Sunday, 28 September 2008

BVC Week 2 - grumbling over

So, grumpy as I was last week to have to be dealing with tube travel, and unpredictable London weather patterns again, I'm now much happier on the BVC.

I think the work is going to be manageable, although I'm going to have to push myself to stay on top of it (having been a chronic last-minuter in previous years) as I don't think a last minute cramming will cut it this year!

My group seems a cool bunch, and so we should be able to muddle through the year and maintain a sense of humour. There's a smattering of different accents from around the world, different ages (well, a couple of mature students), mix of lasses and lads, northeners and southerners, and even a bit of totty. (I think that's the word the kids are using these days?)

I heard some girls talking behind me in a lecture the other day (sorry, Large Group Session) about the dismal romantic prospects on the course which I found highly amusing. I had not given this any consideration. It seems there are only 2 men on the course worth anything. I felt rather offended on behalf of all the other lads on the course. I've chatted with a good handful of nice men on the course, so I think some people need to stop judging books by their covers!

Talking of books, having been given a stack of College manuals we are now advised that we are not to use these in classes, but only to refer to the practitioner's manuals in class. Whilst there is some merit in this (it's a good idea to not get in the habit of referring to an ICSL idiot's guide to Criminal litigation in court) I can't help but feel that the motivation is more to try and maintain this idea (for the benefit of the Bar Standards Board) that the course is a Master's/ LLM level course. Given that it seems clear we are to use the ICSL manuals for background reading, and that we are being spoonfed in all other respects, it seems highly doubtful to me that it is infact being taught at LLM level.

As I missed the first week and the first advocacy tutorial I'm only coming round to my first advocacy session this week, eek! Getting butterflies in my tummy just thinking about it. Can't wait - I love that feeling.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Start of the year blues

So I'm settling into the BVC and have been to my first Inn function. I've met a few nice people, and the diversity on the BVC is a pleasant surprise.

It's hard to face another year of uni (effectively) though. Paperwork and assignments. I must say I'm very unimpressed with the BVC so far - it seems to be a case of just stating the very obvious. Write clearly. Speak clearly. Learn the rules. Why this needs to take an entire year, I don't know. I feel like the Provider throws a lot of terms at us, and makes the learning of core skills very structured so that we feel we're getting value for money, but frankly I don't think it is.

I'm marginally annoyed that I have to give up relatively few days off (when I was hoping to work) in order to go on Court Visits and then fill in the silly questionnaire (about Court decor or something) afterwards. I have been in court as a mini-pupil, as a clerk, as a member of the public observing, and as a juror. I've sat in criminal court, in family court, in commercial court. I've even seen courts in different countries and been in chambers with a judge. Short of being a barrister, or a judge, I'm not sure what other view I could have of a courtroom. Thus, I'm not convinced of the usefulness of these court visits - but I'm open to the possibility of being proved wrong.

Still, I shall throw myself into this and hope to be a better advocate by the end of it! I did have a rush of 'first day at school' excitement when I first walked in, so maybe there's hope yet!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

A girl walks into a bar is back...

Melina is back from a long trip, beautiful wedding, and a few missed flights and is ready to kick some BVC ass! Soon as I can get myself registered...

Hope all's well in the blogosphere!