The Law Workshop at Inner Temple – run by BFUWI
On the 27th of June, I went to London with my friend Hasini, to find out more about law and what it means to be a lawyer. I’ve been to several law workshops before and knew little about the law, but nothing quite as huge as this! One of the things I very much loved about the event is the fact that each speaker spoke with passion. I had no shadow of doubt that these speakers were very confident in their presentation because of the breadth and depth these speakers went into.
One of the amazing things I learned is that only 35% of those who graduate from Cambridge or Oxford attain tenancy in a barristers’ set of chambers. I was quite surprised when I heard this statistic because I know how very competitive it is to obtain tenancy in chambers, as more people apply for work than there is work available. Because of this, one would reasonably expect the employers to look for the absolute best in their employees – which would be Oxbridge with at least a 2:1 – but the fact that the other 65% of tenants aren’t Oxbridge students, gives perhaps, someone a little hope in one’s path to the bar.
Another thing that this event made me think more about recently is which degree I want to study in university. I’m quite passionate about the law and I find the history of law fascinating. I think that I would enjoy a law degree if I would do one. It would also give me time to participate in mooting competitions, pro-bono and have some work experience and mini-pupillages. I am, however, very passionate in music also, and I know that I would always go for the extra mile in Music. I love playing the piano and composing music of all sorts of genres from classical to pop music. Courtenay Griffiths QC, advised us to “do the subject we love first” rather than “boring yourself to death for three years”. I agree with the first part of what he said, but I don’t agree that a law degree is boring. So this is the sort of discussions that occurred in the event during the day.
Lastly, one of the biggest questions I frequently ask myself is this: what area of law do I want to practice in? When I had a chance to talk to Richard Wilson QC, I took the chance and asked him this question. Mr. Wilson is a specialist commercial and administrative silk, however, during his first eight years at the bar he practiced as a criminal barrister. I also told him that I was torn between criminal and civil law. I know that the work in crime is quite sexy, and that a barrister would go to court almost every single day and advocate on their client’s behalf. The down side in crime is that the government cuts on legal aid every single year, and it affects the criminal bar the most! That means criminal barristers earn less every year…and eventually, who knows if the criminal bar will still exist. But I also find commercial law very appealing!
I remember doing an advocacy exercise, which was the first time ever I did advocacy, and it was an appeal case on the law of contract. Nevertheless, Mr. Wilson advised me not to think about it too much now. I’m only going into year 13 and I still have a lot of time to think. I have been advised to do two mini-pupillages in a criminal and civil set, so that I get the feel of what work would be like in each area of law. And the most important thing for me now is to focus on my A-levels and achieving the best results I can.
This workshop was one of the most useful law workshops I’ve been to! I had the chance to connect with more lawyers and link with them online. The experience and atmosphere in the hall was fascinating – I would recommend this event again, if they hopefully organise something like this in the future.