Wednesday, 21 October 2009


Hello all (...anyone out there?).

It's been a wee while since I posted. Since then, good news- passed the BVC, woo! After some wrangles with the course provider it was agreed that I did pass as a first attempt, not as a re-sitter as they wanted to mark me as (which would have capped me at a bare pass) and thus my CV is now gilded proudly with the words Very Competant.

Well worth the £14k, I'm sure.

I didn't get the dream job I went for- but was happy to be one of 10 shortlisted out of 300+ applications. Hopefully that bodes well for the future. I think my CV is ok at the moment, as in another recent interview (with an amazing lawyer, who is quite famous and I managed to quite disappoint/irritate/sicken or all the above) she seemed to be quite impressed with it. I say impressed, she said something like 'well, you've won everything going haven't you' in what some might say was a disdainful way but I am choosing to take it as a compliment. Particularly as I haven't won anything really, anything I have got is more a 'well done for taking part' than a glowing badge of honour.

I am working - temping- which is paying the bills and getting rid of debt/helping save for a Masters. Which I am about to start applying for (a grumbling aside - why do I need to pay to apply?!). Boy is well and fingers crossed he'll have his tenancy confirmed shortly and all will be well that end. From him I have learned that criminal law pays not very well, particularly in the beginning stages of a case - not too bad at the trial end. And that it's not considered good form to ask your clerk how much you're getting for something (but surely that may be a factor in whether you choose to accept it, e.g. if you have to choose between 2 cases or if you risk missing a holiday, if we're being honest?).

On the health side things are much better. The benefit of a 9-5 job is that it's relatively stress free and this is easing recovery. This weekend I've the second part of the Amicus death penalty conference to attend- I will review this in my next post. Suffice it to say: Death Penalty= BAD.

Hope all well in the interweb. How the heck is everyone?



Alan Plawtridge said...

*Deep intake of breath*

Never choose between cases based on what you'll be paid! The Code of Conduct will cry tears of injustice if you do.

Clerks should hopefully never present you with anything that'll clash with booked holidays anyway.

Mind if I ask what you're temping at?

Mel said...

Hello Alan

I don't mean that you will only choose cases based on what you'll be paid. But sometimes you have to take a case for which you'll be paid a £40 mention fee, and have to pay £140 in last minute train fares to get to (real life example). You *have* to take this not because you have done any work in the case, but because it's the first thing a solicitor is offering you and it may lead to other work. So, it's a gamble- but presumably if you're losing £100 a go (before costs and clerks fees) then you can't afford to make many of those gambles.

So, I think you do need to know what you'll be getting for something and its a falsehood to suggest that barristers should be above that- the reality is you are running a business. I haven't seen any of Boy's clerks double book him, but they have given him a schedule which is physically possible - in the sense that you could get to all the courts/places you need to get to- but not feasible when you consider time to prepare. Recompense shouldn't really come into that, and it doesn't but other considerations do (is this the kind of work I want to do, what case have I already committed more to etc, what best serves my professional duties and business development interests).

Sure- I'm temping as a paralegal/legal secretary. Nothing prestigious, but working for a great company who are letting me dip into some interesting legal work when I want to.

How're you finding the BVC?

Android said...

Heyyyyyy Mel!!!

Well done on passing the BVC and congrats on your VC! (it rhymes!)

Lost said...

Glad to see that you are doing well and that you sorted out your BVC!!

Do you have an email I can contact you on? I have a proposition!

Mel said...

Hey Android! Thank you!! So very happy to be done with that :)

Lost- a proposition? How very dare you! Oh go on then...have just dropped you an email.

jo said...
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Mel said...
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iamSaira said...

Hi Mel, I have just come across your blogs and was reading the NYC blogs. Congrats firstly on passing that and the BVC! great achievement! :)
I wanted to also ask you whether you did the NY bar prep (barbri course?) at NYU? or were the classes just at NYU? And all in all, how much did it cost you all?
Would you recommend the barbri course compared to all the other providers we see today such as the NY Bar Company, BPP's pieper course etc...I am hoping to do the NY bar next year and would love for some more info :)
Also out of curiosity, on your CV, do you write: "New york bar- passed, studied at NYU? " if that makes sense...:S just curious as to what people put on their cvs to describe their qualification?
Thanks and i look forward to hearing from you! :) Saira

(ps, I've already got my LLB(Hons) and LPC... temping around at the mo...want to do something diff! )

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