Hey everyone! I just started week 2 of the BPTC and I thought I’d reflect on week 1.

So far it has been really interesting and fun to be able to apply whatever we learnt at an undergraduate/GDL level in a practical situation. For example, last week we learnt what happens when a person gets arrested – from the procedure, to what the police have to say for the arrest to be lawful, and what people’s rights are once they have been arrested.

However, whilst I have enjoyed that aspect to the course, on the other end I feel I may have underestimated how challenging it can be. I’m sure I speak for the other students that were with me because it’s overwhelming to say the least. It feels like we don’t know how to swim but we have been thrown in the sea and we are being forced to learn.  Every class is pretty much a seminar except everything we are meant to read (which can be bulky – for e.g. in one subject we had to read from 7 diff sources) feels alien and we can’t afford to come unprepared.

I’m not sharing this with you to scare you, I’m sharing this with you because I want you to know that if/when you start the course and you feel the same way, it will be natural. But just like I plan on overcoming this over the year and giving it my best, so will YOU!

Here are some tips that we were given that I feel are important to bear in mind:

  1. Study by looking at the exam structure. For example, civil lit and criminal lit are either straight forward multiple choice questions (MCQs) or single best answer MCQs. There’s no point delving into the analysis of the law like we did at an academic level – this is a vocational course, not an academic one! Focus on the main points only;
  2. Get a study planner! Set out all the dates for your exams + your Inn Qualifying Sessions dates and you’ll be able to see everything you need to do over the year. Since it’s all infront of you, you’ll even be able to tell whether you can commit to mooting activities or pro bono work;
  3. Treat this like a 9am-5pm job and you will be able to balance your time;
  4. We were told we need to pace ourselves. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Truthfully I have no idea how to do this as yet, but I will update you when I figure it out!

To everyone else in the same boat, I’m sure we can do this! Have a good week.