Michael Edmonds, Barrister, 4 Breams Buildings and Sumeer Chaudhry, Solicitor, BAC Solicitors will be at City to talk about their career paths as well as their day-to-day work. They will speak on selecting a set, mini-pupillages, training contracts, alternatives to traditional pupillage and advocacy opportunities within solicitors' firms.
You'll get insight into life as a pupil barrister and trainee solicitor.
The second half of the talk will cover how instructing counsel and solicitor work together:
- What role each lawyer performs
- How the interaction works best/worst
- How the relationship works in an example case - from police station to the Court of Appeal
- What do solicitors look for in counsel?
- What do counsel appreciate from solicitors?
- Direct access
There will be the opportunity to ask questions of Michael and Sumeer.
This event is organised jointly by Emily and The City University Bar Society - sign up for your place!
Wednesday 4th December - 5.30pm - C304 - Tait Building, Northampton Square.
On the 5th November, Silvia Van den Bruel came to speak to our students about “Being in the Business of Becoming a Successful Barrister”.
According to Silvia Van den Bruel, many pupillage applicants are unsure as to how a barrister goes about marketing himself or herself in practice. Silvia was keen to emphasise that the days that legal expertise was sufficient to achieve success at the Bar are gone. Below are a few of the tips which she shared:
Recognise that, as a barrister, you will be part of a unique business model. You, specifically your skills and expertise, are the product. Think of, and capitalise upon, the factors which differentiate you from your peers. To this end, don’t undersell the value of previous careers and other experience which sets you apart or has helped you to develop unique transferrable skills.
Think of yourself as an entrepreneur. Have a vision of where you want to be in 2 to 3 years and a strategic plan of how you will get there. Break this goal down into more manageable shorter term targets and communicate these to the set you are part of.
When you apply for pupillage, demonstrate to chambers that you have the drive and skills needed to succeed as a self-employed professional while also asking them how they will assist you with marketing and business development. However, ensure you still take personal responsibility for selling yourself and your “brand”. Balance the time spent working with the time you spend promoting your ability to do the work.
Don’t underestimate the importance of client care. The client, as Silvia puts it, is King and should be the centre of your universe. Build and maintain relationships: you never know when someone might be in a position to help you out.
Many thanks to Silvia for a fascinating presentation which shed some light on an oft-neglected aspect of life at the Bar.
Silvia Van den Bruel is the Marketing and Business Development Manager at 11 Stone Buildings and is also a mentor in City University London's Professional Mentoring Scheme for 2013/14 which offers students the opportunity to develop their personal development and employability.
Thanks to our author James Yapp who is currently studying at The City Law School on the BPTC course.
As part of a week-long visit to City University London, Ruthann Robson, Professor of Law at City University of New York will deliver a lecture based on her new book ‘Dressing Constitutionally: Hierarchy, Sexuality and Democracy…From Our Hairstyles to Our Shoes’(Cambridge University Press, 2013). Lawbore spoke to her on the eve of the event to find out more.
Thanks for speaking to us Ruthann. Tell us a little bit about your most recent publication ‘Dressing Constitutionally…’
The book looks at all different aspects of dressing and attire, including non-attire and things like grooming and hairstyles. It looks at it from the perspective of rights and specifically people’s rights to dress or not dress in a certain way. It also looks at how different kinds of structures of government and constitutionalism have been influenced by how people dress.
You are well known for your work in the area of Sexuality and the Law but this topic is an expansion on that. What was the most interesting or surprising thing you discovered as you embarked on the research for this book?
The book actually has a lot of sexuality in it and I had already written about constitutional structures and the power of the judiciary to review different aspects of law. However, the historical research turned out to be really fascinating and it led me to discover things I really didn’t know too much about. For example, when we think of sumptuary laws during the reign of Henry VIII - like which classes of people can wear which clothes - we think of them as aiming to maintain hierarchy and keep the classes separate. While there’s a lot of truth to that, the enforcement of laws relating to dress were actually also about maintaining the economics of England and ensuring that the wool trade was profitable.
At that time, there was also a lot of patrolling around sexuality, which was surprising for me. When I think of the control on sexuality during those times, it would usually be related to women but I found that there were proclamations about how long men’s tunics could be and what they could show and not show – that was very interesting.
Is the law still having a real impact of how people dress today?
I think there are fewer and fewer direct laws, although they do tend to come back, so in the States recently, we’ve had issues around saggy pants and trying to prohibit those for men. However, we see the impact in work dress codes, in terms of both positive laws and also people being terminated or not promoted for the way they do or don’t dress. In certain spaces, like the military or in prison, there are still lots of rules.
