Tuesday, 6 May 2008

GDL in 28 days

Have you seen those massive computer books telling you that it is easy to learn Visual Basic in 21 days, or Windows programming in 28 days?

Well, I have done the GDL in 28 days!

How is that possible I hear you ask. Piece of cake. Even better than that, each of the core subjects has been done in 24 hours!

Crikey Moses.

The Graduate Diploma in Law is a conversion course to take you from a degree in anything to a degree in law. I noticed that I think its Nottingham, if you do the LPC or BVC with them you automatically get the LLB to use after your name. If you haven't already get a degree like me, you can obtain a 'Certificate of Academic Standing' from either the Law Society or Bar Council to get you onto the course.

The GDL comprises Criminal law, Tort, Land, European, Public, Contract and Equity's and trusts. You also have to do a 5000 word research project.

How did I do it all in 28 days?

Distance learning. Not for the faint hearted (I have since discovered), and between September and June you attend 4 weekends covering 4 subjects in year 1 and 3 plus the project in year 2. Each weekend is 4 days with a day on each subject. So by a simple arithmetic calculation, 4 days on each subject multiplied by 7 subjects makes 28 days of lectures.

Each day of lectures is 6 hours, split into 4 sessions of an hour and a half, so each subject is completed in 24 hours!

Don't go thinking that anyone could sit through 24 hours in one stretch though! I often found that 3 hours into a lecture only 30 minutes had passed! Its a nightmare, cramming so much information into such a short space of time, and if you allow your concentration to wander just for a second, you are lost. After a day of lectures my brain hurts. After a weekend, it can no longer function. I am temporarily unable to speak, compose any thoughts, let alone undertake the 3 hour drive home!

I will admit, in addition to the lecture weekends a lot of research, reading, and writing assignments is required, and although they suggest 15 hours a week is needed, I don't think I ever did more than 3 a week. Now I am approaching the exams I will be spending every spare minute studying something or another, but essentially its not been a difficult road, albeit tiring, slightly interesting, and more than a little gutty.

Distance Learning is great with the social life, drinks, dinners, having a laugh, but on the downside, you are pretty much removed and detached from things. The lecturers have been excellent, offering their time to help selflessly, but I have only ever thought to approach them once or twice for help. (Maybe I should have done with Equity's and trusts!)

So there you have it, essentially a law degree in 28 days!

Now I must go and lie down. Its been a difficult weekend!


Anonymous said...

My GOD, Tone, you put us ALL to shame!!!! I thought my workload was reasonably crippling but you have elevated the the study of law to a place which goes beyond the surreal!!!!!
(PS: have you thought about patenting your study method and flogging it to interested parties!?!?)

Android said...

WOW. Like Minxy said, I thought my life was tough. Being such a dedicated person, I'm sure your will fly through your exams right onto the BVC!

By the way, at some BVC providers you can even put LLM after your name ;) (although I've heard that BPP charge you extra for that).

Swiss Tony said...

LM, not forgetting that I usually work 50-60 hours a week too, it does make for a busy life!

I liked the idea of the LLM, but from what I could see you need 120 units, and the BVC will give you 60 units if done at BPP, and 40 if done at CofL. Both charge a heap load of money on top of that.

It was something I was definitely going to do, now it is a possibility. I suppose if the pupillage remains illusive it could be something to do, although I am not so sure anymore. I may try evening classes in pottery instead.

Fiona said...

I see you not only did you do the GDL in 28 days but you've mastered links on your blog. Careful now, don't over do it!

Law Girl said...

Trooper! The only way I can get through lectures is a dictaphone ao that if my concentration goes I can finish the lecture at home. You are uber-dedicated!

Lineker said...

Swiss Tony,

Congratulations on clocking the GDL in 24 days!

I found your blog whilst looking for information about the Certificate of Academic Standing.

I too am looking to start the GDL, and want to apply for a Certificate of Academic Standing from the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Can you tell me roughly what level of information needs to be included in the letter of application?

I envisaged a formal letter firstly outlining what I'm asking for, and then a series of competency-based paragraphs outlining some areas of skills such as research projects I've worked on, project management experience etc. together with a CV.

Does this sound right? How many pages was your letter?

Any information would be very much appreciated.


Swiss Tony said...


If you can email me, I will try and send you my application.

I know I have it somewhere round here, underneath a pile of papers on stuff.

I ended up getting one from the Sols and one from the Bar Council, so it can't have been too difficult!

Email adress at the top left of the blog


Eva said...

A GDL in 24 days? I just hope my parents never hear of this or they'll not be happy at the cost and amount of time my Graduate Diploma in Law course at Kaplan is taking...and you work 50-60 hours a week. You are testament to what is possible. I hope never to be up against you for a job interview. Or have you as a boss. Or work anywhere you work.