raising the bar

Confessions of a First Class LLB Graduate

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If you know me or if you have read my About page, you would be aware of the fact that I have just finished 1-year industrial law placement  (and when I say ‘just’ I mean a month ago). The year was exciting, filled with new challenges  and with numerous opportunities to learn and develop, both as a person and as a young professional. I met some of the most incredible people in my life, who guided me through the process and inspired me on a daily basis….

Then it all ended.

I must admit it was a rather unsettling feeling – you know, closing one chapter, without having opened the next one yet; saying goodbye to so many people that you have loved working with. I have been trying to put myself into a ‘student’ mindset ever since – it did take a while believe me.

My first week back at University has just finished, and I must admit – it does feel strange. It all seems pretty much the same – the ‘student’ spirit, the lecturing, the library. Only this time, I have changed. All of my ex course mates (apart from 2-3 who were also on placement) have now graduated, so technically, I have ‘joined’ the year below me. All strangers that is.

It is weird being a final year student, and not knowing anyone. On the good side of things though, I get a chance to meet new people. In the meantime, good job I enjoy my own company ;-)

My week was all about meeting new people and getting introduced to new subjects and theories.

In a brief review, it went like this:

Monday

I had the day off from lectures which gave me a chance to finalise my Placement Logbook (a portfolio project based on my placement year which I had to submit on Friday).

I then had a bedtime lecture in Equity and Trust (@ 19:00!!). This is one of the core subjects which I will study throughout the year and it should (according to the Unit aims and learning outcomes) provide me with

a thorough knowledge of the understanding of the principles and rule of equity and of the law of trusts

Say what? Ah well, it was difficult even for my lecturer to explain us what equity is. He therefore took a ‘historical approach’ to it, going through the historical development of equity through 900 years of English legal history. *yawns*

To make it a bit easier on you, non-law students or legal practitioners,  Merriam-Webster dictionary defines equity as a

system of law originating in the English chancery and comprising a settled and formal body of legal and procedural rules and doctrines that supplement, aid, or override common and statute law and are designed to protect rights and enforce duties fixed by substantive law

So, what equity aims in practice is to provide legal doctrines and rules which enlarge, supplement, or override the narrow rigid system of common law. I shall keep the rest of the detail from you for now, before you’ve run away!

Tuesday

Tuesday introduced me to two of my other core subjects – Protecting the environment of Europe and European Union law. 

These two were again rather introductory and went through key theories and historical development. I have however been given large reading lists to prepare for next week’s seminars, which I have been slightly procrastinating today BUT I shall get on with them as soon as I finish this post (promise!).

Wednesday

This was another day off from lecturing and I used my time to finish off my lovely Placement Logbook as I mentioned above.

I also bought some essential equipment for my desk and effective studies:

1) A set of highlighters:

These have become an essential part of my well-being during my placement year to a point where I cannot do my work effectively without highlighting throughout my papers.

(Something I have picked up from my supervisor!)

2) A diary

 Too many deadlines and not so good a memory! Plus, they’ve got butterflies on!!

I am now fully equipped with everything I need to get myself organised enough and finish my degree with a First!! :-)

Thursday

This was one of my busier  days during the week.

I had seminars in Protecting the Environment in Europe and EU Law. We had some interesting discussions on issues such as

  • What is the environment?
  • Why protect it?
  • How to protect it effectively?

(these weren’t actually as mind-numbing as they sound, honestly!)

  • What is the EU?
  • What are the positives of the EU?
  • What are the negatives of the EU?

(I did hear some interesting responses throughout such as ‘the EU is just a bunch of states put together’ – yeah right! And? )

These were followed by a lecture in my fourth and final subject – Discrimination and Human rights law, which I have decided will be my favourite one this year! We got introduced to discrimination from both the perspective of domestic law and the European Convention of Human Rights. It was interesting!

I then had a meeting with my dissertation supervisor – not to discuss my dissertation, but to sign up for the Voluntary Advocacy course which he is teaching this year. This involved putting a barrister’s wig and a gown on, to ensure I feel comfortable in them! I did look a little bit silly hence why I shall not post the picture here for the moment. I am extremely excited about this course! It will be taking place every Monday starting next week, and I will be required to wear a suit, a wig and a gown to each session! Very very exciting!!

I came back home to find my offer of employment from the law firm I undertook my placement with (which I was expecting). I am starting part-time employment with them as of Wednesday! Exciting exciting again!!

A day full of events that was!

Friday

Last day before weekend and I was feeling a little bit tired already. I had my final two seminars in the morning – Equity and Trust and Discrimination and Human Rights Law. Again some interesting introductory discussions to get us thinking about the coming lectures.

I had the afternoon off from mental activity and used it to set up this blog! I then had a nice chilled out evening of watching Friends and eating pop corn – nothing like Friday night!

Today

I spent today getting all my files, folders and books organised in preparation for what promises to be a difficult and busy year ahead.

Bring it on!

Lawfully yours,

Val

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Author: Valya Georgieva

A recent first class LLB (Hons) graduate from the University of Portsmouth with over 2 years' experience in supporting the Litigation Department of a leading regional law firm. Currently leveraging social media in search for a training contract with a medium to large corporate/commercial practice. Part time LPC student at the University of Law, Guildford.

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