In some ways, dress becomes kind of a code for race and class and gender but then other times it is really interesting to look at people’s style and think that a certain style would be encoded with criminality. This is something which I think has not changed at all because in the 60s and 70s, if you wore blue jeans, then that must mean that you were smoking marijuana or doing some other type of drug.
For women and to some extent men too, there is another indirect way in which the law gets involved. That is the failure of the requirement to protect women from sexual assault - there’s a lot of women blaming that goes on if someone is dressed a certain way.
What do you hope the audience at your lecture and readers of the book take-away with them?
We think that we have a lot of freedom in terms of how we dress, so one point would be that we actually have a lot less freedom than we think we do. The second is that we really need to carefully consider how we use the law. When I was reading people’s interviews about either dress codes in schools or even dress codes on the streets, they may be a quote included from the Mayor saying ‘I don’t like this or ‘I don’t think I have to look at that’. That may be true or not, but then there’s this question about whether the law should be the way that we control it, especially when we are talking about criminalising people. That is probably at the extreme end but then there are different kinds of judgements which become encoded in law, even for dress codes.
The lecture takes place on Tuesday 26th November at 6.30pm at City University London, EC1V 0HB, followed by a drinks reception. To attend, please register via the City Events website.
Ruthann Robson is a Professor of Law and University Distinguished Professor at City University of New York and the author of ‘Dressing Constitutionally: Hierarchy, Sexuality, and Democracy from Our Hairstyles to Our Shoes’ (Cambridge University Press, 2013).
The City University London Law Society has organised a panel event for the evening of Monday 25th November - featuring barristers from Matrix, Brick Court and Doughty Street chambers amongst others.
The barristers will talk about their life at the bar as well as giving information about their path to pupillage.
Where? ELG19 (Drysdale Lecture Theatre)
When? Monday 25th November @ 6.15
Open to all - no need to register!
Don't forget 'My path to a commercial pupillage' on Tuesday 26th.
Ben Woolgar will be running a session on 26th November for City Law School students - he will cover all the steps involved in obtaining pupillage at a commercial set, including choosing where to apply, the Gateway form, interviews, mini-pupillages and pre-application activities.
Clearly everyone's path to pupillage is an individual one but Ben will share his experiences and take questions from the floor. Ben completed his GDL 2012-13 and started the BPTC in September.
Ben will be starting pupillage at Brick Court Chambers in September 2014. Last year he obtained 8 pupillage offers, including 6 of the 8 top commercial sets.
Sign up for a ticket now!
The Continuing Importance of the Protection of Fundamental Human Rights at Common Law: Dinah Rose QC and Lord Hoffman – Sean Knight
The start of another term at City also means another opportunity to write about my experiences attending the various legal events throughout London. As I have begun to narrow my focus down in my own legal interests, I have also been lucky enough to attend several good discussions and events about human rights, this one above all. This latest event (23rd October) was a discussion about the importance of fundamental rights at common law, with speakers Lord Hoffman and Dinah Rose QC. Before delving into the discussion of fundamental rights at common law versus fundamental rights supported by treaty and statute, proper attention should be paid to the speakers, who lent their valuable insight to the night's event.
Lord Hoffman needs little introduction, but I will attempt to do justice to one nonetheless. Born in Cape Town, South Africa and educated at the University of Cape Town and then Queen's College, Oxford, he then proceeded to the Bar from Gray's Inn in 1964. Lord Hoffman then began his ascension into the high ranks of the judiciary, from his time in the Courts of Appeal in Jersey and Guernsey, through his position as Lord Justice of Appeal and eventual appointment as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, and many of his judgments in the Court of Appeal and as a Law Lord are those we are all familiar with.
An unconventional jurist, his propensity for challenging the norm was well exampled on the evening's discussion, and it was a pleasure to hear his views on the subject.
Dinah Rose, QC, will also be well known to those who are up to date on legal battles on rights in the UK. A barrister for Blackstone Chambers specialising in human rights, she has many well known cases in her list of achievements, including battling extraordinary rendition in the case of Binyam Mohamed. She also recently appeared for Julian Assange in his appeal against his extradition to Sweden. She is also a strong opponent of the Justice and Security Act 2013 and has spoken against it at length. Dinah is also highly regarded in other fields of law, employment law for example as evidenced by her 2012 investigation at the request of the BBC into sexual harassment and bullying practices. A more extensive list of her cases and accomplishments would encompass the whole of the article, but her page at Blackstone Chambers provides a good summary.
