Toxic green

August 19, 2009

We have recently been having some design work done for the site and we have been looking at different colour schemes. Green is the chosen colour. We took at look at some of the designs – impressive I thought – after a little sleep and the seeking the opinions our nearest and dearest we revisited Mike.

Too dark we said, we need something lighter.”

“Ok, sure. He said.” – [He gave us his professional opinion and justified his first choice] “select some colours you like and then let me know”

After, looking at 1000 shades of green we decided on one. Bright and vibrant more what we were looking for we agreed. Well… it appeared we weren’t exactly right. Once it was on the page we immediately regretted our decision.  “Oh God it’s TOXIC GREEN!” We donned sunglasses for a second look. It hadn’t improved.

Isn’t it funny how sometimes you can be so sure something is right, but then when you see it, see what it it really is it manifests itself into something you find repulsive. Evoking feelings you didn’t expect when you first made your choice.

I think choosing a career in law can be the same. I also, think its ok to change your mind. Law can open the door to a bunch of different careers – and the legal world is so diverse there will always be something for everyone. You can be a specialist in the law of Superyachts (contract law I suppose ?) or you could be a legal journalist in court or you could even have you own law careers website!  So my advice would be try out a load of things, experience what you want to be doing  – otherwise you will have no idea if it’s right for you. Also listen to advice; it’s not always right and sometimes you might need to tweek it a bit but it’s true, “If you want to know what’s on the road ahead, ask someone coming back the other way!”

On that note, I had better email Mike and see if we can sort out this toxic mess.



Could Legal Education take a leaf out of the PGCE route?

August 14, 2009

I was speaking to a chap last Friday who is responsible for organising admissions for the PGCE at a top UK institution. He explained to me that in order to become a teacher students must first complete the PGCE (much the same as law students obviously having to take the LPC or BVC) following their degree, however there was one key and frankly huge differencel.

The number of places available per year on the PGCE are determined by the number of jobs available within the profession…

I’ll give you a second with that.

Considering that students are now being charged upwards of £12k per pear on fees (and of which CharonQC recently highlighted will surely increase with the arrival of the Americans at BPP) not only without the guarantee of a job but also with the governing body actively dissuading people from taking such a path, something seemed a little wrong!

I understand obviously that the majority of teachers will fall under a publicly funded system and that the institutions (supposedly) are not a commercial venture, however surely something can be taken from this model for the legal profession?


“Oh hi… let’s be mates!”

August 14, 2009

Quite a lot of things irritate me; one thing that particularly annoys me is when someone you don’t really know acts like they know you. Ricky Gervias describes it well: once he was in a hotel, tired and heading to bed and some random comes running up:

Guy: “Brentyyyy!
Ricky: [What was the best this guy was hoping for] “Oh hi… let’s be mates!” he replied.

I was reading a newsletter from one of the other careers websites. The first paragraph included the following line.

“So you can probably guess my reaction when I woke up this morning to an email from a law student seeking work experience with me, which was written entirely in text speak.”

My first thought was really!? I couldn’t really imagine that happening ever, really never. I don’t know anyone… literally nobody who would seriously write a letter for work experience in text speech.

I then started wondering if this was journalistic flair to highlight the point of how important spelling and grammar is? Which is fine I suppose. Maybe it’s completely true. But it comes across to me like someone trying to get down with the kids and that annoys me a bit.

Anyway, I’m probably labouring the point too much, maybe I’m just a sensitive 23 year old…


Chewing on raw garlic and going for high fives

August 10, 2009

This evening I have been in touch with a Professor from the University of Princeton who has a fascinating focus for his research and that is the science of first impressions. We are sub-consciously (and consciously) analysing and judging people all the time, sometimes hundreds of times in a day.

It struck me this weekend as I was thinking of some articles that would fit nicely onto the site and one area of consideration was the daunting interview. Most of the articles I read on interview tips (in fact most careers advice) are just a bit thoughtless; here are a few of my favourite examples:

Do not smoke, chew gum, or eat garlic beforehand.

Wear suitable interview clothes.

Arrive on time for your job interview.

Always greet the interviewer by his/her last name and try to pronounce it correctly.

Have a good firm handshake.

Look alert and interested. Scan the room once and then keep your eyes on the interviewer.

Maybe, these are a result of real experiences; if they are then that’s a TV series in itself. I wonder how many people were turning up in fancy dress, chewing on raw garlic, staring at the interview like a psycho and going for high fives? The problem with naff advice like this, at least for me, is that it instantly dis-credits anything else they have to offer. I make a judgment, and usually decide that the article is a load of rubbish and hit the back key.

