Diary of a Diploma Student – Little Fish, Following BIG Fish


Diary of a Diploma Student Week 14
Little Fish need all the encouragement they can get – The legal profession is a BIG PONDWhat an interesting and very fast week for the students at Glasgow’s Diploma in Legal Practice.The weather has changed here in Glasgow and the wellies have been ditched.
The atmosphere has lightended a great deal as more and more students secure traineeships.It plays a big factor in the morale of Diploma students who spend a lot of time worrying that they might not secure a training contract.

The week began for me with a brilliant lecture by Advocate Michael Meehan who discussed with us the requirement of preparation in presentaion.

Michael Meehan is a respected Advocate and his class is in awe of his many years experience as counsel. You can hear a pin drop as we all try to take in the tips and experience he offers us as we embark on our journey ourt the world of Law.
In his lecture this week he touched on types of Identification from CCTV, Live Line ups and Visual identification and we discussed corobration in Scots Law.

During the Advanced criminal classes we have been preparing for mock trials being run in class. Each member of the class takes one part in the trial and during the first one I played the part of the defence agent cross examining the crown witness and leading evidence in chief with the accused.It is really strange but the moment you put on that gown the persona of each of the students morphed into ‘a lawyer’ as we stood and addressed the judge.

Advance Civil litigation was equally as good as David Thompson Advocate focussed his lecture on the remedy of interdict.We examined in detail the remedy of interim interdict and in class looked at case law to demonstrate the historical changes inj the law by focussing on the area of ‘keep open clauses’ . In class we each had to present on a specific case looking at the ratio and discussing how the descsion had effected the law itself.

In BEFPA class on Thursday we had an fantastic lecture by Brian Inkster.Brian’s lecture focussed on IT & Legal Marketing . As my first career was in marketing spanning over 15 years and I have been involved in Business Development at www.roadtrafficlaw.com I was looking forward to this lecture this week , hoping to perhaps learn a great tip that may help me in my future life as an advocate. I certainly did.

Brian opened his lecture with a clip from The Apprentice featuring a young man Stuart Baggs announcing boldly that he was a ‘brand’ – gosh I already felt very silly indeed. As I must admit to never watching an episode of the Appentice I had absoluetly no idea who he was.The film continued with a bold young whippersnapper claiming to be a big fish in a small pond.Brian’s lecture continued to explain why lawyers need to build a personal brand from as early as possible and the best place for them to start is whilst they are students.

I was honoured to be then included in Brian’s lecture as one of three students he has chosen as examples of students making waves and creating a personal brand by using Twitter,facebook,linkedin and Quora.
It certainly was the first time I found myself in the front row of a lecture theatre and saw myself as a shining example of what my peers should do. (Thanks Brian)
The other law students Alistar Sloan and Scots Law Student are indeed shinng examples of young pioneers of new forms of communication in fact I first met Alistair Sloan in May 2010 when we were both winners of the Law Society of Scotland’s Future Leaders competition and both of us were invited along to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow to present to the Alternative Business Structure Conference.I presented on the use of twitter and Alistair presented on Facebook. Since then both Alistair and I have been Blogging, tweeting and I suppose any type of communivcation to re inforce the points we made at the conference that in the future ‘communication will be embedded in technology’
I was so impressed by Brian’s lecture that I will write a blog article just on his lecture and on the topics then discussed in class ( to follow in next bolg posting) they will of course be from a ‘students’ perspective.

Coming out of the lecture though it was surprising to see that many of the students decided to head over to a computer and set up a twitter account. Some though were not convinced and said they could not see the relevance of using the internet or buildiing a personal brand. I spent half an hour explaining to one girl exactly how to use linked in and why she should upload her CV and agreed to meet another student next week to help her learn more about twitter.

Personally the lecture was wonderful and a breath of fresh air .To be given an academic lecture in one of the world’s top 100 Universities on such a contemporary and topical subject was fantastic. I just wish that this could be taught not only to Diploma students but to Law students from day one of the LL.B

The Diploma is going really well , but just as life seems to throw obstacles at you just when you need to be performing at your best I found myself on Friday morning overcome by an incredible pain in my left foot.This is an ongoing problem I have had for a while and one which will me attending at a specialist in the next few weeks. I was grounded on Friday morning and sadly missed my Corporate class, still health comes first.

With only 8 weeks remaining on the Diploma in legal Practice the goal of leaping out of the goldfish bowl and into the big pond that is the world of Legal practice now seems closer and is a very exciting prospect.

My Diary of a Diploma student will continue until the 27th May when we celebrate our graduation ball.

I will launch My Diary of a trainee solicitor on 1st April 2011 as I join Graham Walker Criminal Defense Solicitors and I will be blogging throughout my training contract.

Thank you for following my personal journey through the Diploma in Legal practice at the University of Glasgow.

Michelle Hynes-Mcilroy
LL.B (hons)
@Legaleaglemhm

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2 thoughts on “Diary of a Diploma Student – Little Fish, Following BIG Fish

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