Lawyer In The Making is my blog which I started at the very end of December 2012. It started as a WordPress, but after growing in popularity very quickly I made the decision to make it a little more professional and so Lawyer In The Making was created. I really hope to use the tools and knowledge I have picked up from these, as well as legal events and advocacy training to help some of you!
A fan of all things crime? Then you might be interested in attending this.
You will have seen that over the last year or so I have written a couple of blog posts about Crime Live and the events that they have run. I mentioned about one in Cardiff last year. There is also a similar type of event running at The National History Museum called Crime Scene Live and they started a few dates last year/early this year and they have added even more dates.
Back to Crime Live in London…
On the 10th May between 2-5pm and 7-10pm there are two events at BPP (The Lecture Theatre 137 Stamford Street, Lambeth, London, SE1 9NN, United Kingdom). Crime Live in London is brought to you by Inside Justice and these events are open to students and the public. It will be a great insight into the ‘behind the scenes’ investigative processes of a murder investigation.
Murder Most Foul?
Brought to you by Inside Justice, the UK charity dedicated to investigating alleged miscarriages of justice the event will give you the opportunity to see behind the scenes of a murder crime scene and the investigation. Tracy Alexander, Director of Forensic Services at City of London Police, and Jo Millington, Senior Blood Pattern Analysis Expert, have a combined experience of over 45 years and are internationally recognised. Don’t miss the chance to be in the audience to watch them as they lead you through the investigative process.
Tickets cost £20.00 for an adult and £10.00 for a student (if you have student ID). For more information on age requirements or other frequently asked questions etc. check the links below.
How to book?
Interested in attending the 2-5pm session, book on Eventbrite here:
I love Instagram and I also love Instagram Stories. There are also so many lawyers, law students and law schools on Instagram – which I love!
Instagram Stories is great, it’s like snapchat but better (well I think so!).
Should law schools be using Instagram and Instagram Stories? Absolutely. It is a great way to engage with your students, prospective students, lawyers, legal companies and the local area. You also get to engage with students/lawyers/academics.
It is great for building a community and getting involved in legal news etc.
What are Instagram Stories?
They are photos, images, words, texts, polls, videos that only stick around for 24 hours and feature on your ‘story’! Originally, after 24 hours these ‘stories’ would disappear. However, Instagram have now introduced a feature called Highlights.
In ‘Highlights’ you can save your stories so they appear under categories that you have chosen and will sit under your bio on Instagram (above your usual posts) for people to view whenever they like. They are accessible 24/7 and you can add new stories to them, or remove them.
Without further ado, here are 9 things you can share on your Instagram stories:
A tour of your law school
Snippets of a law event you are running
A law school debate
A student take-over day
Student/academic staff opinions on a legal topic
Things to do in the local area
Law school news
Polls/quizzes on legal topics or your law school
Historical facts about your law school
Here are 2 law school Instagram Stories that I love:
Boston Uni Law – they do ‘a day in the life of’ with their students which is amazing to watch – plus maybe I am little bit biased but I love their content and I had the best time when I spent a day at their law school!
Boston Uni – do a weekly quiz using the poll functions and this is a great way to engage with students. They also do a weekly round-up of events (I know they are technically not a law school..but who is counting!)
Want a free copy of these top tips to save and use when it is convenient for you?
I have a guide coming for law schools on all things Instagram and Instagram Stories. So watch this space!
I also run workshops and training sessions for law schools on Instagram and these can be done in person or via a video link! If you think this might be useful, then drop me an email using the contact info page and we can arrange this!
Why not follow me on Instagram? Even if you aren’t on Instagram you can still check out people’s posts and stories via the internet if their account is public.
Law exams; the things most law students dread, as do students studying other subjects. They aren’t the worst things in the world plus everyone has to sit exams, however them seem to cause panic and worry to so many students.
Now, we aren’t (or at least I don’t think) ever going to live in a world where there isn’t some form of test/exam so for now we are just going to have to make the best of it.
With adequate preparation, confidence and belief in yourself, these exams should be fine – obviously there are exceptions to that, potential mitigating circumstances, or even just you having a bad day… but hopefully these aren’t a frequent occurrence for you.
However, that being said, here are 5 things I hate when I think of law exams.
Errors in exam papers
Now I know errors creep in to all sorts of things, no matter how well edited things are. By that I am talking newspaper articles, blog posts, books, case reports etc. From small typos to missing words, these things are inevitable at times. That’s not to say they don’t frustrate me greatly and I seem to spot them so easily.
