LAW STUDENTS : Are you a LAW Geek – The 5 questions quiz by Legaleaglemhm

I have a confession to make.

My name is Legaleaglemhm and I am actually a GEEK. Yes I do have an anorak , I own a pair of binoculars and can be seen making notes in my note pad

( yes I do mean paper) I also use evernote, my iPad, iphone and the cloud I am permenantly connected to the world via social media and eat sleep think and play Law in the old form and in the new style .

Does loving technology make one a GEEK?

Here are my top 5 ways to identify if you are a GEEK

1. You use social media.

2. You know what IP is.

3 You use Technology in your law studies.

4. Your mom asks you questions on Facebook.

5. You are currently scoping out the firms you would like to work at in the future on-line.

Congratulations, you are also a law geek.

Welcome !

You can follow me on twitter @legaleaglemhm

Michelle Hynes LL.B (Hons) DipLp

Legal Process Engineer





TOP TIPS for 4th Year Law students – Writing your dissertation

TOP TIPS for 4th Year Law students  – Writing your dissertation


The count down is on. We are now in September and the Autumn/fall brings something very exciting to all us legal geeks. Yes, the beginning of the academic year.

Do you remember starting first year? I bet it feels like a long time ago now. Every year as I moved forward from First year to second and second to third I swore to myself that I would be better organized. That I would have set times for study and that I would cope with the workload better.

Every single year after the initial weeks I felt one thing ‘SWAMPED”

I realized that 4th Year Law really was hard. I was determined to get through It

You will make it. You can choose the hard way ( if you like) reading and gathering all your notes and sweating and panicking or you can follow these very simple TOP TIPS I learned during my final honours year of LL.B (Hons) at the University of Glasgow.

It really isn’t rocket science but these tips worked for me.

So as you spend the last few weeks on having a lie in, going to the pub or just frantically panicking about your final year, have no fear.

Your fairy godmother is here. Get your self a nice latte and read, slowly and do.

The difference in your final honours year is that you have elective classes plus the dreaded D word. Yes, the dissertation.

Here are MY TOP TIPS for you

1. Time Management

Time management is probably the most important part of 4th year. Before you even step back into a seminar or lecture theatre, before you buy a new rucksack or even look at dissertation topics the first thing to do is make a detailed plan for managing your time.

I worked on a very simple 20 minute principle. It has been reported that the brain operates better during the first 20 minutes of reading. So structure your time in 20 minute chunks

Once the 20 minutes has ended get up, go for a walk or just switch subjects that you are reading. Read outside of Law too even if it’s just a newspaper, twitter a magazine or something unrelated.It helps to switch off for a while.

2. Plan your Work Schedule

Your dissertation is a large part of your 4th year course usually consisting of 30 credits and consisting of around 10-11,000 words.

This isn’t something you should leave till the end.

Start working AS SOON AS YOU CAN – NOW EVEN Before you start back

Do a little bit on a regular basis ( yes EVERY day) 

Decide in advance when you’re going to work on your dissertation – set aside time each week or have a particular day to work on it

Give yourself a specific task to do in that time

Do difficult tasks at the times of day you work best

Do easy tasks when you’re tired / less motivated

3. The Library is your friend  

Find a quiet spot, you know where they are and make yourself at home You will be here for a long time this year.

Law Libraries are your friend. When you start to tire there will always be someone who will come with you for a chat and coffee.

Read ahead for as many of your classes as you can. Don’t leave your reading until the day before. BE PREPARED

4. D –Day Your dissertation

Your dissertation will be a piece of work that will stay with you forever. I wrote my dissertation in 2008/2009 and It is etched in my brain now forever.

The key to your dissertation management is again Planning and I would suggest working backwards. If your final deadline is the 15th of March give yourself two days and aim to finish and hand in on the 12th.

This way you have a couple of days for catastrophes like binding,dog ate my dissertation or printer breaks.

I found having a think about firstly what area I was interested in and choosing a broad topic/ subject helped as a start.

Then I asked myself some questions. My area was Criminal Law as the broad topic. I asked my self what part of criminal Law interested me.

I decided that I would look at a question spanning different jurisdictions. A comparative question perhaps.

I wrote a few examples of questions and mulled it over ( you could be doing that now as You’ve already studied Law for three years)

Next I met with My supervisor and had a chat about my broad subject.

The next stage was narrowing my topic down. I chose to look specifically at the Law of Double Jeopardy and consider If the Law in Scotland should be changed to allow for a re-trial if fresh DNA evidence became available after an acquittal.

