Thursday, 23 April 2009

We have pupillage....they will come

Once more battling with the Gate to Hell, I am finding myself increasingly frustrated by chambers who offer little or no information about themselves or their pupillage. Even a look to the Chambers and Partners reports still leaves me ill equipped to write a specific set of answers.

How is one supposed to obtain the hallowed pupillage when they do so little to help you get it? In the case of the current chambers I am researching (which is a band 4 criminal set), it is almost as though they are content to offer the following meagre statement: “We offer pupillage. You will apply. Because we’re fucking great. Oh, and we might considering paying you. Just not very much. See you soon”

I feel like I have been locked in a darkened room, and asked to solve a jigsaw puzzle. With three pieces missing. And my hands in boxing gloves. And it’s the wrong picture on the box.

Other chambers are much more useful, and some even have the good sense to post up large and well written documents expounding exactly how they will own your soul, and what merge returns they offer.

One is almost tempted to write that I am choosing this particular (prestigious) for shits and giggles, because I have no idea what 12 months servitude with them will actually be like, so I might as well give it a go.
Oh well, back to plumbing the depths of my imagination for something to write.


Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Light Relief

I friend pointed me in the direction of this, which was welcome relief from The Portal.

Certainly improved my day.

Cretins, Cretins everywhere

Whilst making some amending touches to an application informing them that I would be willing to sell my soul (car, clothes and mother) for pittance to any criminal chambers that will have me, I have been prompted to write that most hallowed of things; a good old fashioned bitch.

This year I have undertaken a herculean effort to make my CV thicker than the village idiot and shinier than an army of bald men. Wearing silver. At noon. In the desert. And so, in undertaking this mammoth task I have signed up to every possible activity that my University has to offer. Every waking hour is spent doing (frankly) pointless tasks for some group or other that purports to have some legal relevance, which I recklessly agreed to be a part of despite my overwhelming lack of time as it was. Nonetheless, being actually committed, I take part in these organisations to the best of my ability.

Which brings me neatly onto my topic for this post; idle, CV bolstering (and often annoyingly successful) students. I am constantly surrounded by cretins. First class, 5 star, award winning cretins. All of these activities seem to be, on the whole, dependent on idiots and idle people (to say nothing of the organisers). A small example…

Every week I turn up to University (begrudging the fact that as a Masters student I have been forced to leave the comfort of my house surrounded by my books and sensible people) and stalk into the law department. As I make my way to the meeting of Project X, undergraduates cowering before me, I do so with a sense of dread. This particular group is large, unruly and worst of all, either monumentally stupid or worse - just plain lazy. Our overall aim is a large has been broken down into small bit sized chunks, which is in itself fair enough. However, it soon became apparent that this was still unworkable, because 2/3 of the group would either have failed to do it (and, having had two weeks to do it only discover they can’t in the hour before its due) or just haven’t bothered. And so, over time the chunks have been broken down smaller and smaller. They have now reached the point that they are so small that an octogenarian hamster with one leg and false teeth could manage them. Yet, each week there is a section of rebel undergraduates who have refused staunchly to do the work. Frankly, I find it disgraceful that these people have the privilege of putting it on their CV that they took part.
In Project X, were given a tasty chunk of work to be doing over the Christmas holidays, to present to the group which I duly did. However, it was not until 8 weeks into term that all of the members of said Project had completed this work. I reiterate. 8 WEEKS. One can row the Atlantic in less time than that. And so for those 8 tortuous weeks I have had practically nothing to do and progress has ground to a standstill. I am almost ashamed to have taken part, and yet neither the organisers nor the vast majority of pupils seems to care. I am stunned by this attitude.

And so here we have a classic example of the CV whore. Someone who is willing to do anything to get something on their CV, but once it is there will participate as minimally as possible, without regard to the consequences that this has on the exercise as a whole. My experience of undergraduate seminars was not much better; large numbers of people sitting in abject silence waiting for the answer because nobody wants to commit the energy. How in the name of any holy concept on which you wish to swear are these people going to make it in law?
And yet, from my experience, many of them do. And more successfully than myself.
Perhaps I should just adopt this attitude? After all, I can’t do worse.


Friday, 17 April 2009

Adrift in the void

I have decided to take my first foray into the world of blogging, and begin a blog about my experiences as a law student. There are a many admirable blogs who already cover such a topic, and I can only hope of covering the same ground with such eloquence and humour as many do. However, if I were put off by a challenge I would be seeking another career.

I will start with a little about myself. I have not started this as some exercise of vain narcisim (well, perhaps a little) but instead as a place where I can air my thoughts away from those who are my usual companions. I have gained much from reading the comments of others, and hope to add my own personal, and usually sarcastic, thoughts to the ever growing quantity already in situ.

I am currently a law student, of sorts, at a respected northern university. Having finished my undergraduate course, I decided to take my penchant for self punishment further by choosing to study for a masters. I wish to be a barrister, and for better or worse am determined to work in criminal law. At this point no doubt anyone who reads this will consider me insane, but then I suppose that adds to the fun. I have succumbed to the lure of the big city, and will be taking my BVC in the city of London starting in September.

I have decided to call this blog "the wanderings of a law student" because I feel it reflects my current state of mind, as I sit embroiled in the horrors of OLPAS. The task is slightly lightened by its imaginative renaming as the "pupillage portal" - as though this were some magical realm of happiness, joy and possibly some kind of skimpily attired fairy willing to do my bidding. No? Just a form then.

And so, as I wander adrift in the sea of applications, I will attempt to tackle the Scylla and Charybdis that are the uncertainty and horror of applying to be a barrister.



P.S. My first lesson of last night blogging. Check you English. Having just rechecked my humble post, I noticed I had proudly declared that I was naming this blog in light of how I "fell". Well, perhaps in a years time, that may be more apt. On a similar note, whilst re-reading some of my tiresome OLPAS applications, I had made a worse blunder. Legs wide, chest trust out, and nipples pointed firmly forward I had written an extensive verse on the "varied nature of the wok". Smooth.

Oh well.