Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jumping Jessup

Jessup owns me

If I am not in the library working on the migraine that is Jessup I am at home thinking about how I should be at uni working on Jessup. Even my dreams have been pervaded with dreams of pleading tables, international law and how grossly under prepared we are.

Uni Results were released, I passed… just, actually 2/3rds of the year failed trusts but then they bell curved it and I only passed by 1%. That freaked me out quite a bit, usually I get great marks but this was a terrible experience I never want to repeat.

I know where I went wrong, I assisted in court for a few weeks full time in the pointy end of semester and worked extra days through SWOTVAC (because I was asked to). However I don’t think I would change it, the actual hands on experience was worth it.

My pitiful marks:

Trusts: Pass

Property B: Pass

Policing diversity: Pass

Crime Prevention: Credit

WTF! A credit for crime prevention? Two assessments where all I did was 2 days before it was due was look at the power points briefly, check the criteria sheet and then start bullshitting… what a joke.

Christmas was good, until I went to Mr. Ovums house and was introduced as the ‘house mate’, four years and they still don’t know, they should but they honestly don’t. Mr. Ovum plans to tell them in the next few days that should be interesting to say the least…

I have been voted onto the Law Student Society as a competitions director for 2012, if nothing else it should be lots of fun. Out of 40 something votes I got 30 something. All the people vying for the position got up and spoke for 2 minutes on why they should be elected. I had nothing prepared (why so surprised?) spoke about how much I enjoy mooting and how this excitement would come through in how I went about by position. It worked.

I find all the good things that have been happening to me a touch funny, you see these things were never supposed to happen, not to me. I am not a stellar student, I procrastinate and never sew myself being ‘one of those students’ but here I am. Trying to keep it together and not have it all blow up in my face in a spectacular manner.

Back to the mind rape that is Jessup – Obiter

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More than I can handle

The job generally is really, really good. The team I am with is both supportive and fun, could not ask for a better position. However I was given the option of being sent to a different town for a month and being ‘instructing clerk’ for a large trial. How could I say no! Even though it is the pointy end of semester and I have more that I can poke two sticks at anyway. But I like to cause myself as much stress as possible so the obvious answer was HELL YES!

I regret that. Now I have the ICC moot, Jessup, trying to write weekly for Survivelaw.com, Exam notes and preparation on top of being in a different city 4 nights a week. If work was only 7-5 or court hours it would be fine, but as I am living with the barristers I am their bitch 24 hours a day. I loathe it. There are two barristers a Senior who has been practicing for 20 years and a Junior who has been doing it for a whopping six months. The Junior is making my life a living hell it goes beyond the arrogance of the barrister and solicitor crap to a personal level where he treats me like scum. I have worked with horrible people but this douche takes the cake.

I am so eager to make both of them happy tho, I do not have any carriage of the case so in court the best I can do is hand them pens or a folder if I can find it first. Because of my almost total uselessness I am going over and above in every respect and the Junior is abusing it and me. The result is I am very, very highly strung and it is taking its toll. I have managed to leave the Senior barristers luggage somewhere that was not the unit, so he had no clothes in the morning…oh yeah I fucked up.

Then the week was peppered with other minor mistakes the Junior has blown out of proportion in a bid to get me the sack (this guy is apparently a homophobe). But the best one is where I crashed the work car into the car front of me on the way to court, to be fair it was only a bump and there was no major damage caused. However the Jnr is crying whiplash, he even had me book a doctor’s appointment for him... what a cock. The thing that really gets me is that I was sure my foot was on the break! Stupid European car, my car may be a bomb but it least I know how firm the peddle is when you break to a stop.

I hate this so much. I have had a really good run of things the past few months but everything is now taking a turn for a not-so-good. I am sure I will bounce back, I always do but I am just not feeling it right now.

There has been so much good stuff I wanted to blog about but I have not time 
I have too much to do to be writing a blog – Obiter Ovum

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

MMM the universe does like to mess with me.