So where am I going, well what I want to say is that with a bit of thought and effort it should be possible to provide content that is actually worth reading and I hope that the article I have planned on first impressions and how we can manipulate them might actually be worth reading. I hope so, or I guess I’ll find it cited in another blog in a few months. Let’s hope not.


Trouble in the North…

August 6, 2009

The long drawn out task of finding people to check over the existing profiles has been continuing all week and thrown up a few insights I thought I would share with you. Yesterday, I had an interesting e-mail from a guy just finishing the BVC in the north of England who was less than happy with certain aspects of his time this year.

“To be honest, not a lot of people were happy with the course – me included – so I cannot really give positive feedback. The teaching itself is second to none, but [the] … management are terrible. [There are many stories…]”

Oh dear I thought. Perhaps this would make a nice topic for my blog? So I asked him for permission explaining I would keep him anonymous and that others might be interested in his story. No problem he replied. He would have been happy to speak out himself if he wasn’t worried about what might happen to him.

Now, I am sure that any Law School would welcome the opinions of their students and strive to make improvements if they felt any criticism was justified. But from the students point of view I can understand. They feel they have a lot to lose from a rant at their school. If a student has followed the traditional route then they have been in full time education for 18 years and probably have more than £20 000 in debt. There’s no way they are going to throw that all away at the last hurdle, or least until they have their final grades.

My thoughts are that Law school should want to improve themselves to be better, to give students what they pay for. Transparency is the key, a trust has to be established, so students feel comfortable airing their thoughts without the worry of what might happen.

In the end, it is very unlikely a school could or would do anything. Imagine the scandal, “STUDENT HAS MARKS LOWERED AS A RESULT OF COMPLAINT”. It would be a PR nightmare and these Law schools are businesses. So I say rant away, tell them exactly what you think! Maybe you’ll get in the papers and someone will snap you up for tenancy… or maybe they’ll think worse of you for moaning and complaining your way through, telling on the teacher as it were.

… so on second thoughts maybe you should keep quiet and let the rage boil up inside.


Beep, beep… and logic

August 3, 2009

The beep of the alarm made me jump this morning; before I knew it I was there in the office. In front of my laptop. Tap tap tap as I checked my emails.

I sluggishly got stuck in, hunting for people to help me up-date all of our profiles. It going to take a while I thought. I continued thinking… but alas no, there wasn’t a short cut. Things soon picked up after a mug of warm coffee.

The rest of the morning was filled with phone calls and some email tennis. I took at look at the newspapers at lunch time, assisted suicide still seems to be a prevalent. I’m not sure what I think. I remember hearing an interesting argument during the discussions over Diane Pretty. She, I believe, was basing her arguments of the European Convention, namely Art 2. The right to life. Mrs Pretty, or rather her Barrister was saying that if there is the right to life, then there must be reciprocal right to death. When I think about it further, I can’t fault it.

However, there is more to it than logic. This talking about someone’s life. And the main issue is not the fact that a person wants to end their life, but the very fact that someone else has to aid them in their endeavour. Tricky. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes the norm in not so long in the same way that abortion is now a part of the fabric of our society.

In the end I’m a sucker for choice, somehow I feel like the more choice I have the richer I am. But all that choice means lots of thinking… on that note I’m off to bed to mull it over.


Half way there…

July 29, 2009

I’m half way through the week and now I have the enviable task of getting all the new content for the new sections of the site. So many articles so little time, I suppose we’ll get there in the end. Although, if someone sends me another generic article along the lines of… “In order to do well in your exams it is important to begin revision early as possible and take plenty of breaks” I’ll go insane.

I’m not saying that isn’t important but I doubt there any many people who haven’t been regularly told that since year 7, and what difference does it make? I am sick of articles for the sake of filling space. It really doesn’t take that much research to explain why studying is most effective between 8am and 12pm, as the glycerine levels in the brain are higher which are required to power the synapses between the short and long term memory. That makes sense it’s logical….. I mean it would be if I did’t make it up, but you know what I mean.


The start of another week of solo coffees and training contract deadlines…

July 27, 2009

Paul has continued to make solo coffee’s in the office this week. An outrage if there was ever one. After last week we thought things would be back to the status quo. Standard office rules in my opinion.

If he keeps this up we might have to resort to making Paul toffee’s (when you add a bit of coffee to someone’s tea) just to teach him a lesson of course. The site has been busy this week with a load of training contract deadlines on the 31st. Although, I like the way Beechcrofts slying popped theirs on the 1st August for a bit of prominence I suppose.

If I were in charge of choosing a deadline I’d pop mine on the day before the other deadlines that way everyone will see it first when they scroll down the calendar 😀

Right time for bed and then chasing more content tomorrow.