Whooo Hooo I Had a topic. Now to begin


Lots of people will tell you different ways of working on your dissertation. This way really did work for me.It involves three words

READ,     READ and   READ

then whilst you are reading  

Think about your methodology

Identify primary sources

Identify secondary sources, if appropriate

Make notes / mindmaps BUT DO NOT Write as you go

Organise and analyse your material

ONE WEEK Write up ( This is the easy part – people often think It is the difficult part  but I disagree. Once you have crystalized your arguments then committing it to paper is easy.) Don’t let the panic of others stop you for staying calm.

One WEEK HOLIDAY – Once it is finished.Put it down.Walk away. Don’t look at it for a week and then revisit if with a fresh mind.THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT

ASK yourself your question AGAIN

Redraft  ( if necessary) / check / proofread

Submit It / Turn It in


6. Structuring your dissertation


         Chapter 1. Introduction

         Chapter 2.  ( as many Chapters as you need )

         Chapter 3. Methodology

         Chapter 4. Results and Analysis

         Chapter 5. Discussion

         Chapter 6. Conclusion

         Bibliography & Appendices / Table of Cases

I Hope my Top Tips give you something to think about as you enter your final year of your LL.B (Hons) . Enjoy the challenge and If I can be of any help, please get in touch.


Michelle L Hynes LL.B (Hons) DipLP

Are you A BAD TWEETER ? – A Tale of a Tweeters Christmas Carol



Twas the Night before christmas and @Ebonezertweeter , a crotchety old lawyer was hard at work in his law office.

His office was cold.

It was devoid of any festive cheer and not a drop of tinsel could be seen.

He had every gadget going. He had an Ipad3, iPhone,windows phone ,tablet,PC and Mac.

He used twitter and Facebook. He blogged and tweeted for business of course.

He was a lonely and tortured soul with not a friend in the world and very few followers and no-one subscribed to his blog.

He huddled over his ipad3 with his eyes transfixed at the stream of tweets before him.

Excitement shone from his eyes as he scrolled down the many tweeters wishing each other festive greetings and he grew furious at the lack of links and tweets to blogs (especially HIS blog) about his law firm.

What on earth was happening this night of nights he thought. It was Christmas eve and the first year after the demise of his business partner and he knew how important new business was for the firm @Ebonezertweeter top law firm.

His trusted assistant @legaleaglemhm had shuffled through asking for permission to go home to her littleuns and Ebonezertweeter grumbled and snapped that she had been paid till the end of the day and was still on the clock.

All around merry staff closed their offices, wrapped presents and hugged their families, yet @Ebonezertweeter screwed up his face as his folded his ipad under his arm after locking up and scuttled into his Audi TT and headed for home.

The roads were very quiet and he relished the peace and quiet thinking that this time of the evening served him well for composing his blog.

The blue lights behind him served as an inconvenience as he realised that he was being pulled over by the police . Where can I find a road traffic lawyer at this time of night he thought and on Christmas eve of all nights. He reached for his iphone and did a search on twitter and sent a DM to @roadtrafficlaw.

Alas a reply to that DM would never come as he had never actually engaged with that fellow tweeter.

Tired and now weary he arrived back at his apartment and his mind wandered back to his blog and how he could make more money, after all that was why everyone used twitter and Blogs for ,was it not ?

He mulled over the next article in his mind too as he opened the door to his penthouse apartment and pinged on the microwave for a simple Morrison’s frozen dinner for one.

Taking his ipad3 with him to bed he settled down to scroll through the evenings tweets when to his surprise the ping of an alert broke the silence.

He had a DM.

It was the first DM of the day, in fact it was the first DM of the week and with trepid anticipation he clicked on it the message read.

@tweeterpast -
I am the ghost of Tweeters past.

That is very strange thought @Ebonezertweeter as he was not even following a @tweeterpast how could they send him a DM if he wasn’t following them

PING – another DM arrived.

I am the ghost of tweeters past and you must mend your ways @Ebonezertweeter for you have become a BAD TWEETER.

@tweeterpast said ,
you will receive 3 DMs before the night is out and you will be visited by 3 avatars.

Not scared @Ebonezertweeter promptly blocked @tweeterpast

He logged off twitter all together and promptly signed into linkedin instead.

His plasma TV mounted on the wall began to flicked and his blackberry , iphone5 and smartphone all began to vibrate.
On the screen of his 26 inch imac the words appeared via Hootsuite

Come with me @Ebonezertweeter and we shall visit the past.

