Learning the Law

So often do I start these posts with “Sorry, been a bit busy” and to be perfectly honest, this one would have started the same way. However, in light of the fact that all of my coursework has been handed in, and I’m now nearing the end of trimester, I do have a bit more time; before I have to start revising for my exams in about a month!  So, I’ve decided to give you a bit of an insight into why I’m so busy, between work and being back at uni.

I currently work a nine-to-five, in a solicitors office. I’ll be perfectly honest, I didn’t decide I was going to be a lawyer as I left school: this job was the first one I was offered having spent three months unemployed in Edinburgh. I was just glad to be earning some money! I quickly grew to love my job though, despite it only being a personal injury department. (Quick, get the ambulance chaser jokes out the road now!) Sure, a lot of is run of the mill whiplash stuff, but we do a bit of negligence work, which is pretty interesting.

My desk-area
I always seem to have LOADS to do(!)

My job mostly consists of general office administration: phones, filing, copying – that sort of thing. I also do a court run nearly every day (I’ve spoken about that before here), and also have to go to the bank and/or post office if required. Sufficient to say, I am on my feet a lot! I very rarely spend a whole day at my desk. It’s this job that has spurred me on this career path though.

Office to Bank
At least the route between the office and the bank is nice.

When I left school, I had accepted a place at University of St. Andrews, to study Modern History and German, two subjects I had picked on a whim. I’ll not really go into the gory details, but let’s just say that after a year and a half in that town, all I’d gained was six grand of debt and sweet fa of an education. Oh, and I suppose I did meet that girl I’m in love with(!) :P

A couple of years on from that, I’m now set on getting myself stuck into the legal profession. I’m really into news and current affairs, and I can hold my own in a debate. As I’ve mentioned above, I’d never considered law before, but having immersed myself in a legal environment, I quickly realised that this is a career that would suit me. And on top of that, I find the law interesting – and not just watching rubbish American crime drama, either! (To be fair though, I do LOVE all those shows. A particular favourite is the oh-so-queer Rizzoli & Isles)

So, I applied to get on a part-time course. I had a pretty good feeling that they’d let me on: I’ve got the grades to get into a full-time law course, and have all the practical experience too. I was a bit nervous about going back to uni, particularly after how badly it had went the first time around. Carley was really supportive though; I don’t think I’d have managed it if she’d not given me a helpful kick up the arse. To be honest, she’s very understanding generally. She knows that sometimes I have to just shut myself in my room and read about constitutional conventions, or implied contract terms, or bash out an essay at the last minute, but she’s always on hand if I need a second opinion, or a pair of “layman’s eyes”, as it were.

Folders of notes
There's a system here somewhere, I swear!

But here I am, nearly one year in – I’ve only got two exams to sit, and them I’m done for the (academic) year. It’s not quite been as hard as I thought it would be, but by god, am I tired. Between working a full-time job and having three hours of class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’m surprised I managed to fit in all my studying. I’ve done it, though – somehow – and I’m doing it well. Apart from a dodgy grade in my Criminal Law exam last trimester, all of my grades have been strong passes, and I’ve even had a couple of merit grades, too.

Essay Grade Sheet
I'm rather proud of this one - 75%!

I know I’m only a year in, but I am still really enjoying it. And I can’t wait until I am a hotshot lawyer and can make it up to Carley for putting up with my inevitable complaining that is blatantly going to feature over the next few years!

Anyway. I hope this was interesting? I guess it explains my sporadic blogging a bit more …

Later. S xx

Stacey

4 Comment

  1. LL says: Reply

    I still shudder when I think of my awful grades in my first year Criminal Law exams….

    Good luck for your two exams! I’m sure you’ll fly through them given all the studying you’ve done for the year and practical experience you’ve gained through working.

    It’s great to see that you are so invested in your legal education and career so early on – I am still enjoying my legal career a decade later and always tell budding lawyers that they have to enjoy the area of law that they choose to practise in order to have a rewarding career.

    1. Stacey says: Reply

      Thanks very much; and cheers for taking the time to comment. :)

      I’m feeling so good about it now. I get told often that I have loads of enthusiasm for the law, which is nice! I just got my last piece of coursework back, too – another merit grade to add to the pile! :D

      Yeah, I totally agree. I’m not 100% sure what I want to do at the end of this process, but I’m almost certain I’ll do something civil. I’ll probably hate PI by the time I’m done, but I find negligence cases really interesting. Who knows…!

      What area do you practice in?

      Cheers. S xx

  2. LL says: Reply

    Congratulations on the merit grade for the coursework! Keep it up and you’ll definitely be on your way to getting a really good degree.

    I specialized in derivatives law very early on in my career and after a few years in private practice in London/Tokyo, I decided to move in-house for a lifestyle change. Currently I am working for a financial institution in HK.

    Trust me, it’s a conversation stopper whenever I mention my area of specialization – so nowadays if anyone asks me what I do, I normally just mumble and say I’m a banking lawyer.

  3. […] what I do. Stace has written a number of posts about her job (court runner) and her experiences at Law School. I’ve always said that you need a stiff drink and a good few hours in order to understand […]

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