Hello beautiful people!
I hope everyone is well. I'm pretty good, despite pulling out my hair over all the readings I have for classes. I am definitely feeling the pressure because I am in my final year and it counts for 80% of my degree *cries*
I am also trying to complete my application for a place on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) - which is required in order to become a Barrister. For those of you who are interested in becoming a lawyer, and not sure whether you want to be a solicitor or Barrister, then check out the differences here: http://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/Articles/469
What attracted me to become a Barrister was working at a law firm back at home and me wanting to act on behalf of others before a court and being able to argue for them! It is not an easy road and requires different stages.
The first stage is the academic, i.e. obtaining your LLB (Bachelors of Law) - or those who have a degree in a different subject can do a one year GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law) which converts your non-law degree into a law degree. The LLB & GDL are designed to provide the core modules which are necessary in order to qualify (such as Contract Law, Criminal Law, Law of Tort & etc.)
The Second stage is what I am applying for - the vocational Stage. To become a Barrister this entails getting a place in the BPTC. You also have to apply for place in one of the 4 Inns of Court, which are there to provide support to future barristers. (Find out more here http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/about-the-bar/what-is-the-bar/inns-of-court/ ).
This year the Bar Standards Board implemented another compulsory test - the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT) that tests a student's ability to think critically. As a barrister you have to know to be creative and think quickly on your feet. It sounded scary at first but thankfully there is a practice test for it online. I plan on taking it in a couple weeks (wish me luck!!!).
To be honest I am so nervous about all of it because it is so competitive, especially the 3rd stage which is -pupillage. Pupillage is a yearlong 'work experience' where you apply what you learned at the academic and vocational stage and apply it to working in a Chambers, where you learn even more about work such as processes for court documents. From different articles I've read, each year about 1200-1500 persons are 'Called to the Bar', yet there are usually about 500 or so pupillage places. That is a big deal because if one doesn't get a pupillage within 5 years of completing the BPTC, then it becomes null and you have to do it over again.
So every time I do a campus tour, I always always ALWAYSSS stress the importance of getting involved and participating in extra-curricular activities that improve skills that employers are looking for. For those of you that wish to become barristers that would include opportunities such as mooting, mini-pupillages, and volunteering with pro bono legal centres.
To find out more check out this lovely site https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/qualifying-as-a-barrister/ which gives you all the information you need to become a barrister! And wish me luck!
Posted 5 Dec 2013 by Laura
I signed up to take part in the Universities Business Challenge last month. It started off ok as the group got on well, and we started working on the first tasks and began reading the company profile we were acting for.
It was very interesting as it really did put you in the real business environment. The team were acting as a company which supplied solar power systems to countries in need of development. Unfortunately I had to withdraw from the process as my compulsory work was getting heavier so that had to take priority. This was a shame as I knew the UBC would have looked great on my CV but this is a situation anyone could find themselves in at University - extra curriculars can't take priority over the compulsory work!
Even though assignment briefs are starting to be handed out, I can't escape the fact its nearly Christmas soon! I'm very much looking forward to being at home but also I am off to Iceland for a few days with my Mum in December. I'm so excited because we are hopefully going to go husky sledding which would be awesome! Fingers crossed we will see the Northern Lights too. I will upload some photos of that trip soon...
Before I go though, a couple of those Disneyland pics I promised you -
Winter is upon us and soon all the festive London events have started - or are starting very shortly! When I moved to London I had only ever been here before on short weekend visits, so I didn't really know where to go to do things, and what there was to do in the area!
Over the Christmas period, loads of new things pop up in and around London, like all the markets! There's one on Southbank, at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, in Belgravia (just to name a few), and of course - we have our very own in Kingston! These markets can be great places to get funky gifts for your friends and families, as they are often full of hand crafted or quirky items! And of course, the majority of them serve brilliant food and drink, so even if you're too short on money to shop, you can have a browse and enjoy a pork roll and a mulled wine to warm you up!
Loads of ice rinks pop up as well, there's one in winter wonderland, one at the natural history museum and one not far from Kingston in Hampton Court! They normally cost between £10-£15 per person, but it's a great day out and you can go and have fun falling over (if you're anything like me at ice skating) with your friends!
Talking of Winter Wonderland, it's a place you all HAVE to get yourselves to! It's such a good event and is always worth a visit! It's full of rides, big and small, mirror houses, Christmas cheer and lots of food and drink! My favourite place there is a little barn bar which does live music, always worth a look! I make a tradition of going every year with my friends and we always have a great night! If you're skint (like most of us are at this time of the year!) don't worry because it is free entry, so even if you don't want to spend much money on going on the rides and into the attractions such as the circus, ice rink and ice palace there is still plenty for you to look at and do without spending a penny! Also, if you're walking there (which is always fun in Christmas, as you'll get to see all the Christmas lights) check out Harrods when you walk past, there is always mad decorations in the windows!
So, that was a short and sweet list of some things that you might want to check out over Christmas, and if you know anywhere amazing to go at this time of year, or find anywhere, give me a shout!
The Kingston University Knights Park student union bar on a fundraiser night.
Uploaded 20 Dec 2013
Sport at Kingston
Uploaded 20 Dec 2013
My Hobby - Photography
Uploaded 20 Dec 2013