The room transformed around him and he became aware of a young boy sitting in front of an old black and white tv.

The screen was black and across it a white dot was ping ponging , it was the old game he remembered from his childhood. At first he smiled, with a fond memory of playing it after watching crackerjack and news round.
Do you remember this game you played alone Eboneezer?

He could see the kids outside on their chopper bikes racing up and down and yet he sat alone playing ping and pong on his black and white set.

How sad thought @Eboneezertweeter – I had no one to play it with.

The room changed again and a solitary boy sat with again a screen in front of him .

The bleeps of the Sega mega drive echoed around the room as he watched the young chap blank out the world around him deep in concentration as to the conquering of the next round.

Again outside he saw children on roller skates and skate boards zooming up and down.

The room changed again and he saw the lecture halls at his University where he studied Law. Ah that had been the good days he thought.

All those friends, it would be impossible for the @tweeterpast ghost to scare or haunt him now.

There he was sitting in the front row with @legaleaglemhm and @Gavward and @Alistair_Sloan – Gosh it seemed like such a long time ago. How could this make him feel sad ?

Bleep Bleep , vibrate , vibrate the sounds of texts bouncing between the students was off-putting for @Ebonezertweeter

Poppycock! he thought scribbling furiously and trying not to wonder who they could be texting or why no-one sent him a text.

OK, Ok he typed as a reply on his twitter stream- so perhaps I wasn’t very popular, I was a solitary tweeter in all shapes and forms now return me to my bed I need to charge my iphone.

At that he noticed the room around him return to normal and he felt the cold floor beneath his feet.

Shaking his head and plugging in his charger he thought that a cold beer might do the trick and shake off this horrible waking dream he was having.

As he lifted the beer from the fridge he heard his blackberry vibrate.

Oh, his spirits lifted perhaps someone has RT his tweet from earlier. He shuffled across the plush leather sofa and reached for the iphone.

A tweet had indeed been RT’d but he did not recall sending that one – It read ‘Merry Christmas’, he was puzzled.

Has someone been changing his tweets?

Did he not have copyright on his tweets .

Has my account been Hacked?

He frowned, this was not good he would make a note that he will write an email to @philip_Hannah to ask about his intellectual property rights subsisting in his tweets

Then the DM came, just as predicted.

@tweeterpresent the ghost of tweeters present appeared.

I am the ghost of tweeters present- come with me and see what is really happening on twitter just now it said.

@Ebonezertweeter watched again as the room transformed.

There were lots of people standing around chatting.

He screwed up his eyes to see if he could recognise them but he didn’t know anyone.

It was a tweetup.

They were all there @legaleaglemhm  @Brianinkster  @spacechelle @Alistair_Sloan @Charonqc @Lordsugar @Duncanbannatyne @Ladygaga

Chatting and laughing and telling their twitter stories. It looked like they were all in a secret club.

Why had he not been invited he thought.

@legaleaglemhm mentioned @ebonezertweeter by name and recalled stories that horrid fellow who never RT’s anything.

He doesn’t speak or tweet or reply, how rude. I’ve not listed him on any of my lists.
The others agreed nodding their heads whilst sipping their beverages.

The room morphed back into the solitary @Ebonezertweeter just a few days prior. Late night in the office with his tweetdeck open , his ipad on and his blackberry vibrating on his desk.

He gleefully scrolled down his list of following and hit the unfollow button pausing randomly only to block anyone that he remotely did not like.

It made him grin.

He liked to follow business people so he could suck all of their information without giving anything back. @gavward was his favourite.

He lurked in the shadows watching and reading the many links posted by @charonqc and @Brianinkster and revelled in the fact that he was too important to make time to reply to these tweeters.

The room changed again as @tweeterpresent the ghost of the now showed his loyal assistant @legaleaglemhm tucking in her littleuns for the evening and firing up her old blackberry to send some tweets for the company.

Her little cat ‘tiny Alfie’ lay poorly in the corner whimperingand she worried that she would not have enough money for a powercard the next day.

Still when she opened her twitter stream @Ebonezertweeter was shocked to her bleep , bleep, bleep, as all the replies and DM’s and RT flooded in.

He was puzzled, how did that happen. Do people actually reply to others? Did they really send DM’s?

The realisation started to sink in- ah , was it because he didn’t interact with them?
Was it because he had never interacted with anyone?

How selfish he thought.

A final tweet came form the @tweeterpresent the ghost of now
I will leave you now for the worst tweets , the ones of the future.

No , No, No he cried banging his keyboard furiously.

