Thursday, January 24, 2008

Finals of Mooting and new Bar Soc.

I have, as many regular readers will know, been steadily progressing through the internal mooting competition with my partner, and have reached the final. The final will be the 13th of February and is front of a real Judge, and in gowns so all very exciting.

I'm feeling really fired up for this, especially after the disappointment of the Vac scheme interview, and have again been placed in the position of the appellants. I shall obviously let you know the result, but if we win it may be a little while afterwards due to having to nurse a massive hangover.

I have come back this year and am working hard, and have also realised that my degree is half way through. Things will start really going soon when considering BVC provider, funding, scholarship applications, and my first go at the dreaded OLPAS form. To this end it is back o the grindstone to have as impressive a list of exam results, and some more sending off of CV's for mini pupillage's.

In other news I am attending the Target Pupillage fair to talk to chambers, network, and swan around London for a while afterwards. I assume I may see some of you there. The University I attend has also just started up a new Bar Soc, finally, so that we may actually start to see some events specifically for those wishing to qualify as Barristers.

I promise I shall post with something a little more interesting, possibly jumping into the debate concerning the BVC and admission to the course?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Happy BoB

As I promised here is a round up of my interview at a certain MC firm which took place this morning. I am sure that you are not supposed to enjoy interviews this much, but I can honestly say hand on heart that I felt I gave a very good impression of myself and found it to be a very interesting and stimulating experience.

The morning started with a critical reasoning test. These are a pain in the backside but the firm was good enough to send out a practice paper so that with some study I was able to walk in a lot more confident about it, and felt that I did not embarrassed myself totally.

This was followed by an interview with a member of HR and concentrated on my 'soft skills' (talking to people, handling different situations, being a normal human being!), although the first 15 minutes were spent talking about my military and musical career. Questions included:

Describe a situation where you have recognised a colleague is under pressure and you have resolved it;
Describe a situation where a conflict has arisen and you have dealt with it.

I managed to give some good examples, and asked lots of questions at the end about training and the company ethos, and generally had quite a nice chat.

I was then given a tour with my two competitors, ahem, I mean fellow applicants, and shown all that the building had to offer, including the biggest flat screen television I have ever seen.

The day ended with an interview with a partner who was really nice, and asked me questions set to test my 'commercial awareness'. The scenario was based upon a real estate transaction, which was great as I love Land Law and would love to work in that field, be it at the Bar or as a Solicitor. It also helped that the partner was a property Lawyer and that I had expressed an interest in it on my application form.

So a good day in which I believe I have done well, but could have done better in a few areas like talking about how my time in the Army developed my soft skills, and thought a bit more about the connection between commercial awareness and how it impacts the advice a lawyer gives. I suppose all I can do is wait until the email arrives in my mail box.

In other news I also outdoor clerked on two occasions last just to keep me occupied and in a legal frame of mind, earn some more cash, and do a bit more networking with Barristers.

Monday, January 7, 2008

You can't win them all, but losing still sucks.

My apologies that the first post of the year is such a pessimistic one, and I shall hopefully return to my usual chipper self, presuming that the interview on the 14th goes well.

The reason I am a slightly blue BoB is that I had my first case where the client was served an eviction notice. I will not go in to the details as all information I receive is private and confidential, but suffice to say the interest rate rises coupled with the end of the fixed rate term had left them in an unsustainable position. The only option was to try to achieve as much time as possible to find a buyer.

Although the deputy district judge described my submissions as 'valiant' and told the clients that they could not have been put better, he only gave them 56 days rather than the six months I was asking for. This is however longer than the usual so a small victory from the ashes. The clients were obviously both upset, but thanked me for everything that I had done.

As with all work experience none of it is wasted, and I believe that I have learnt a valuable lesson, firstly about the law, and secondly about myself.

Firstly this has brought into sharp focus the fact that you cannot always win, and that eventually no matter how good you are, the odds will be so stacked against you that you just have to try and achieve something for your client, no matter how small.

Secondly it is has shown me that I am personally capable of dealing with this disappointment, and that I have a strong enough character to take the knocks when they come, pick myself up, and cheerily look forward to my next time in court.

Till next time