About the same time as put the feelers out the got me the job at Lucifers Corner Officer I had other tendrils in other pies. The second one was never going anywhere and I never had any expectations for it. A few months ago a got an email from a work mate who knew someone who knew someone, you get the drift a very long shot... the email was about a position that may come up in the distant future.

Then two weeks ago the friend of a friend called me and told me to email the partner of a Glass Tower firm. So I did, immediately. A week went by and I had heard nothing, not a thing so I called the Barrister and asked if I should follow up. Apparently he had been out of state and I should wait a little longer as he was back on Monday. So my hopes were up again (give me a 1% chance and I WILL go for it, I am a total optimist – do I belong in the legal profession?) and Monday was a long day full of compulsively checking my iPhone.

Tuesday I tweeted about loathing the idea of another Christmas in hospitality, 10 steps further and I got a call from the partner. The interview was set for the next day however he said it was probably not what I was looking for, still he said ‘probably’, still hopeful. Expecting to fuck it up or for it to be above my station but hopeful nonetheless.

After waiting what felt like an eternity in the reception the partner rushes in takes a cursory look at my resume and asked about my availability. By some strange luck there was a full time position filled by a part time student who could not work on the days I can!

The position is as a Mention Clerk and Researcher / Brief Writer – THE DREAM LAW STUDENT JOB (for me anyway).

I got told to RUN to the courts and chat to my new boss. Yup I was told to run… I think this was his idea of fun. I can cop that. I ran.

I start tomorrow.

However the universe often charges me a price. Today my iPhone and wallet was stolen. This opportunity is so incredible having my crap stolen does not really faze me.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Interpreters in the Criminal Justice System.

Since the passing of the Criminal Code in our state there has been a right to an interpreter where a jury is satisfied the accused cannot understand the proceedings. This is all very well and good so long as it actually happens. Upon being told that many accused indigenous people who speak creole or pigeon English are not assisted in such a manner and worse yet their advocates are not invoking their right to such assistance floors me. The discussion then came to how we go about effecting change in the system. One suggestion is that until such skills have a cash value attached to them nobody would take an elective in the area while studying.

I would like to believe this is not true, however I can only think of two people who might be an exception to this rule.

The university really flogs the ‘indigenous justice’ horse, we get it on an academic level but only in a superficial way. The fact that many indigenous people are being incarcerated due to cultural linguistic differences that very people are aware of and even less actually care about is frankly disturbing. We spend so much time examining what is wrong with the system to result in overrepresentation and have very few answers that can immediacy affect change. Enforcing these rules, or creating some incentive (it appears delivery of justice is not incentive enough) to advocate the rights of these accused in this way may be one step towards change in our system.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back to pushing shit up hill.

Uni is back on and is starting to gain momentum.

Assessment is not due for a month or so but as per usual getting started early because last minute essay writing and research sucks!

Recently ran into a past Jessup competitor and they have me freaking out! I am going to have a coffee with him in a few days so I can pick his brain. Still freaking out about it.

I entered into a Client Legal Interviewing competition with a great friend (we did the first year moot together) I am feeling pretty confident about our chances, this probably means we will be total crap. Looking forward to it nonetheless, at least the preparation involved is nowhere near the epic amount that needs to be invested into a Moot comp.

For one of my subjects I need to write a reflective journal on that weeks’ topic for the next 13 weeks. The Subject is Policing Diversity. I will be posting it on here. Maybe it will generate some discussion? Or totally alienate all 5 of my readers… Hi Michael! *waves*

My old man is a cop and my policing subjects have provided hours of discussion and debate. The best has been about policing discretion and how it is used, he is convinced there is no such thing… I could not even begin to wrap my head around how he can make such a statement. For that subjects’ final assessment it was an essay on whatever policing subject I wanted. I chose police discretion, not just because it is an interesting area but was guaranteed to tick Dad off. It was only after reading about the different theories of police discretion did I see where he was coming from (and still totally disagreed). I am hoping this subject will do the same.

And now I have Trust study to do.

