Top Legal Mentors Help Glasgow Diploma Students Polish their X Factor
Week 3 commencing the 4th of October 2010 saw all of us Diploma students walking around campus loaded up with huge folders of materials and thinking ‘Gosh’ how on earth will we fit in all this work with our jobs?
Many of us students have jobs in Law firms and some have jobs in other sectors mainly because we 1.Value our traineeships that we have secured or 2.We have to fund the course and /or 3.We have to eat.4. For some of us (and I mean me) we have to support our families and oh boy children are expensive. Thankfully having great parents and a good support network I can rest assured that my little ones have all they need.
Time management is crucial and The Big Dilemma is: Which one takes priority, the course or work?
Personally as I am funding my Diploma myself I have to earn money to pay for it which means that I have to be in the office as much as possible, but if I am paying for a course in the sum of £5700 I need to dedicate as much focus on it as possible. I start my traineeships as soon as I finish the course so I need to pass.
I have decided that I will have to focus on it all and let ‘that that doesn’t matter truly slide’(quote from Fight Club 1999)
Bang goes the housework then.
As the Diploma at Glasgow is brand new there is also emerging a brand new type of study and that is the study of ‘networking’
What many new lawyers find is that once they qualify is that it is daunting to start networking and building your own identity.
Many of the students are fresh faced and don’t have many contacts. The Diploma team have devised a brilliant scheme inviting 40 of Scotland legal professionals to become our mentors.
They are known as the Network40 and includes many Sheriffs’ and legal professionals from private practice and Public bodies in all areas of Scottish legal practice.
Eileen Paterson, Depute Director of Professional Legal Practice said “We believe that the ‘Glasgow Legal 40’ initiative will be of enormous benefit to our Diploma in Legal Practice students and ease the transition from university to practice. We are extremely grateful to our alumni who have been enthusiastic in their support of this initiative.”
Douglas Mill, Director of Professional Legal Practice added “We are fortunate to be able to draw on the expertise and goodwill of the members of the group who have been so enthusiastic in their support. We believe that this will further develop the School of Law’s links with the profession.”
Diploma students at Glasgow have the fantastic opportunity to meet with them in a networking environment, chat, introduce themselves and ask for mentoring tips. There was also a brilliant spread of soup and sandwiches and of course wine so as you can imagine – I was there.
I attended two events last week and was delighted to spend time taking to Sheriff Rita Rae and Sheriff Carole Cunningham about their experiences at the Bar and I spent some time discussing options with Austin Lafferty and other solicitors’ and Advocates who were all very keen to pass on tips and guidance to us new lawyers.
Both events were well attended and I think all of us appreciated the Network40 giving up their time to come and help us.
In an economic market such as this and the lack of traineeships out there and the fierce competition for each one, law students need that extra bit of help to polish their skills and allow us to enter the profession in a highly competitive way.
If Law firms want to find their next shining star then Glasgow Diploma in Legal Practice Graduates are taking it up a notch: we are all in training for the Legal X factor.
Course work too is starting to pick up with a Conveyancing assignment due in and preparation for all of our tutorials gaining momentum. I actually really enjoyed Conveyancing and to my surprise found the assignment to be a joy but then I am a legal geek.
To finish off the week on a high I was honoured and delighted to be invited by the School of Law to represent Glasgow University in the Annual Sheriff’s Moot this year in a mooting competition which will be held in Glasgow’ Sheriff court on the 26th of October 2010.
It is an honour to represent MY University and I hope that my mooting partner Matthew Lennon and I can bring that trophy back home to Glasgow.
By the end of the week I don’t mind telling you that I was tired and excited at the same time.
I rounded off the week by watching the X Factor on TV and thought of all the ‘stars’ on the Diploma in Legal Practice at Glasgow and wondered where their careers would take them.
Thankfully we have Douglas Mill and Eileen Paterson and not Louis and Simon Cowell looking after us.
Follow my journey to the end. See you next week