholarship?


Friday, 5 March 2010


I have not been invited for an interview, for a PhD Scholarship.

R.I.P Career in Academia.


I think i forgotten to mention that it was for a teaching scholarship, for a university I already teach at? Humph

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The work experience equation

( 20 X hours of attempting to get your CV perfect) + ((rejigging your CV everytime you do something of interest) ( Minus-all the other interesting shit you did but no longer seems relevant because it may look too old) + (redrafting covering letters then spending x 3 hours worrying whether or not if its perfect) + (having your friends and family comment on your CV and covering letters making sure that they are truely perfect) = No reply.

R.I.P Legal career.


As someone reminded me, something that was not born cannot die. Therefore;
R.I.P thought of having a legal career.

Monday, 15 February 2010


To put or not to put, that I have now probably assisted over 70 people with preparing for 'fare evasion' cases on my CV...

Hmm.. I'm sure its similar to some kind of FRU work.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

To Phd or to not Phd

As I sit here and research abuse of process in relation to RIPA, I wonder whether or not this is the sort of life I wish to live. A life full of constant reading, with a large home library of assorted books on Criminal Justice, Evidence and Human Rights. A desk surrounded by empty packets of crisps and fag packets.

I am at the moment rather tempted to delve deeper into being an academic rather than trying to pursue a career at the Bar and there are several reasons why.

Firstly there has been a complete lack of interest from Chambers when applying for mini-pupillages, I do believe that I would make a good barrister (don't we all) I have a good ability to absorb knowledge, to analyse that knowledge and be critical about it, as well as being a semi-competent advocate which I have learnt from my mooting days. There may have been a small hiccup in the fact that I put perhaps a too restrictive of a date in my covering letter for when I was available, however if chambers were interested I doubt that would have really mattered. By not being noticed enough by which ever young tenant was viewing my application, I wonder how much more there is to be done, so that my CV sparkles with fairy magic glittery Bar dust. I am currently applying for lots of NGO work, however I am yet to hear back.

The amount of opportunities for work related experience of crime and human rights are vast I would suggest, however a lot of internships are unpaid and are usually for a month or so, that is perhaps too much of a period of time where I could be earning elsewhere, the internships are in themselves very competitive.

For all my (our) troubles, the lack of interest from Chambers may be a sign of the times, the Bar is very much more so competitive in terms of sheer numbers than it used to be, Chambers will receive hundreds if not thousands of applications for mini-pupillages, there again your CV really must shine.

There is always the issue of the Bar v Solicitor Advocates, where the work is going and whether or not it would be financially viable to enter the profession in this particular climate. I am told that plans for public funding in criminal trials may reduce by 20%, that is a significant drop in income for those already in practice. The thought of being self-employed and not being good enough to make a decent living is another concern.

After this analysis it may just be simpler to try and apply for a Phd and try to win some scholarship, I would be able to keep teaching criminal law, a subject though despite it needs urgent reform in some places, is quite enjoyable and has enabled me to delve much deeper into the substantive law than I ever did as an undergraduate.

I am young however, may not the youngest blogger by very early 20's, a lot of barrister wannabes come to the Bar later on in life, it would not be such a horrendous missed opportunity if I went to the Bar after a Phd or some time being an academic, this would give me a chance to 'establish' myself. As the criminal Bar will inevitably become smaller and ever more so specialised than it is now, there may be a greater link between academics and barristers, as minute points of law become more important than the general aspects.

There is however the gigantic task of writing the Phd, spending 40 hrs a week for three years, on something that I hope would not be remotely crap, but I would have thought it wouldn't be sufficiently ground breaking. I wonder if by doing a Phd, I would actually just be postponing my real desire to be in Court and say "yes M'Lud, I am obliged, [however I would submit that you are quite wrong on this point].

Difficult choices to make, I think I will keep everything up in the air. I already have a scholarship which I deferred last year from Middle Temple, I don't have a scholarship to do a Phd, though I hope as I teach at the institution they would love to keep me and give me some form of teaching award covering Criminal Law and Evidence. Another 3 years of university can't hurt too much.