This cant be so ! he wept. I haven’t done anything wrong surely?

It’s what everyone does.

Just then an email landed in his intray- you have new tweets. You have a new follower.

You are now being followed by the future tweeters – no twitter account has at this time been set up and all that exists is the promise of what is to come.

Oh no he thought, how bad can this get.

He looked down at his ipad and ping a new tweet had been sent by @Highlandlawyer and it had been RT’d by @legaleaglemhm.and @TheFirmonline

It read

@Ebonezertweeter is dead – RT if you like this tweet.

His screen started to flash and bleep furiously, his 30 followers started to go down and the 14000 people he followed started to flicker. Every one on his twitter stream was RT ing it- It was going viral

@Ebonezertweeter is Dead

No, No, No, he shouted and hit the off button on all his devises.

He pulled the plug from his mac and PC and he jumped under the covers of his bed. The sun was just coming up as he realised it was the end of that horrible night on twitter.

Rushing to pull open his blinds he noticed a young man on his ipod with his earphone in just below on the street.

What day is it he shouted?

Looking up the lad replied ‘ why its Christmas day’

It’s not too late he thought rushing to switch on his blackberry, ipad, iphone , PC and Mac and logging on to twitter he beamed from ear to ear. I shall remedy this he thought.

Clicking on each of the people he followed he typed furiously @Ebonezertweeter– Good morning, how are you today?
 The first to reply was @Dogslovecouture -Woof Woof merry christmas returned

He composed DM after DM to each of the people he followed and thanked them for their wonderful tweets and then he sat and made a list and compose a wonder ff list recommending all the followers to everyone.

He sent a tweet that indeed go viral and that was @Ebonezertweeter Merry Christmas 2012 everyone.

Within seconds he saw all the DM’s, RT’s, replies flooding in and he smiled the biggest smile had every felt.

His followers started to go up rapidly from 5 to 50 to 500 to 15000 and be lunchtime he broke the 20000 limit he never thought was possible.

The best DM he sent that day was to his trusty and loyal assistant @legaleaglmhm and here is what is said

Merry Christmas your Brand new ipad3 is on your desk, have two weeks off and you now have a pay rise and buy some treats for your littleuns and tiny Alfi too.

For the rest of Christmas and beyond @Ebonezertweeter was a changed man and a changed tweeter.

I hope you have enjoyed this Tale of the Tweeters Christmas Carol
 If you have please reply, DM, and of course RT

It’s what makes us all good tweeters.

A very Merry Christmas 2013

And God Bless, us everyone


@Legaleaglemhm aka Michelle L.Hynes

Guest Blog by @Catrin_Mills : New Lawyers ‘Know Thy Self’

@Catrin_Mills is an Employment lawyer, writer. Passionate about coaching and mentoring for the legal profession. Director of TheLawyercoach.
What makes a great lawyer?
@legaleagleMHM has posed this question in her excellent blog, and I’m pleased to be able to join the debate amongst such great blogging company as @UKlegaleagle and @legalbizzle.
We have heard about the importance of seeing the bigger picture and of bringing outside experience to the practice of law. I couldn’t agree more. I am always impressed by trainees who can see the broader context to a legal problem or who can see a client’s perspective. It’s not all about knowing statutes and case-law.For me though, one thing which differentiates a great lawyer from a good lawyer is not a lawyer who knows the law or who knows about business (although of course both are important), but a lawyer who first and foremost knows themselves. A career in law is a journey. You need to learn what your strengths are, and your weaknesses. What do you care about? What are your values? What’s important to you in life?
How many interviewees when asked “Why do you want to be lawyer?” will say, “Because I love the law”? … Really? I don’t buy it. I am far more impressed by a candidate who is honest about what they want to do and why.
There are so many ways to practice law these days, and so many areas to specialise in, it’s a time of opportunity for graduates. As you approach the world of work you might well just be hoping for a job when the time comes (a job, any job!) but having the confidence to see a longer term vision will make you more credible and appealing as a candidate. It gives you direction.
And if you don’t find yourself propelled into a perfect training contract, don’t worry. Spend time accumulating the valuable experience other bloggers have talked about and learning what’s right for you. Thankfully, being a lawyer no longer involves fitting into a mould. As those at the forefront of legal blogging are proving, success in law is favouring the imaginative and the courageous. It isn’t essential to have a game plan perfectly mapped out, but equally, don’t feel like you should compromise your values to follow a direction which feels wrong.
What you’re aiming for is to be true to yourself. Sound a bit fluffy? Not at all. A lawyer who has authenticity – who knows why they’re doing what they’re doing – is genuinely committed to their work because it aligns entirely with their own values. That means they will naturally exhibit that confidence and enthusiasm to their clients, colleagues and their employers. It’s a recipe for success.

