Sian's blog posts for October 2014

Confessions of a wannabe QC part 4

Oct

22

At long last, Horncastle is dead. Ok, in the strictest sense of the term this is untrue. In all likelihood he is probably sitting miserably in his jail cell somewhere far away but, inasfar as my dealings with him in my first piece of assessment, he is dead and buried never to be thought of again... and frankly, I don't think anyone was sorry to see him go. This week started with a whimper but I am confident it will end with a bang. The untimely passing of Mr. Horncastle has freed up a bit of my life that I can now give to luxuries like sleep and alcohol and socialising oh, and my new favourite thing: the criminal advocacy competition! So, from the title of this blog it is perhaps unsurprising that I enjoy a bit of legal theatrics, but the timing of the first training session for Criminal Advocacy came at precisely the right time to convince me that all this Barrister-malarkey is actually worth it. There is nothing more brilliant or thrilling or more likely to make your teeth stick to your lips than attempting to make a legal argument in front of your peers without refering to notes! I can hardly imagine what that will feel like when someone's liberty is at stake. (Insert reference to Tom Cruise cross examining Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men.) Nevertheless, the dream remains strong if still painfully distant. On the plus side, I came home last night to find my train tickets had arrived for my reunion in Nottingham in a few weeks. I can't wait to see all the people who had shared the early years of my degree and then disappeared abroad to learn languages in my final year, it's going to be like going back to the carefree days of second year once more. Then, after the inevitable hangover of a night at Ocean has cleared, I must make myself presentable enough to attend the Bar Society alumni dinner which, trust me, isn't half as fancy as it sounds if they let people like me attend. I'm still struggling to come to terms with the fact that I am old enough to be an alumnus. It's strange when the younger kids get in touch to ask advice about scholarships and mini pupillages and so, I like the GDL lot because, I'm the baby of the group and I can play at being young and inexperienced again. The relentlessness of this course has shown me that, while I always seem to be looking toward the future, I mustn't forget to pay attention to the here and now and that amongst the facebook statuses of babies and marriages (of the people I was at school with) I'm not ready to give up my student life just yet! I'm unashamedly 22 years old and determined to rediscover a bit of balance in my life, starting with clocking off early (for once) and watching some well deserved Doctor Who...

Confessions of a wannabe QC part 3

Oct

16

Catching sight of my own reflection in the train window this morning was actually quite frightening. It's official, no amount of foundation is going to hide those bags- the only remedy is sleep. I don't think I've looked forward to a weekend quite as much as this one for a long time and believe me, it's not because I have any major plans (the chance would be a fine thing) but this week has just been pandamonium! I am in disbelief that it is only Thursday. I have had several intimate dates this week with a chap called Horncastle- not as romantic as it sounds- a man appealing his GBH conviction on the grounds of human rights for my first post-graduate coursework (that came round quickly didn't it?) As my brain is currently mush and, this case note isn't technically due until next week, I'm going to do with it what Simon Cowell always does at the judge's houses round of X Factor when he is a bit stuck: I'm going to sleep on it. If nothing else, this course is teaching me that I would probably make an awful judge, I lack the patience to be given such power, I'd end up just getting annoyed with those put before me and handing out exceptionally harsh sentences... note for the future: don't get promoted. The upside of course, is the introduction of a microwave to the GDL room which has sparked some interesting suggestions for communal cordin bleu cooking: like cakes in a mug and scrambled egg and microwave pizzas, and I take this as a sign that my coursemates have bonded sufficiently that shared food as well as shared suffering is a distinct possibility on the horizon. Also, all this microwave food and running between lectures is actually doing wonders for the waist line, I no longer look at my jeans with fear and trepidation which can only be a good thing. Comedic moment of the week came when I actually managed to get locked into Freeman building having stayed late to work on Mr. Horncastle... I think it's a clever ploy on behalf of the law department to force us to work: there is no escape until you have finished. Now, that's a depressing thought to finish on. Roll on Halloween, I need a good night out, I need a costume, I need a Jack Daniels...