However, when it comes to law exams, they can be exceptionally frustrating. Especially when they do impact on a multiple choice answer or a problem scenario. The wrong name being referred to leads students to second guess what should be the correct name, price, location etc. These things do have an impact and make it very hard for students to know what to do in the exam. It can have a huge impact on the way the student conducts the remainder of the exam and answers the question.
Students – before an exam
I hate that time before an exam when everyone is lingering and lurking around. I like to be as early as possible for an exam, but try and hide to avoid conversations. Those, “Have you remembered to revise this?”, “How are you feeling about this exam?” or “I’ve done 90,000 hours of revision for this exam”.
None of that is helpful to anyone. You don’t know how prepped someone is, or people’s revision style, what they prepped etc.
Students – after an exam
No I don’t remember what I put for question 65, but even if I did, neither of us can change what we put on the paper now. So you might be right, I might be wrong… but we won’t know! Plus that problem scenario we just wrote, I can’t remember specifically how much time I gave to discussing wether it was in fact an offer!
I have a pretty decent memory but I don’t want to sit there mulling over the exam I just sat – it isn’t helpful for me.
Maybe for you, chatting over the exam is helpful, but for most people I have spoken to, it makes them more anxious for the results.
The reality is, straight after an exam, you don’t truly know how you did. You may think it went well or think it went horrifically.. but that exam you thought was an absolute train wreck, might be the one you get the highest mark on!
Unless you have been told specifically what 3/4/5/6 topics or questions are going to come up in the exam you don’t know. Yes, for the last 4 years they have always written a question on Free Movement of Goods, however, this year they might pick 4 other topics.
Some people recommend learning 4 topics really well and the rest vaguely for example. This depends on your exam, your law school, how they write their exams, what is expected of you in the exam etc.
Unless you are told categorically what topics are coming up in the exam, I would be as prepared as I could be to answer any question on any topic covered in that module.
Worrying about results
Worrying up until results are released won’t change the outcome. I know it is only natural to worry about passing or failing, but you can’t change anything right now.
You don’t know whether you passed or failed. So wait until results and then focus on what you need to do after, if anything.
Failing, whilst frustrating or annoying, isn’t the end of the world. It happens to the best of people sometimes and your future career, unless it’s the last time you can resit something, shouldn’t hang in the balance on one failed exam.
Plus you don’t know you failed, and if you did, all that pent up worry and stress before results are released, won’t help you with revising and focusing on the resit. Equally, it can have a great impact on your ability to perform in any exams after that ‘potentially bad’ exam.
Good luck everyone with your exams, wishing you every success!
Now I am definitely not forcing you to do so by any means, but if you do happen to like reading my posts then I would highly recommend that you subscribe to my weekly newsletter.
You don’t get notified overtime I post, but once a week you should receive a nice newsletter containing links to posts shared from that week. It is a great way to pick and choose what you want to read, especially if you haven’t happened to randomly click on my blog in a while, or click the blog post links that are shared on my social media channels.
Every now and then you may get another email, if something exciting is happening or whatever.
I promise that your inbox will not get spammed, and I don’t share any details on.
If you would like to see what a newsletter looks like then click here, and you can subscribe on this link as well.
For ease though, type your details in here and you will automatically be subscribed to my newsletter.
Wondering where else you can find me on the Internet? Click these links:
If you have a paypal account already set up, then just use this link to pay me the £12.99 for the ebook and then I can send the download link. I will be checking on the link everyday – so you will receive the ebook within 24 hours of purchasing!
Today I thought I would share 5 of my Lawyer In The Making YouTube videos with you that you might want to check out. There will be another series of videos coming soon, I am just waiting for time to edit them and upload.
As always, I have a large list of videos I want to film but do send me an email/tweet or message on social media with your requests.
So here they are, 5 videos to check out today!
Lawyer In The Making Q&A
I guess I can’t really share a list of my own videos and not mention this one. This was the first video I filmed professionally and had the best time doing it, and the nerves settled very quickly. In this video I talk about my career, what Lawyer In The Making is all about, and also why I blog. Watch it here Lawyer In The Making Q&A Video
Get In The Lawyer Mindset | Attend Legal Events
I am a massive advocate of law students ‘getting into the lawyer mindset’ and a great way of doing that is by attending legal events. Now I know that sometimes these events are costly or at obscure times, or just not practical to attend. However, you can always follow events online, using the event hashtag or ask for a copy of the notes. Alternatively, ask if they offer a student discount on event tickets, or some people will purchase a spare to gift to someone. Whether it is a seminar on a legal topic of interest, a public lecture, an online webinar, a conference – it is really important you try as law students to attend some. Watch more on this here.