Many Thanks to Catrin Mills for brilliant advice for new lawyers
you can follow Catrin on Twitter @Catrin_Mills
Read her blog here

Silk – Will it create ‘New Lawyers’ ?

Law Comix Lawyer / Artist kindly allowed me to put this brilliant cartoon on my blog?
With all the chat about the recent Drama on Tv ‘Silks’ (which I have never watched nor will have time nor inclination to watch I might add , given that all my time is spent either, taking care of my lil eagles, working in Law and studying real Law ) – I thought this cartoon fits wonderfully with my post from last week and the changing face of the Legal Profession.

What kind of Lawyer will you become?
Many Thanks to Charles Pugsley Fincher

Have a look at Charles’ Blog for more wonderful ‘legal cartoons’

New Lawyers Need to Understand ‘The Vision’ – Guest Blog by @UKLegaleagle

Guest Blog by Barry.Gross partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and @UKLegaleagle

This blog was encouraged/requested by LegalEagleMHM and is being co-hosted on her fantastic blog : Diary of a Diploma in Legal Practice student which contains many thought-provoking and inciteful blogs and the latest of which on “What makes a ‘great’ lawyer and do clients want ‘greatness’ or savings?” clearly shows someone thinking about the actual facts of the job.

Every six months we have a new intake of trainees. These trainees were generally signed up at least 2 years’ previously either in the September of their final year in University or immediately prior to their embarking on the CPE (commonly known as the Law Conversion). Every six months I find myself asking the same question:
“What do I expect from the new intake?”
You might think I am pretty daft constantly considering the same question but in reality I believe it actually reflects the constantly changing nature of the role lawyers perform. The graph above shows two important attributes that are required from lawyers today – legal knowledge and commercial acumen. Most law students probably believe (and I admit I am guessing to a certain extent) that legal knowledge is fundamental and that commercial acumen is a distant second. However, this is very wrong and here is why.

I am a transactional real estate lawyer. My clients do not care about the law they merely care not to fall foul of it, or if they do, to reduce the negative effects. My clients come to me with a vision, a transaction they wish to transact, and I am a facilitator seeking to turn their vision into reality. What matters to my client is getting the deal done. In order to be able to service them I must understand their commercial drivers, what it is they are trying to achieve. Without that understanding I cannot possibly enable them to achieve their vision. With that understanding I am more than merely a facilitator, I am someone who can help develop the vision and improve on it.

So does that mean that legal knowledge is not important? Absolutely not. I must know the potential pitfalls that could destroy my client’s vision but not so that I can then tell him all the issues but rather so that I can manage the transaction so that the vision is realised whilst avoiding the issues. Like the London cabbie – I tell him the destination and expect him to get me there in the swiftest, safest and cheapest way. Sometimes I might ask why he went a certain way but I do not want to hear from him a running commentary on why he did not go a different way.

Back to my fresh intake of trainees joining next week; which is more important – commerciality vs. legal knowledge. Well, when I started as a trainee in the 20th century(!) my first seat was with a senior property partner at Berwin Leighton called David Rhodes. On my first day David turned to me and said:
“Barry, you undoubtedly know more law than I do, but I know how to use it better”
This thought has remained with me throughout my career. Obviously David did know more law than me but that was not relevant. It is not knowing the law that is important but rather knowing how to use it.

I expect trainees to know the law in detail and, more importantly, how to be able to research and find out the law. I do not expect trainees to know instantly when the specific legal point can be disregarded as it does not affect the client’s vision. In fact, I would be very concerned if trainees and junior associates were not considering the full legal picture before telling me what they propose to advise the client. But that is where the commercial acumen comes in. I do expect my trainees to show they understand what the client’s vision is and how it is our role to deliver that vision whilst negotiating the legal minefield. They show this by telling me what advice they would give the client after going through the issues. Clients do not want academic papers; they want actionable advice. Only commercial awareness allows you to give actionable advice.

So which is more important. Both and a lawyer missing one or the other will eventually fail. A lawyer with a lack in the legal knowledge department will lose clients due to negligence. A lawyer with a lack in the commercial awareness department will lose clients due to failure to deliver the client’s vision swiftly, efficiently and safely; a bit like a bad cabbie.

