Tuesday, 31 March 2009


...are out tomorrow for Drafting and one of the Advocacy assessments. Eek.

In other news, mini-applications a frenzy. Well, I have done a list of places to apply to, but not yet actually sent anything out. You see, for all my legal experience of various types I've only ever actually done 2 minis. And one was really work experience when I was still studying the 3 'R's, so I don't suppose that really counts.

Actually the chap I was followed around Snaresbrook Crown Court for a week or two back in those halcyon days was, I suppose, a bit of an inspiration. It's all his fault that I became taken with the glamour of the law, and justice and that malarky. I should probably drop him an email or a letter to say thanks. I'm not terribly sure what to say, though.

Mind you, once this session of applications is up the tone of that letter may change somewhat!

I had another mock interview at City, and apparently my style is much improved. My first interview, I came across as 'lacking passion' and my answers were too short. My answers are still quite short, but I think I showed a bit more of the spark of life about me.

Summer days are a-coming

Will they find me joining the dole queue? Double eek. Must find myself another bar qualification to do...!

I did get an email regarding internship opportunities (interest piqued) in international law (beginnings of excitement) researching war crimes (mouth beginning to froth) allegedly committed by the IDF in Gaza (hang on a minute...).

Umm. Precisely the sort of work I want to do, but that's the same Gaza with the wall still up, and the limited electricity and supplies, and the people being killed and dying every day? The one that the FCO website suggests "it would be foolish to go at this time", and further that they provide only limited consular support to anyone crazy enough to head out that way.

Maybe I am a complete champagne socialist and coward after all. I thought it might work, but then I ran the possibility past my mum, whose response can be paraphrased as 'No. Hell No.' and Boy who similarly said:

"It would be a bit of a pain if you were to go and get yourself shot. That would put a real damper on the wedding."

It does sound awfully interesting though, and precisely the sort of thing that inspires me. Readers of this blog will know that I am a complete international law nerd. Maybe I'd be fine?

Is travel insurance even offered for unstable regions such as the Occupied Territories?

VCs for 3 subjects so far, woo. Legal Research was a big shock, I expected to barely scrape a pass in that one.

Sunday, 29 March 2009


Yeesh. Picked up the Pupillages handbook. April is gonna be a bundle of fun, isn't it?

I've just gone through and noted all the sets I'm interested in applying to. I note two things: firstly that I have far more than the 12 Olpas sets that I can apply to. Secondly, there aren't many non-Olpas are there?

Actually, I also have a third point. I hear (and read) of people sending out over 100 applications (like that chap who wrote for the Times, now writes for Legal Week? Alex something? Android interviewed him, you know who I mean?). And yet, there are not 100 sets on my list. about 30 max, and that includes a few *dream* sets that I need to rub off and accept that when it comes to those sets, I'm a bit like one of those Pop Idol/X factor contestants who think they are Britain's answer to Whitney Houston/Mariah Carey/Celine Dion and are actually tone deaf, nasal mouth breathers.

I didn't mean to compare some of Britain's top legal minds to the warbling likes of Carey and Dion. Perhaps a better analogy could be found, but my point is that I think I know my limitations.

So, 100 applications? Surely there's only that many sets out there, and you couldn't possibly coherantly apply to all of them?

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Work/life balance

I'm working up to having a go at the Olpas form (soon. I need a lot of warming up and motivational pep-talks before I really start).

In combination with the recent engagement, constant talk of mortgages and credit-a-crunching on the news, I've been thinking about work-life balance and all that.

I imagine that like many I will have to go in for the whole kids, mortgage, and Guardian and veg box subscriptions at some point. (On reflection, my walk around Primrose Hill yesterday with its stupendous number of yummy mummies with ludicrously priced Nasa-designed buggies in tow is probably also a factor in this sort of thinking.)

But barristers don't really do maternity leave or anything, do they? If you're not working, you're not getting paid. Can you reduce the amount that you work and/or work from home without damaging a practice that you'll have spent the last many years working all the hours you had to build up?

What do people do? The female head of one of the top sets (this was a few years ago) once told me at a university careers event about popping in and out of court to breastfeed whilst the nanny waited outside the courtroom with the baby. Fabulously dynamic and go-getting as this may seem, I just don't see myself being able to do that.

Wardrobe malfunctions of a highly inappropriate nature would probably ensue in my case. And can you even get milk out of horsehair?