Thursday, 25 June 2009

A Call for Change?

As some readers may know, I got my results on Monday and was fortunate enough to have got a 2:1 this year, along with 60% of my univeristy. Only about 20 people received 2:2s.

Now the problem that occurs with my 2:1 is that there are people who are above me, that have consistently got good grades even a couple of firsts but not a first over all, who have the same degree class as me, which I obviously think is unfair, and then there are people such as a certain friend who failed all their exams last year, resat them, only received bare passes got four 2:1s this year, and now has a 2:1.

There seems to be a general problem, when the 2:1 category has been expanded.
I would definitely call for some reform within Universitys and Nationally. There is too much discretion placed in the hands of the examination boards (whether for better or for worse)

To take one extreme case, in order to be considered for a first at my uni, you have to normally have three firsts out of your 8 grades from the second and third year. Now one girl this year did not get a first with three firsts, but her friend did with 3.5 overall. The huge difficulty was that infact in total the girl who did not get a first had a better average total mark then the girl who got a first.

You may be thinking? What you get a first with three firsts? Or Wow thats unfair, and yes it is.

With university students all now appearing to get 2:1s, and refering to the example above of someone who did absolutely no work in their second year, had to resit then very strangely did no work in their third year, and got a better average mark than myself (still bitter) what does this mean about the status of a 2:1?

Obviously people will now start looking at transcripts, but to those professions that don't check the transcripts this seems mightly unfair, on all of the people who are much above me on the 2:1 scale, and infact quite on fair on people like me, who have people below them on the 2:1 scale, who got away without doing any work.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Le Dinner de Con

Last night was the Middle Temple Scholarship Dinner, apparently the first of its kind or so Master Treasurer thought. The evening started off in a pub just off Middle Temple Lane meeting Bar or Bust, for a quick drink, or so that was the plan, however I was quite hungover from the previous day of boozing due to it being results day.

We set off for Middle Temple for the reception in the Garden, met a fantastic Lady Bencher(the first ever lady bencher at Middle Temple), 83 still smoking, the most fantastic voice you have ever heard who knew Lord Denning (or Tom as she called him) and Lord Diplock.

We sat down for the meal, and after 5 minutes of talking I discovered that I was surrounded by commercial barristers, oh, this would certainly not assist in showing off my law of evidence knowledge. What I was most surprised about was that all the people sitting around me had gone to Cambridge, the benchers, the barristers, the students, it felt like a huge over exaggeration, however that may just have been what the Bar was like when they joined.

I overheard some students next to me talking about Criminal pupillage, and where they wanted to go, so naturally after having not a lot to say to the commercial barristers I attempted to join in. I'm not entirely sure if it was because I was trying very desperately to talk to people instead of just staring into my wine glass whilst the benchers were chatting up the pretty lady scholars, and hence not interested in the slightly jewish looking boy, but I didn't feel them as entirely approachable.

Once the barristers had left and the domas' were said (still don't know what Domas means) I had a quick chat to the criminal wannabes again, but decidely left to someone I knew who wouldn't annoy me very much and headed off to get Bar or Bust, who was only sitting next to the woman who interviewed me.

The evening ended after Bob and I picked up the most dispirited and very very drunk aspirant, who was just a bit slightly mad.

I thought the evening was good, the barristers seemed fun enough. Whilst I am not an extraordinary people person, I really do hate networking and sucking up to people I do not know, there seemed to be lots of other people doing it, or maybe they were just like me and a bit out of their comfort zone and wanted to make the most of it.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Scholarship Dinner

Is anyone else going to Midde Temple Scholarship Dinner?

I have a ticket, and am currently going by myself, but I am very scared that I will just get very drunk and roll around in the garden.

Monday, 22 June 2009



I have a 2:1...

Law of Evidence 72%
Medical Law 67% (ouchies, this hurt just a bit)
Company Law 62% (not really too bothered, ever answer was "shareholders")
Jurisprudence 56.5 %(realllllllly can't explain how annoyed I am at this mark without screaming expletives)

As I worked out on Monday I knew that I wouldn't get a 66% average to get into Cambridge. I have rung them up and told them, but it has to practically go through several people before a decision is reached. I think I may just do an MA in research with the lecturer I am currently a research assistant to(and plus its something I enjoy)

Middle Temple Scholarship Dinner tomorrow :)


Results are today, in 7 and 1/2 hours.

Well I already practically know that I haven't got in to do my masters, unless magically I was to get a 76% average from this year. Which even to my recent swotty standards seems completly inachievable and probably would be for the majority of TopFirsts that there are at my university.

If I haven't updated this posted by Tuesday, then assume that I have thrown myself infront of a bendy bus.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Presents for Lecturers

Ok, now I have been called a Swot in the past, but it is acceptable to get presents for lecturers? Or is it a tremendous faux pas that should be completely and utterly avoided?

This year I have come to know two lecturers quite well, I think they like me and I would like to show some gratitude for them teaching me (in addition to paying my tuition fees) and also helping me with extra-curricular stuff and always being very helpful with career advise (don't go to the criminal bar, is normally always repeated)

As they are both barristers, I am not sure how well it would go down. With one lecturer I expect it would be a delight (I think quite a few people are getting them something), with the other I can imagine it might be a bit awkward, as they already think I am a bit of suck up.

Advise please? Did anyone else treat their lecturers to chocolates and cheap booze? (about as much as I can afford)

I finally found out how my average grade is calculated. My law department is obsessed with giving out degree classifications based on how many of the same marks you have i.e 4 2:1s, providing other grades are ok means you will get a 2:1, you can be considered for a first if you have a minimum of three of them, and other grades are not too bad.

This means that my university will award me a 2:1 even though my average mark of the 2nd and 3rd year may be below 60%. (f'ing hope not!)

The average mark is calculated by adding up and averaging all 2nd and 3rd year grades. So I have calculated that unless I get three firsts this year, I really don't have much of a chance of getting into Cambridge. I thought that as the third year is said to count more, this would be true when it came to calculating your average grade, such as the third year counting for 60% and the second 40% but no its all equal!


Monday, 8 June 2009

Being a Swot Pays off!!

Dear Blog Readers,

Just finished my mini-pupillage at a top criminal set. Was very interesting.
The set specialises in prosecuting, so no wonder I spent 4 days with prosecution counsel and one day with defence counsel.

I shadowed very junior counsel, who all told me not to bother with the average criminal barrister warning of "don't come to the criminal Bar". They said that they love their jobs, and if you realise that you won't be earning a shit ton of money then you can succeed at the criminal Bar.

The question of solicitor advocates was brought up, some are good, some are not good so I am told, (but I knew this already) one different aspect was whether they would make good Judges?
Also how isolated some solicitor advocates are, counsel told me that when they have very learned QC's just sitting down the corridor, it would be difficult for solicitor advocates to have that same kind of access to expertise if they need it.

Though some HCA's in some major city firms will be trained by silks, it is unlikely that criminal solicitor advocates will necessary have the same kind of resources to pool from.

In other news, I have just been asked to undertake some paid research on the law of evidence!!
Of course I said yes, I am not stupid enough to turn it down, especially as it is with one of my favourite lecturers, and it will be another booster on my CV!!

I had some marshalling planned, but I never heard back the particular court I applied to. Apparently a judge has been trying to get into contact with me for a long time, but the emails kept bouncing? Career mistake no 1#!!!

Results on the 22nd June, am nervous, I need my 66%. As you all may well know I wasn't a fantastic student in my first or second years, but this year I pulled my finger out and worked my ass off!!

Best of luck to everyone who is also awaiting results!!
Have a nice boozey summer of celebrating the past three years