Barry. Gross
You Can read Barry’s Blog here

(not connected to this ‘Eagle’ but with impeccable taste in twitter names)

Many Thanks to Barry these posts are very helpful to ‘new lawyers’

Looking back at the Diary of a Diploma Student – Is Legal Learning like Childbirth ?

Diary of a Diploma Student – The Countdown
The ‘Eagles’ Den

Its Week 7 on the Diploma in Legal Practice at the University of Glasgow and as this week began on 21st February 2011 change is in the air. Glasgow has become brighter again. Snowdrops are in bloom and tiny buds are flourishing, no I don’t mean flowers (I mean the newbie lawyers being moulded on the Diploma).
There is a definite rise in morale this week and confidence is blooming.

When I started on the course in September I looked around a room of 175 Law Graduates and saw young, shy and very worried law students yet now when I look around I see confident, focussed and sharp new lawyers.

Wow – the transformation has been amazing.

As I sat in my Advanced Criminal Litigation class watching my peers presenting I smiled and thought how proud I am at having travelled this path of learning with such a wonderful bunch of new lawyers. I also thought , Gosh these guys will be with me in court and some of them will be my legal adversaries – I better watch out.

For the legal profession I would just like to say that the Glasgow diploma students are ‘focussed’ ‘commercially aware’ and READY FOR ACTION.
The work load on the Diploma has been high so far and whilst we only have 4 weeks of teaching left there is no reduction in the amount of work require , in fact we have even more than before with course work and exams to complete before we finish. There is a final ‘push’ required by all.

The week kicked off in Civil litigation with a brilliant Lecture by Mark Ralston of Wright & Crawford on Conducting a proof. We discussed examination in chief in great detail looking at Structured questions, simple language, 1 question at a time and we looked at the structure of evidence and the cardinal rule ; If you don’t plead it you can lead evidence on it. Mark recommended we read ‘The Devil’s Advoate’ by Ian Morley (sweet & Maxwell)

In the tutorial group led by Michael Heaney I enjoyed practising examining my witness and taking him through my questions, I was first in the class to do this and I really enjoyed it. After I had led evidence my witness was cross-examined by a fellow student and we all had an opportunity to offer suggestions and tips for us all to learn. The practical exercises on the Diploma are great.

There are three ways people learn , audio by listening, visual by watching and kinesthetic by doing and these exercises help us to learn more effectively.

We have an assessed piece of work in Advanced Civil litigation due for next week and we are required to draft a note in the line of evidence and draft submissions. We will hand in written work and present our submissions orally.

In advanced Criminal litigation our focus has now moved to Appeals and Michael Meehan delivered a great lecture on the Appeals procedure on appeals on conviction and or sentence.

We looked very closely at the steps required and the time scales involved in Appeals and we focussed on the methods of Appealing and how to make sure we reply during the adjustments period. Michael led us through all of the steps from application , granting of leave to appeal and through to instructing Edinburgh agents and obtaining 4 copies of papers.

We looked at this subject even closer in tutorial groups as My tutor criminal defense lawyer Peter gilletley took us through an appeal and we considered a case and case papers relating to a drugs charge. It was an open discussion in class and Peter offered us fantastic tips and ideas for drafting our own stated case for next week.

I really enjoyed the Appeals procedure as I have attended at the High Court in justiciary with Andrew Brown QC and Claire Mitchell advocate for several Appeals whilst working at I and this part of our course helps me focus more on the procedure this weekend I am drafting a Stated case and formulating my arguments for my Appeal. I am really lucky to have seen these types of appeals argued out in the High court.

After a focus on litigation all week the BEFPA ( Business ethics and Finance) class switched our minds from court and advocacy skills to the detail of financial accounting and Solicitors Financial Activity.

Whilst I always work very hard to prepare for my classes I struggled to prepare for this one as the Diploma is in its first year and It appears part of the course is a bit undefined.

We were only given an outline of the class two days before and even then told to read over 130 pages of notes.

This was not only a problem for the Diplomates but for the tutors too.

Never the less my class with @Brianinkster was great as always as we cherry picked our way through the undefined territory and focussed on the tasks set looking at Income Tax , Tax planning , types of Finance.

presented with a scenarios My group offered a tax saving to our hypothetical client of over 2k more than the one offered as a model answer set on the course. (smarty pants are us)

My favourite elective and class this week was my Corporate class. The Corporate group is now looking at Private Equity and equity Finance and investment. Looking closely at Business Angels and Venture Capital investors in Private companies we considered in detail the steps involved in funding . We looked at confidentiality agreements, exclusivity agreements, warranties, good leavers and bad leavers Heads of terms, Exit provisions, Due diligence, business start-ups, Management Buy outs.

