Thursday, 14 August 2008


As all of you that know me, well, OK, so thats none of you, will know that I do not look anything like the dear old Julie, but looking for something suitable to demonstrate my current mindset of worried I came across this image, and what a girl she is. What a cracker.

My dad always fancied her, and now I can see why. Move over Dawn French, Julie's here.

Anyway, worried. yes, I undoubtedly am. Its this BVC business that got me all wobbly and fretting.

Hang on a mo, I need to get my thoughts back into order before continuing. That picture of Julie has me all a quiver.

Right, I am and have been for several weeks been uncertain about this BVC business. I am not sure that i am cut out for it really. The job of barrister I think I will be fine with. I have seen them at work, I have negotiated with them, been complimented by them at my sharp and quick thinking in court, had a couple of them on the run in court, (been thrashed a few times as well of course!), so the eventual job holds no fear, its just the next 2 years that has me uncertain.

Maybe despite all my blog reading I am unsure what the course is actually like. What are the classes like. Will I look a numpty?

The icing on the cake was my lovely provider, who seems better than Barmaids and Bar Boys already, has given me about 2500 multiple choice questions to get my grey matter thinking about law again. To remind me of the basics so that I can hit the ground running.

I started on Contract Law. I enjoyed that. I got good marks for it. I understood it all. So the first 10 questions. Offer and Acceptance. The Postal Rule. Easy peasy. I can do that standing on my head. offers, counter offers, silence, auctions, telex machines, Butler Machine Tool, Boots Pharmacutical, Hyde v Wrench, bring them on, I can do them in my sleep.


I am now too scared to try then next 10. I only have another 2490 questions to do and I am like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

Worst thing about it, I used my text books and still got 3/10!!!

If I thought I was worried before, I am in desperate need of a brain transplant.


Abandon all hope.

Crikey Moses.

The only good thing that has happened in the last 24 hours was finding that picture of Julie.


ps That wasn't thunder you heard earlier today, it was Dawn rolling over!


Mel said...

Oh dear. I don't think I can face MCQs or MCTs or whatever they're called. I've just spent the summer battling them!

I'm getting a bit nervous re the BVC myself, I must say what with hearing about people failing modules and all. All my friends who have taken it (in real life that is!) do say that it will be fine, better than the GDL or LPC but still pretty dull and overpriced.

Although I'm not in a position to know whether I've passed or not yet, I wouldn't worry about 3/10s on MCs yet though - I think it's the kind of thing where part of it is what you know, of course, but before you can deal with that you have to tackle the multiple choice mindset. Once you get the feel for it, because they're quite different to essays/ problems etc, then it will mean a bit more.

Unless you've been doing MCTs for the GDL in which case that would not have been reassuring at all!!

Mel said...

PS - Julie, really? Interesting! :P

Bar Boy said...

Swizz, I fear that the pre-course anxiety is getting to you. Julie Andrews, cripes !

Swiss Tony said...

Oh but she looks so vulnerable and in need of a hug.

I am not telling anyone that I also fancy the woman on the Bisto adverts!

And the Welsh bird on Gavin & Stacey (Not Stacey, the one with the tattoo of a dragon on her arm)!

Hopefully the BVC will sort me out


Bar Boy said...

"I am not telling anyone that I also fancy the woman on the Bisto adverts!"


Law Minx said...


I really wouldnt let those MCQ's get you down. You know the law inside out - you DO. And when push comes to shove, only a very little bit is ever actually involved. The key concern of the Bar Vocational Course is to hone your skills in research, and to teach you how to articulate a persuasive, cast iron argument both on your feet and on paper, as well as to provide advice and opinion. And that's it.It's not going to teach you the GDL all over again; it just requires a slightly different mindset to that of any pre vocational course in law, which takes a few days to adjust to but otherwise there is no problem!
So please, PLEASE dont worry! You are going to be absolutely FINE!!! You are NOT in need of a Brain Transplant, you are NOT a numpty or rabbitt trapped in the headlights! You will be the supreme commander of your small BVC group!! :))

Law Minx said...

(PS: Have you been to rag Geeklawyer about Julie Andrews? I am presently plaguing him with comments regarding 'singalongasoundofmusic', and am about to suggest he goes to a performance dressed as a nun!! MWAHAHAHA!!)

Android said...

I would worry about these tests. No one knows everything in detail - lawyers normally look specific stuff up when they need it. That's what you do on the BVC too. During our Opinion writing assessment, everyone was reading up on Offer and Acceptance, because it's been so long since we all done it in uni (and obviously no one revised the suggested topics before the course started :)))

You've also answered your question yourself - you do want to be a barrister, so it must be worth sticking with the BVC for the next 2 years. Who knows, maybe you'll even enjoy it!

Anonymous said...


I doubt you will be the class thikko. Believe me that would take some doing given the people you will be up against. It seems from my experience, when becoming a barrister the BVC is the teeniest cog in the wheel.

Your in a similar position to myself, that is different than a lot of other mature candidates in that you haven't given up your job etc, you won't be getting into debt and you don't need this job, you just want it. I think that has helped to make me a *little* calmer, and it should you also. I do look at my friends who have increased mortgages or given up jobs sometimes and feel awful for them.

The fact that you have done the pro bono and minis is good. Your on your way. So long as you arm yourself with the odds that there is a (at very best as the stats are different everywhere you look) 30% chance of the prize in the end then you will be in the correct frame of mind.

Obviously for those blessed with the correct academics not much else is important.

But if you *only* have an ex poly 2.1 (I don't know your academic background), and keep adding stings to your bow, your chances must increase. A lot of people in this position (esp mature students) don't do much pro bono, don't do minis, they only apply to OLPAS sets and they moan that they have so many life skills etc etc. But they still don't do Mackenzie Friending or FRU!!!

Best of Luck with it. You sound like you want this and are committed so it’s a good start.

Andro's advice is spot on you will have to dip in and out, your never going to know everything but the MCTs for Civil and Criminal are very focused. I ONLY used my manuals to study for them both by the way, and got 2 Outstanding.

Good luck!!

Swiss Tony said...

Thanks for all your comments.

I remember now when I was taught the job I currently do (All those years ago), that we were told that you do not need to know everything, but you do need to know where to go and look for the information you need.

Maybe its just pre-course jitters.

But I did need an excuse to use the picture of the delightful Julie.


The 50-Year-Old Pupil said...

The MCTs are hell but there are only two of them. Further, 90% of the subject areas are pretty predictable and people get through once they realise that you have to get your head down and really cram the time limit for serving a defence to a Part 8 claim (for example). Eveybody gets through with work, save for those with no real instinct for the law or talent for guessing. Most of the assessments you will have time to prepare for with your books open. Our only sit-down apart from the two MCTs was drafting where you were allowed a pile of books and a folder containing stuff of your choice.