Diary of a Diploma Student week 4
Will the real Slim shady please stand up
Week 4 of the Diploma in Legal Practice at the University of Glasgow was brilliant.There is now a different mind-set as the seasons change and the day seems a little bit longer. A few winter jackets were resurrected again as for a few days the threat of snow hovered over us but happily it did not come.
The week started with a look at the case-law and changes in the law in Advanced Civil Litigation.
Following on from our lectures on remedies we now focus on averment and pleadings and we looked at alternative averment such as:
Esto ; be it that the case is.
We were challenged to consider relevancy and weaker averment in pleadings and looked more at specification.
Advocate David Thomson as usual delivered a spectacular class and one which helped us all in preparation for our tutorials.
Our first piece of course work was drafting of an initial writ in a summary cause action and my tutors Julie McKinlay and Michael Heaney were both very good at discussing how we had prepared our writ and where we might have drafted differently.
It was actually amazing to think that at the beginning of the diploma the language and process of litigation seemed very complicated yet after class so many students myself included were commenting on how it now seems straightforward and totally makes sense.
In advanced Criminal Law we gained a wonderful insight into Identification parades. As a trainee solicitor it will no doubt be part of our job to conduct Identification parades and thus two solicitors came along to give us practical tips on what happens and how to conduct them.
John Paul Mowbray , well-known for being Gail Sheridan’s solicitor spoke about traditional indenification parades and advised us when they would likely take place. He discussed fairness to the accused. He emphasised the need for objections and the grounds on which we might object and that being anything from hair colour, height etc and he described the room in which an identification parade would take place and the methods of setting it up. Advocate Michael Meehan suggested that we all down load the Guidleines. John Paul looked at traditional forms of Identification parades which consisted of a line up of people that a witness would have a look at and pick out the accused.
Solicitor Andrew Phillips focussed his talk on the new technology VIPER for identification parades.This is set of video images including one of the accused and Andrew ran through all of the procedures from meeting the accused to have the image captured right through to a statement by the witness on leaving.
As I will start my traineeship in a criminal defence firm I found this lecture very useful in preparing me for a necessary part of my job.
In BEFPA we received an interesting lecture about the financial Services Act and this was very relevant to new lawyers entering the world of practice as it gave us a really good overview .
In class we discussed Solicitors disciplinary procedures and talked about practical tips that may help us when we start as trainees.
We participated in an excercise in analysing nd prioritising work and it was fun to do although I did find myself instructing as much dn delegating nearly everything on the list – wonder if this is a good thing or a bad thing ?
Brian Inkster lead the group in a full discussion of what goes on at a law practice and we talked about files ‘winking at you’ and Brian suggested that we ‘eat a frog for breakfast’ – I will of course blog about this subject in a separate post.
My corporate class on Friday was amazing and we spend 3 hours looking at transfer provisions within Articles of Association. I must admit it is an area of law that some how really does fascinate me. Looking at how to best advise new start companies and also companies looking to change their Articles.
The week ended with some course marks back from the first semester and I was delighted to receive yet another A.
With homework set for next week I can happily say that the practical elements of the course are outstanding and I hope that it will prepare me for life as a solicitor.
Thankyou for following my journey through the Diploma in Legal Practice.