The Pupillage Advice Service puts on yet another must-see event, featuring Silvia Van den Bruel, Marketing & BD Manager at 11 Stone Buildings.
How to develop Commercial Awareness and market yourself in practice
When? Tuesday 5th November, 6.15pm
Where? Princeton Street, Room 13
“Being in the business of becoming a successful barrister"
Surely all it takes to become a successful barrister is to have an excellent law degree tucked under your arm and to possess the ability to dazzle the judge with your compelling advocacy? Our speaker would argue that in this day’s competitive environment, you probably need to arm yourself with a few extra tools. During this talk she will share a few practical tips and there will be time to ask any questions you may have.
Our speaker, Silvia Van den Bruel is Marketing & BD Manager at 11 Stone Buildings a leading Commercial/Chancery set. Between 2002 and 2007 she was Marketing Manager at Monckton Chambers which was nominated for ‘Best Marketed Chambers’ at the Legal Marketing Awards 2007.”
Read Ins and Outs of a Pupillage at 11 Stone Buildings. More Good than Bad on Legal Half Hour.
Open to current and prospective City Students
REGISTRATION REQUIRED - email the School Office.
A fellow BPTC student convinced me to attend, I was sceptical. I have a good voice, it projects well, I don’t mumble and I don’t get nervous; a talk about how to use my voice was pointless. Or so I thought…
Voice coaching is so much more than just about nerves or overcoming shyness. It is about breathing, enunciation, pace, tone, pitch, posture and diet!
For example, I learned that if one doesn’t pause to think, one does not pause to breathe. Breathing should be slow and deep from the stomach rather than shallow and fast from the lungs.
A speaker who doesn’t take the time to breathe properly will deliver at such a pace that the listeners would scarcely understand. Shallow frequent breathing makes the speaker sound hesitant, unstructured and possibly unprepared. Not much good for a closing speech to keep a 17 year old out of prison.
Time must be taken to enunciate words which will slow down the delivery. This helps the listener to understand and pay attention. Grabbing their Lordship’s attention is paramount for all budding QCs appearing at the Court of Appeal, the pitch is also very important (take it down for gravity or take it up for emphasis). Similarly, the tone; if it is as flat as a pancake, their lordships might start day dreaming about their holiday homes in France and that delicious crepe in the village café.
My favourite part of the evening was the various exercises. We had to exercise our lips, our tongues, our throats and our jaws. It is hard to describe what we had to do, but any nature programme featuring orangutans will give you the general idea. Putting jokes aside, the facial exercises are very important to relax and stretch the muscles, to clear the throat and to generally prepare the vocal chords for the onslaught of several hours of speaking.
Posture also has a part to play. Correct posture means standing with firm knees but not tense, feet should be shoulder length apart, and the head must be centred to the shoulders not titled to one side or the other. Slouching is rude and over casual and puffing one’s chest is seen as arrogant and aggressive.
Eating chocolate or dairy products before a speech is a huge no-no. Apparently they wreak havoc on the vocal chords.
I am no longer sceptical. Voice coaching techniques are crucial for any public speaker and I recommend attending talks on the subject at the next available opportunity.
Want to know more? Read tips from this event on Learnmore, courtesy of Imogen Proud.
Thanks to Heath Jamal, a student on the BPTC at The City Law School.
Pupillage: How the CLS Pupillage Advice Team prepared me for Application and Interview – Miranda Grell
Like many thousands of law students all over the country, for the last couple of months, I have been applying for Pupillage.
‘Pupillage’ is a word that is loaded with so many meanings, outcomes and emotions – grueling interviews, offers, rejections, ‘fitting in’, intellectual ability, euphoria and disappointment.
Despite my more advanced years and the non-traditional path that led me to this point (I am in my thirties, working full time, and was always more ‘political’ than ‘legal’), I have thrown myself fully into seeking pupillage in an attempt to try and get through what is the most rigorous and bewildering recruitment process I have ever experienced.
City Law School's Pupillage Advice Service offer a specialist team to give advice on Pupillage.
The PAS team at The City Law School have dedicated hour upon hour to reviewing CVs to help create tailored application forms, running mock interviews, mock advocacy exercises, organising lectures and Panel events with barristers and a day of lectures and advice on the bewildering process. Their advice on completing the Gateway forms helped and I was delighted when I secured a number of interviews with Chambers. Of course, that’s when the real work starts.
You can guarantee there will be a legal problem to solve but I found myself wondering; what else makes up the pupillage interview we work so hard to get?