In class we set up a ‘Dragons’s Den type’ panel; and negotiated the terms of investment with our investors. Looking closely at the terms contained within the agreement we successfully negotiated amendments. It was great fun and I enjoyed playing the part of the investor and the company looking for investment. It was like a ‘Eagles Den’.

Every week after my corporate class I leave thinking ‘maybe I should become a Corporate lawyer’ .

It was a great week this week despite a bit of confusion around course work for BEFPA which I am sure will be sorted out for next year.

With only 4 weeks to go It feels a bit like ‘giving birth ‘ the long hard slog has past and now the intense pain begins hopefully it will be like child-birth a pain that is very quickly forgotten.Thankyou for following my Diary of a Diploma Student.
Please feel free to add a comment.

Michelle Hynes LL.B. (Hons)

What Kind Of Lawyer Will YOU become?

Its hotting up here at Glasgow’s Diploma in Legal practice.

Amidst the changing landscape that IS the current legal profession the Diploma students at Glasgow face many challenges ahead of them.

Not everyone has a traineeship yet.The morale on the course fluctuates from day-to-day with huge highs and very dark lows.

For the students (like me) who have traineeships these last few weeks of the Diploma are focussed on the finishing line with the reality of beginning life as a solicitor or in my case ( Advocate to be).

Alas that finishing line is tainted for some. Huge debts and prospects of no job or career are a reality. What surprises me is the low moral (not coming from the students) but from within the legal profession itself.
As an aspiring lawyer and the future generation of the legal professionals look stary eyed to respected legal ‘gurus’ one expects encouragement.
One hopes for motivation and promise that when we join the profession and a sign that there will still actually be one for us to join.

Nelson Mandella wrote in his book ‘ A Long journey home’ of his trials and fights in studying law and opening his first law practice Mandela and Tambo Attorneys in 1952 in Johannesburg.

The challenges were real. The fight was hard but he held something strong and focussed in his mind the fight for ‘justice freedom, goodness and love’

As the legal profession morphs into something very different before our very eyes and lawyers squabble amongst themselves with Tales of doom and gloom, of cuts to legal aid and changes to business and negativity resonate around the profession as a whole. Is this helping anyone ?
As the profession squabble and bury their heads in the sand I urge the next generation of lawyers to ‘watch carefully’ as the changes occur.

Think ahead and adapt .Learn from first year at University about ‘change’.The change is coming.

The profession does not ‘belong’ to the current lawyers the ‘law ‘ belongs to everyone.
Who’s justice is it anyway?Who’s law is it and who’s profession is it ?

If anyone on the Diploma or at any other University is disheartened by the ‘tales of woe’ lack of jobs, changes which will mean the end of lawyers then I say remember the mess today will be ours to clean up in a few years time.
As a future lawyer I have a message for the current legal profession -‘ embrace change and make the profession ready for the next generation. And help us , please.

I first read Nelson Mandellas ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ in 1995 and today as I am on the cusp of entering the legal profession myself – I removed the book from my bookcase and read.

“I realized quickly what ‘Mandela and Tambo’ meant to ordinary Africans.It was a place where they could come to find a sympathetic ear and a competent ally, a place where they would actually feel proud to be represented by men of their own skin colour.This was the reason I had become a lawyer in the first place, and my work often made me feel I had made the right decision’ Nelson Mandella p173 (Long Walk to Freedom)
I am inspired by this wonderful mans words and hope that one day I can be that kind of lawyer and say that I made the right decision too.
Michelle L. Hynes LL.B(hons)

A TOP Secret Guide for All New lawyers

A Secret Guide for All New lawyers
What you will wish you knew.

The life of a Law student is never easy. From day one you will be reading cases, planning arguments, learning advocacy skills and yet somewhere amidst the hours of reading in the library you will be expected to ‘market’ yourself.

What on earth does this mean?How Will I learn how to do this?Who will teach me ?

Surely as a law graduate you will be able to move swiftly from life as a student into the professional world of business equipped with all the skills you learn at University?
On graduation you will have:

A Degree ( Bachelor of Laws)

Great time management skills

The ability to work as a team.

The ability to critically analyse a set of facts.

The ability to find the law and apply it to the case at hand .

THIS IS IT ………………………..This is what will take you into the REAL world of law


There is something far amiss in this line of thinking.