Law Students | How to use Twitter like a pro
Twitter is my go to platform for all things law. It is the one I recommend most for law students and lawyers use, whether for research, news, networking or engagement. I decided to pull together some of my top tips for law students, on how you, as law students, can use twitter like a pro – check it out here. There are plenty more tips I could share, but the video would be stupidly long!
Law Students Stressing About Advocacy?
Advocacy doesn’t always come easy, and speaking in public is a crucial skill but one that many struggle with. No matter how confident you are, everyone can get nervous and for some people/law students, nerves are there all the time. Even when you think you know your material inside out, you can still get nervous. I decided to share a few basic tips to help you here.
Are you having problems at University?
I get so many emails from law students sharing concerns they have, whether it be subject specific or problems with their law school, study methods etc. I know that studying law can be challenging at times and you really shouldn’t have to suffer alone. Equally if you are having problems at university or at home and these things are impacting on your studies then you do need to speak to someone. Your personal law tutor, dean of school, or even a tutor you get on particularly well with should be your first port of call. Speaking to someone at your university can help get the problem resolved a lot quicker, even if it is just some additional support, a deadline extension or an acknowledgement that the fact the heating is never on will be looked into! However, I am still more than happy to receive your emails and messages and try and help you where I can. Watch this video here.
Don’t forget to hit the thumbs up button on the videos, and the subscribe button!
So today I received an email and things like this always make my day, I have been nominated again for a Rising Star Award in Law for 2018. I have just filled in the “Additional Information” that they require.
I never set up my blog to be nominated for awards or win them, but it does mean the world that people put me forward for them. I never expected anyone to read my blog, let alone nominate me for awards such as this. It is nice to know that the content I put out and share helps/supports/or is just of interest to my readers.
You will remember that last year I was nominated for a Rising Star Award and then made it into the Top 10 Shortlist for Rising Legal Stars 2018 which was just amazing – and I was so proud to get that far. You can read more about that here.
I am not sure whether I will get shortlisted again, but if not, thank you all, for your ongoing support and encouragement for my blog.
By way of an update and when I will find out if I have been shortlisted, this is the time frame for the Rising Star Awards 2018:
Key dates for the awards
Nominations open: 01 February 2018
Nominations close: 25 March 2018
Additional Information deadline: 29 March 2018
Shortlist judging period: 09 – 27 April 2018
Shortlist announced and public vote*: 14 May 2018
Finalist judging period: 14 May – 10 June 2018
Shortlist celebration event: 06 June 2018
Public voting closes: 10 June 2018
Winners announced: 18 June 2018
Winners event: w/c 16 July 2018
If you know anyone in the legal profession that you think deserves to be nominated for a Rising Star Award then please do nominate them here.
I can’t wait to check out the other nominees and also see who gets shortlisted. It is always great to celebrate the achievements of others and see what wonderful things they are doing in the legal profession.
Having met Rod Reynolds at Monday Night Crime I knew I wanted to feature him on my Crime Writers Series. He was a brilliant panelist but also everyone spoke very highly of him in terms of personality but also his writing ability.
So a few tweets and an email later, here is my interview with Rod Reynolds. As always, links to books are at the bottom (just click on the book title)!
Crime Writers | Rod Reynolds
Who are you and what have you written?
My name is Rod Reynolds and I am the author of the Charlie Yates series, published by Faber. My debut novel, The Dark Inside, came out in 2015 and is loosely based on a set of real life killings known as The Texarkana Moonlight Murders, which took place on the Texas/Arkansas border in 1946. The sequel, Black Night Falling, came out in 2016 and is set in the nearby town of Hot Springs, Arkansas, a hotspot for the Mob in the 40s, and the town that served as the inspiration for their plans for Las Vegas. My third novel, Cold Desert Sky, is published in July and is set in Hollywood and Vegas, just as the first casinos were opening.
Why do you write crime fiction?
It’s what I’ve always been most interested in as a reader. Although I never really looked at labels or genres, just picking up books that interested me, I always seemed to gravitate towards crime. And one of the things I’ve learned as a writer is that you have to write what you enjoy, otherwise 100k words becomes a real slog.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
No, I only started writing in my 30s. I’d always been a big reader, but never dreamed of being a writer because, growing up on a council estate in north London, I didn’t know anyone who did anything like that. Even when I left university, I ended up working in advertising for almost a decade. It was only when I turned thirty and started trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life that I decided to give writing a try. And I loved it so much, I knew I’d found my passion.
