Friday, 29 August 2008

First week of the BVC...

Despite my earlier post about there being no posts for a while, yesterday's trip to ICSL has left me in a bit of a pickle.

I'd gotten the term dates a bit messed up (the information I was given ages ago was out by a week), so it looks like I shall be missing some of the first week - if the Registrar even lets me register, apparently I can't possibly hope to get through the course if I miss a single induction or tutorial. Hmm.

I've been reading other people's post on the first few BVC days (Android, yours has been really helpful :) ) but I know that different providers may differ.

Is there really that much to the first few days/ week of the BVC? I don't mind missing introductions anyway, I have the common sense of a dingbat and so invariably end up wandering around aimlessly not knowing where I'm doing with or without the induction!

*sigh* Must do better.


Pupil Bean said...

Not to advocate skiving, but in my first few days we were handed out endless bits of paper, asked to write an opinion that was looked over and critiqued by fellow students, and then told if your attendance slipped below 90% you would fail. Although I would not have been brave enough to miss the start, if its just the first few days I think you'll be fine, providing you can get someone to save you copies of handouts. Also I knew of several people who clearly flouted the 90% rule, but were not failed.
At the end of the day sun, sea and cocktails are way better than the BVC!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mel

Although I would take it with a pinch of salt (I mean they are not REALLY going to fail you as PB says) ICSL want 100% attendance and if you don't go you have to jump through hoops, which is a total pain, to make up classes (ie do work and give it to your tutor - although I don't know how you would do this in an intro session).

A chap in my class missed a few sessions and had to have endless meetings all term and was reported to the bar council and his Inn etc. Again I don't know what difference it actually makes (this chap will leap into pupillage) but the personal tutor has taken an absolute dislike to him for only that reason (as it causes her work) (and I remember you saying you need yours as an academic ref) so forewarned is forearmed.

There is a reading week at the end of October - could you not go on hols then instead?


Law Minx said...

Hi Mel,

To be honest, if you are pursuing the BVC full time, I really wouldnt miss induction if you can manage it because though its weedy and frustrating its important; the devil, I came to learn, is always in the smallest detail and skipping the apparently unimportant may well come back to bite you on the bum in the end.

With respect to attendance, well, the providers insist on 100% but very few students actually manage it; many are fall below, and worse, and are seldom punished for it; i just think they are trying to instill in you a sense of pride and professionalism.

Ultimately, I'd agree with Ginge - if you have a reading week and can take your hols at this time, then perhaps that would be best.

Mel said...

Thanks guys - unfortunately, it isn't just a holiday - there's a wedding and other people are relying on me. I would change the trip (and forfeit the pricey flights) if I could, but I really don't see it happening.

Darn it! This is really a bad start :(

I'm not concerned so much about missing work - I'm super at catch ups! - but as you said, getting the details and things. This is even if they accept to register me, which is apparently still being decided- although I'm not sure on what basis they could refuse me, I'd still very feasibly be within the 90% Bar Council requirement.

I'd still rather not meet with the Bar Council just yet though. Blimey.

Law Minx said...

Perhaps the best thing, then is to see if you can obtain an absence and an extenuating circumstance form from the ICSL and fill it in, making it plain that there are deeply personal commitments involved which require your immediate attention.
I somehow cannot see ICSL preventing your attendance and nor will the Bar Council be involved in any way.
however, I know this is exceptionally sad of me to suggest,and you will probably want to shoot me on SIGHT for making such a comment given the sheer wonderfulness of your upcoming hols, but have you thought about asking them for some of the reading/work you will be required to do for that first week or so in advance? (Even if you dont ACTUALLY read it at the time, it may help to sweeten the pill, so to speak)

Mel said...

Oh dear Minxy, never would I think such a thought!

Actually I asked if I could get the materials early as I wasn't going on 'holiday' but on a family trip...she said no. I asked if someone could pick them up...she said no. I asked if I could get a friend to lend me their no...she wasn't so keen.

Clearly my persuasive skills need some work!

Mel said...

But I will definitely try and sort out an extenuating circumstances form from ICSL - very good idea!

Law Minx said...

Just another quick thought -Perhaps it might also be worth speaking to someone less jobsworth than an admin clerk ( if that is what this person is/was)-like your personal tutor and see if they can fix something, given that your circs are unusual

Bar Boy said...

Assuming the BSB requirements are observed equally by the different providers, the compulsory attendance extends only to the small group sessions, of which there are unlikely to be many, if any at all, in the first few days. I am half way through induction and students are already routinely opting out of the large group sessions, or merely sleeping through them. IMHO, the first two days could have comfortably squashed into two hours, if not less, when it comes to the course substance. It has, however, been valuable as an opportunity to get acquainted with other students, and especially those who will be in the same group for the SGS work. There is an element of student co-dependency for the SGS oral skills components and it might be prudent not to risk alienating yourself at the outset.

Anonymous said...
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Swiss Tony said...


The induction is not worth worrying about as it is all common sense and can be read up on later, but my provider did start teaching this first weekend, so you may have problems in missing that.

I thought by your previous post that you were already on holiday, but you haven't posted about the glorious food yet, so guess that you aren't there yet.

My concern at your predicament is more one of feeling uncomfortable that I was off to a bad start, rather than it actually being a problem.

Mel said...

Hey Swizz,

Indeed - but I am shortly to depart. I expect I shall post about the glorious, copious amounts of deliciousness on offer when I return!

It wouldn't be a great start to the year, definitely on the wrong foot but I really do feel it can't be avoided. If only I had been given the right dates all those months ago!

Hope you've been enjoying the first few days!

Swiss Tony said...


I hope that you are one of those people that can eat all they like and never put weight on. Otherwise I fear that you will be paying an additional fee for your flight home.

I assume that you made contact with BB about the tax thing, so I will leave it to him to arrange us all meeting up sometime to compare notes.

As for my first few days, I did enjoy them. Its nice to be back to being a part time student again. (I am sure the novelty will wear off!)


Rumi said...

hey i am currently doing my bvc at the college of law, london. due to an unavoidable circumstances i am going to miss one whole of class, which is equivalent to eight sessions. i am really worried about the bsb minimum attendance requirement. i would be much obliged if sb could assist me asap. thanks.