Once you’ve handed back your gown and had the family photographs and the graduation celebration and once you have undertaken the Diploma in Legal Practice or PEAT1 or LPC – you will learn very quickly that YOU’VE MISSED SOMETHING.


You will wish you could rewind your degree and go back to-day one because here is what you are not taught at Law school.


I KNOW this because as I embark on the world of real law in the real world I look around me and see many law students who might have first class honours degrees but have focussed only on law for the last 5 years.

I want to give you a quick secret guide. Its my own tips that you can use from TODAY.

1. Set up a twitter account.
2. Link Twitter to your Facebook.
3. Set up a Linkedin Account.
4. Set up at least one blog – I have a few
5. Set up a Digg Account
6. Set up a YOUTUBE channel
7. Set up a channel
8. START connecting with lawyers ALL OVER THE WORLD.
9. Subscribe to on-line journals
10. Write for on-line journals
11. Talk to your Law Society
12. Enter Competitions
13. Join a mooting club and learn advocacy skills.
15. Google yourself –what do you find ? If you cant find you no one else will either.
16. Connect with other students around the world and learn HOW they study law.
17. BE an innovator in YOUR law school- get involved.
18. Write on areas of the law that interest you.
19. Make short video clips and post on your channels
20. Network both on-line and real life – Take every opportunity to meet lawyers.
21. Talk to people you know who might one day become your clients – what do they want from a lawyer and listen, really listen.

GET COMMERCIAL EXPERIENCE NOW – Don’t wait for your training contract.

You will not learn any of these things at LAW school. No one will show you how to do it until you find your self hunting for a traineeship and realise that if you had started 5 years ago you might have had a better chance.

I will be posting tips on all of these topics to help.

Do it and start today – It’s YOUR career.
You can reach me by email
On twitter legaleaglemhm

Top Tips : How To Use Linkedin

How to use linkedin – for Law

Ok, so you have your twitter account. You have set up your blog or (Blawg) whatever you choose to call it. What’s next you might ask??

If you are serious about building an on-line reputation for your professional life as a solicitor then start as early as you can and take the project to the next level. Every law student should have a linkedin account.

Here I would like to tell you a little bit about a professional business tool called Linkedin. What it is and why EVERY law student and lawyer should have one as part of your strategy.

Linked in has over 65 million members around the world and covers over 200 countries.

It is a business focussed network which allows you to connect with fellow professionals and have discussions.
Here is a link to Linked in

How does it work?

1. On linkedin you log in and create a profile much the same as in facebook, twitter and your blog. You can include details of where you studied, where you have worked and your background.
ALL OF THIS IS IMPORTANT as it builds up your credentials.It builds up your network and it give you even more access to legal discussion.

2. Your Photo
You should add a photograph to your linked in and remember this is a professional network when you apply for a traineeship or new legal job chances are your future employer WILL have a look to see if you have a Linkedin account.

3. Making a statement– you can identify where you are at in your legal studies in law by using your professional statement – if you are a law student then here’s where you can put it. But remember no one will blow your trumpet for you .You have to do that yourself so if you’re an ‘Outstanding and passionate legal geek ‘say so.

4.Part of the features of linked in allow people to recommend you and as you progress through your legal career this will be a good measure of what your peer think of you. Testimonials are great in any line of work and in law it is important to be respected in your profession. Recommend fellow lawyers if you can .You only need to write a small paragraph but remember to be honest.

5. Groups for me the groups on linkedin are the best features. You can search of groups of law students, legal firms or what ever area of law or life you are interested in. I was there for the birth of the Twegals (a group on Linkedin for legals) comes along and joins.

If you can’t find a group then create one of your own.

There are over 500,000 groups on linkedin.

6. Now if you have only started to get used to using twitter then a slight change of mindset is required. On linkedin you can use 141 characters to update your status but you can also answer questions and ask questions too and join discussions .You can add your twitter account to your linkedin account to update at the same time.

So why use linkedin?

As a law student you are entering a professional world where networking is very important. Linkedin helps you to validate your twitter account by providing a more detailed profile of who you are. Linkedin helps you to engage with legal professionals even whilst you are still a student.

Make yourself a cup of tea. Log off your blog and twitter and spend an hour checking out Linkedin that’s the next step.
PS you can down load Linkedin applications to your iphone,BB or smart phone or use on your PC or laptop.

Join all three together and whoo hoo – the real world of Law unfolds.

Hope you have enjoyed this short guide to Linkedin.

A word of warning everything you post will be available for any future employer to see.

Michelle L.Hynes