How did you become a writer?
I took a year out of my previous career to try writing a novel. I didn’t know anything about it so I signed up for a distance learning course to get a grip of the basics. I wrote every day, working longer hours than when I was in a job – because I just loved it. I finished my first (unpublished) novel in three months and although it was rejected everywhere (I sent it to about 40 agents), I had some very positive feedback that encouraged me to try again. Then just as I was about to go back to work, I stumbled across the true life story of the Texarkana Moonlight Murders and started researching the book that would eventually become, four years later, The Dark Inside.
You undertook the City University’s Crime Writing Masters course? How did you find this? Do you recommend courses like this for aspiring crime writers?
I really enjoyed the course and found it helped me a lot in a number of ways. And the City course was the first to offer a qualification specifically in Crime Writing. But I’m very clear whenever I answer this question that doing a Masters is not a prerequisite for becoming a published author; I’m fortunate enough to have met a lot of authors at this point, and probably the minority took an MA. I think what counts is understanding that writing is a skill and it requires practice, hard work and dedication. For me, the route to that was signing up for a masters degree, but that was a personal choice; I didn’t sign up for the degree expecting to get a publishing deal out of it – I did it because I loved writing and wanted to get better at it.
What influences the content that you write? News? Books? Personal experiences? Previous jobs?
All of those things. I think most writers allow themselves to be influenced by all sorts of things – it’s part of the skill. My books are specifically influenced by real life places and crimes, but beyond that, all sorts of elements go into them. I’m always looking out for character traits in people I know to help bring my characters to life, for example.
Do you have to do lots of research when you are writing?
I’ve done a fair amount, because I wanted to nail the real life elements of my novels and make sure I knew the historical facts before I started writing. I studied history, so I enjoy that part of it, to be honest. I also had to research the places my books were set, as they were all parts of the US that I wasn’t that familiar with (apart from Las Vegas). But the key is to make sure you then draw on that research sparingly. Research should give the reader the confidence that the author knows their subject – it shouldn’t take up page after page. A little goes a long way.
Do you have a writing routine?
Not really. I have two young kids so I’m also a stay-at-home dad, so my day is structured around school and nursery runs. I do get a couple of hours each morning when my youngest is at nursery, and then it’s naptimes, evenings, whenever I can find the time. I tend to work to a target word count each day and each week, depending on what time I expect to have.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome this?
I’ve never had the kind of block you read about, where I literally can’t get anything out, but I’ve spent my share of time just staring at a blinking cursor. I’m not sure there’s any way around it other than to just write; it’s hard if you feel like whatever you get down is wasted because you think you’ll just end up deleting it, but honestly, if you can force yourself to get to that computer and start tapping away, eventually it will come. I find I have to reassure myself that nothing is ever really wasted – even if I delete it the next day (and I’ve done that plenty) it’s just part of the process.
Which authors and books do you like reading?
I love reading so there are way too many to mention. American authors have always been my biggest influence – James Ellroy, James Lee Burke, Raymond Chandler, Don Winslow and many more – but I also love reading what current writers are producing, and there’s a huge amount of talent out there right now. To pick just a few – Mick Herron, David Young, Steph Broadribb, Caz Frear, Susi Holliday, Tim Baker, Mark Hill…I could literally go on for hours, but those are some of the most recent ones I’ve read so they’re fresh in my mind.
Your first two books are part of a series, was this the intention from the outset? Would you ever consider writing a standalone book?
Originally I planned my second book to be set in the same universe but with a different set of characters – but when I got my deal with Faber, they liked Charlie Yates so much that they wanted to bring him back. Hence a series was born! So, in truth, The Dark Inside was written as a sort of standalone – and I’d have no qualms about writing another (although there are challenges to either approach).
What are your future writing plans? Can we expect another book in 2018?
Yes, Cold Desert Sky publishes in July, and I’m in the early stages of writing something very different at the moment. Watch this space.
If you could recommend just one of your books to my audience, which one would it be and why?
Definitely my first, The Dark Inside. Not just because it’s the start of the series and because everything that happens in the subsequent books stems from the events of that one, but because it was my first and I spent so long with it rattling around in my head, I think I’ll always have a particular attachment to that one!
How have you found the overall writing experience, from ideas and writing the novels, to getting an agent and being published?
