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?



ButtonFan said...

If you do the BVC (BTPC) you will still get your MT scholarship won't you? That would be good.

Re pro bono - you can do stuff while you are on the BVC (or start beforehand) like FRU where you work for free but it's in your own time and doesn't really take a lot of it but does let you pratice lots of barrister like skills.

Look at what your BVC provider offers for pro bono too. Mine has the Innocence Project and its own legal advice clinic (both of which I have done as well as FRU)

So you can kill 2 birds with 1 stone and only have 9 months of 'no money' suffering!

If you don't go for the BVC you run the risk of not getting any pro bono or internships!

Lost said...

Hi ButtonFan,

Middle Temple has kindly agreed to defer my scholarship for another year. It was just that I wished to secure the best possible position when I may be applying for pupillage next year ( if any sets are offering pupillage a year in advance that is)

I would rather do that then have the BVC and have to then take time out, and be reliant on others etc.

At the moment I am more than capable of being financially independent and have semi-secured a well paying legal job next year.

I also may be reapplying for a PhD scholarship, so who knows.

I will keep my options open!!

I have also been involved with my own university's legal advice centre in the past, so may continue to do that again, next year, as well as FRU, maybe an odd spot of lecturing if I am permitted, and some international internships (if I can secure them)

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