Friday, 3 July 2009

Out of my depth?

As the few who have followed my ramblings so far will be aware, I am a postgrad as yet to undertake the BVC. Braving the HellGate this year for the first time, I treated the whole exercise of something of a dry run, and expected little positive response.

I am, therefore, wholly pleased with myself to have 3 first round interviews with a set yet to hear from. Self-congratulatory pat on the back and inebriated celebrations in order and all that.

However, I am worried that should I make it to second round (and I stress the gigantic IF here) I will so completely out of my depth as to render the experience torturous. With no BVC experience behind me, advocacy exercises are going to prove tricky and my relative lack of interview practice may hinder me somewhat. Whilst I have gleaned a few precious (albeit largely indecipherable) notes from companions further down the line than myself(LPC students to a man however) and still leave me feeling a little concerned.

Any advice from those in the know would be most appreciated!


P.S. I hope to produce a more interesting post at some point; I am new to this lark! Perhaps once I start the BVC as a full-timer (read: lifer), I will perhaps have something better to contribute!


  1. Hiya Oddy,

    Wow!! Bloody Well DONE!!I have all my fingers and toes crossed for you with respect to your upcoming endeavours, and hope that what I say below is of some assistance.

    To begin with Do the sets concerned offer a little bit within the pupillage/recruitment sections of their websites with respect to what you might expect at interview? Sets have been know to occiasionally post quite transparent criteria as to what they expect and are looking for.Do you know anything of the constitution of the interviewing committee ( 2, or 3? Silk?-)it may help to find out so you at least know who you are dealing with i(f only for the sake of comfort and nerves!)

    My own experience varies depending on the round. First rounds tend to range from discussion of a problem scenario related to law ( contract and tort are the biggies but if you are in a criminal setting this may extend to the criminal law, though I must say that I have no experience of this) which you will have been given 15 or 20 mins to consider before hand, or just a gentle grilling(!) on legally related news or topics of general concern, so be sure to bone up on the latest happenings either via the Times or another Decent BroadSheet - but if that seems like studying, try BBC news 24 or some such;I personally find this extremely helpful since far more info sinks in if there are pictures to go with the words so to speak!) Try and tweak your knowledge of the key areas as mentioned, and approach the whole thing with confidence; chambers are obviously extremely interested - you just have to reinforce that interest by making them realise they simply cannot live without you. Be polite to absolutely EVERYONE ( receptionists included, for they too are often asked their opinion of you by the committee)and shake hands ONLY if a hand is extended ( barristers do not commonly shake hands)

    With respect to the tricksy second round you will be presented with an advocacy exercise, but commonly, this is not often a "formal" thing like a plea in mitigation or an application; rather, it tends to involve the presentation of a of a contentious legal or ethical issue; for example, this time last year I had to present arguments for and against the right to privacy for paedophiles, throughout which I was roundly and soundly challenged by most if not all members of the committee. They want to see that you are capable of delivering structured oral arguments and that you can adapt that argument in the face of such a challenge without compromising your own stance on the issue whilst knowing when to back down and accept that perhaps your point is slightly less than valid.

    I hope this is of some help. If you wish to discuss your concerns any further, drop me an email!

  2. I'm afraid as an LPCer can't offer you much in the way of advice, but just wanted to wish you all the best for the interviews.

  3. @ Minx: Thanks for the advice! Very much appreciated! I can but hope I get chance to put it to use, dazzle the Pupillage Comittee/Spanish Inquisition (, and gain the magical pupillage. Beer/beverage of your choice will of course be forthcoming at that point!

    @Travisthetrout: Thanks, very kind!

  4. You're welcome - I am anxious for EVERYONE in Blogand to succeed.
    (Mines a an exceptionally LARGE of Krug, Btw!!)

  5. I do actually have a second round interview! I was stunned. I must have read the email perhaps a dozen times, had a cold shower, re-read it another half dozen times and then finally got up the nerve to call to book my interview!

  6. OOOOOO!!!!!!!! ****** Round of Applause*****!!!!!! What WONDERFUL News!!!!! All the VERY Best of Luck and TONS of positive and KARMIC Good Fortune!
    ( I hope that bottle of Krug is on ICE in the Oddy Fridge, Y'know)