Hey everyone! I know it’s been a while since I posted but it’s been a busy few weeks in between juggling university, pro bono stuff, and getting to grips with pupillage applications. However, it’s so important to give yourself a day or two (if you can afford to) and relax, as it will keep you sane, help you deal with the pressure and make you more productive when you work. So today, I took the day off to cook some nice food; catch up with some series; and finally to update you on how my journey is going so far 🙂
But before I update you, I just want to give a huge shout out to all the people who read my blog regularly and actually follow through with the advise for aspiring barristers. I am so pleased with the response I received with regards to applications for the Inns of Court scholarships and I am so humbled at the number of people who applied because of the article! It is a brave step to put yourself out there and take a chance, but you did it anyway. I am so happy for you, I wish you all the very best with it, and rest assured I will be there with you every step of the way should you need anything.
With regards to the BPTC, I think because everything in the beginning was so unfamiliar, even though it was interesting, I found it a bit it nerve-racking. But as these weeks have gone by, I have started to understand what is expected in each subject. So I wouldn’t say it has gotten easier, but because I am now familiar with it, I have just learnt how to embrace the pressure and the workload. In fact, even though I didn’t sleep for 24 hours straight this week on one day, I’m actually quite enjoying the challenge because of all the different things I’ve been able to learn. For example, I have learnt how to: draft particulars of claim for negligence claims (meaning if you want to sue someone for negligence how you write it); make an application to extend time for a defense to a particulars of claim (i.e. when you get a document that sets out why you are being sued, you can file a defense to it. If you don’t file a defense in time, you need to make an application and appear before the court to explain why you should get an extension of time); draft indictments (these are documents that tell you that a person has been charged for an offense and briefly gives you the facts as to why they were charged), and so many more interesting things! It’s so exciting because even though I went to law school for three years, if someone asked me how to sue a person my answer was always “I have no idea”. I’m finally being able to learn what I thought I would learn in law school in the first place lol!
So to everyone who will be in this boat – you too will become familiar with the pressure and workload, you too will get used to it, and i’m sure you too will learn so many new things!
But with that being said, the BPTC is all practical, and there’s no academia whatsoever. I genuinely miss being able to ask “why is the law like this?” and being able to express my opinion as to whether I agree with the law being like that or not. So this journey has taught me that whilst I will continue to pursue my passion of becoming a Barrister, I will definitely not be giving up academia. If anything, I foresee myself venturing into part time lecturing in the future. It also makes me look forward to going into practice generally because this would require me to do thorough research and analyse the law and the case, just so I can advise the instructing solicitors or parties as to what the best possible options are for their case are.
Now that I have touched on going into practice, let me now talk to you about how I have to get there. For anyone to become a qualified Barrister here, they need to get a pupillage. This is 12 months of work experience where you learn about the areas of law the Chambers specialises in, and put into practice all you have learnt over the BPTC and in law school. However, the application process for getting pupillage is perhaps one of the most daunting experience every person who applies goes through. This is because of how competitive it is to get a pupillage. Chambers often offer around 2 pupillages every year and they hire a year in advance (so I am basically going to be applying for pupillages for 2019). So as much as you may genuinely never feel the need to compete with anyone, the reality of the situation is, you are in fact competing with the best of the best for those 2 spots. How are you meant to stand out? What makes you different? These are questions I ask myself everyday, and believe it or not, I am already trying to prep answers in my head because God willing I get interviews, I will need to answer these. The pupillage applications are slowly starting to open for different chambers so it’s safe to say the next few months will be quite stressful and time management is essential. But with that being said, i have always lived by the words “focus on the end result and not what you’re going through” and i intend to continue to do this and give the applications and process my 100%!
Aside from all this, I have also decided to do some pro bono work. I am so excited because I joined the BPP Streetlaw project which is the biggest Streetlaw project in the country! The aim of this project is to ensure access to justice is not limited for people and people are educated about their rights and feel empowered! Soon, I will be visiting schools, employment tribunals, homeless shelters and prisons to educate people about their rights. For e.g. for the prisons, we will be telling the people whether they need to disclose their previous convictions to employers. I really look forward to this because I have always felt it is so important for people to know of their rights – it empowers them and gives them a platform to be able to make the right decisions.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and thank you for going through my journey with me!
Lots of love,