It’s been a blast. I love writing, and that hasn’t changed from pretty much the first day I started out. Certainly there are highs and lows, and I’ve experienced both, and it’s a career that requires a lot of self-discipline, patience and persistence. But when it’s just me, at a keyboard, with no distractions, it’s a great feeling.
Where can people find more information out you? (Website and social media?)
You can find me on Twitter, @Rod_WR, and on Facebook. I love talking books, my own or other people’s, so don’t be afraid to @ me.
And I’m also usually at First Monday crime, the monthly event for anyone interested in crime fiction; check out the website https://www.firstmondaycrime.com/ and do come and say hello!
A massive thanks to Rod for taking part in this Crime Writers interview series. Do check out his books and also, if you do like reading crime, consider coming along to First Monday Crime.
p.s. if you have liked this interview and have some other favourite crime writers why not drop me a message and I can see if I can interview them. Or if you are a crime writer reading this, send me an email if you would like to be interviewed. Email can be found on my contact page here!
I feel like I haven’t blogged in forever… but it has only been two/three weeks. You may have seen the odd post go up, those are ones I wrote in advance and scheduled.
Not all of my posts I write in advance, some are written the day I see things or when I collate a list of news articles that are current and I want to share them with you.
I try and write a mix of content so that somethings I can schedule but others I can write and upload there and then.
Thank you so much for all of the lovely messages however, and all the people that checked in to ask where I was as they hadn’t seen me on social media much.
Having the flu sucks big time. When people used to say “you will know when you’ve had the flu, it is nothing like having a cold” – they are right! I even had a flu jab last year and that didn’t save me from catching it. It completely wipes you out and comes on so quickly, unlike a cold.
Is it bad that I totally missed being on twitter and instagram? I also really missed not being able to start conversations in my Facebook Group for law students.
I really like twitter as a platform for keeping up to date on legal news, topics, discussions and also what everyone (as well as law schools and law firms) are up to generally!
I am back, I am writing again, I am catching up on all of the things I have missed over the last few weeks and also seeing what is planned for the next few weeks in the legal world!
Now to every Chambers has a “window” for submitting your applications for mini-pupillage, but some do!
Here, however, are some of the ones with deadlines approaching. The post is littered with links to help you, from information about their specific mini-pupillages, information on how to apply and also just what that Chambers is all about.
If you find this useful, do hit the share button or send the link to your friends/fellow law students.
4 New Square
4 New Square is a leading commercial set based in London. Some of the areas of law they cover include: Commercial Chancery, Construction, Sports, Professional Liability, Commercial Fraud, Information Technology, Product Liability etc. You can read more about their areas of expertise here and just click down the list on the left hand side panel.
They offer 4 periods of mini-pupillages throughout the year. Their mini-pupillages typically are for 2 days and usually take place in specific weeks in May, July, November and December of each year. They also try to take 10 mini-pupils per week. Mini-pupillages do not include a formally assessed piece of work.
The application deadline for the May (week commencing 14th May 2018) mini-pupillage week is 16th March 2018.
How can you apply? This webpage contains all the information you need to apply, with links to the necessary forms.
Quadrant Chambers is a commercial set based in London. You can check out all of their areas of expertise here, but they include ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution), Shipping, Insolvency and Restructuring, Chancery Commercial, Civil Fraud etc.
They have a number of mini-pupillages available throughout the year. Their website states that potential mini-pupils should be at least in their second year of their degree and be expecting to graduate with a 2:1 or above.
Quadrant Chambers offer 2 day mini-pupillages which take place during the specific weeks (you can see the other dates if you click the link above). Please note the applicable deadline for your application.
The deadline for applying for a mini-pupillage for weeks commencing 12th and 19th March 2018 is the 31st January 2018.
How can you apply? If you click this link it takes you directly to their application form.
Fountain Court is predominantly a commercial set, and you can read all about their areas of expertise here.
Now the deadline for their mini-pupillage during 1st February and 30th April has passed, but the deadline for a mini-pupillage during the period 1st May to 14th July is 30th January.
How to apply? If you click this link and scroll to relatively near the bottom, you will see a paragraph which contains the link to their application form. Clicking on the link on their website will automatically download the application form.
Best of luck with applying! If you need a hand with your application forms or CVs, check out this blog post and video. Also, don’t forget that there is a huge section in my ebook ‘A Brief Guide To Being A Law Student’ on all things CVs, Cover Letters, Application Forms and Interviews. Plus a section on work experience, where I share ideas, top tips and how to make the most of the experience.