Reflection Week 1

Week 1 Policing diversity

When I first started to read about the topic of police diversity I was a little unsure as to what ‘diversity’ it topic was making reference to. Was it diversity within the institution of policing or the diversity of situations, people and places police come into contact with? Both areas of diversity have an impact on how police, police.
An element of policing that until recently I had not put any real thought into was the diversity of targeted policing methods such as drug squads and RBT. Without diversity within the policing model more sophisticated crime would probably go un-policed, such as cybercrime as specialist knowledge would be needed to effectively detect and apprehend the offenders.

The range and breadth of events, people and places police come into contact with on day to day biases also highlights the diversity of situations our police encounter. Where diversity within the service/force meets the broad range positions police work in is the Police Liaison Officer. An individual who comes from a minority group is made a part of the police organisation (not having the powers of sworn officers) and used to liaise with the group they are a part of on behalf of the police.

The various assortment of Liaison Officers such as Aboriginal or GLBTIQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Transgender, Intersex and Queer, even as a member of that community I am a little confused about the evolution of that acronym: may not feel that way if I was ‘Intersex’ though) is probably a good thing. However such officers make me a little nervous about the quality of the advice and mediation they would be providing due to their lack of powers and understanding of the law.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Holding myself to a higher standard – My Jessup Journey.

It is no secret that I tend to have a lower view of my academic ability. I don’t know where this has come from or how it gained such strength. If I was to go back 10 years and tell 14 year old Me I would be at University, I would not have believed it. If you were to tell me at 16 I would be at law school I would think you were full of poop.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been blessed with a very, very supportive family who have always maintained I was very intelligent, and now have a partner who states the same (in his own way). I have never really believed them and a part of me still doesn’t. In the law library I often looked at the students who were participating in the larger moots with quite a bit of admiration. These students are the smart ones, the student I would never be. I had the same admiration for the peer mentors, and I still feel that I am out of place in that group.

Someone else, someone who has no vested interest in my self-esteem, a panel of three people has nominated me to represent the University in the Jessup. I am taking this as an invitation to hold my work to a higher standard than I otherwise would have.

How did I get this nomination? Trials were held over a period of time where each person interested in the competition got to talk to a panel of three academics on a subject of their choice for three minutes. The three minute speech I gave was centred around a section of an Act that denies parental rights to homosexual couples, in that short time I explored other aspects of the Act such as the reading of the bill to illumine the context of the Act and the broader impact on same sex families. I spent about an hour practicing in the park into my iPhone and did not use any notes. The other people trying out talked about topics that were more personal and not in any way law related. I also wore a suit; I only saw a few others who did the same. When I walked out of the room I was sure I had screwed it up and would not get onto the team for a national mooting competition that I was applying for. I was totally bummed out.

I think the combination of attire and topic choice is why I was chosen. I hope I do not disappoint.

After the initial elation of finding out I will be on the Jessup team the gravity of what this means started to weigh down on me. I am not smart enough to do this! Why have they chosen me? Surely I am going to let them down by being incompetent. I have decided to put these thoughts aside and give it everything I have, if I fail it will not be because I left anything to give.

I believe I finally understand the meaning of fear of failure, for me it is the fear of putting everything you have to give into something and still failing. The fear the very you have best is still below par.

Because of this fear I have thrown myself into mooting, international law and the Jessup in the only way I know how. To become obsessive about it, I have a long history of being totally obsessed with useless things. There has been a transition in recent years towards more useful obsessions (such as becoming a law student). I have hired out the recordings of the Jessup finals for the last 4 years and I am watching them more than once or twice. I have bought more mooting text books and have devoured them (another strange theme in my life is to explore and understand my world through books). When they become available I am going to purchase the international law study guide and text book and work my way through it, if I am going to pin the tail on the donkey I should probably know what a donkey looks like.

Let the obsession begin – Obiter.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Umm...Friking WOW!!

In the try outs for the different moots (outside of the just the uni comps) I only ticked the box for one HUGE moot beacuase 'hey, can't hurt'. I honestly believed there was 0, Zero, Nill, Null, None, Zip chance of being considered for that particular moot. I can't believe it. I have been nominated to represent my Uni in the Jessup Moot. The Ganddaddy of international moots.

I am so excited right this second, however I am well aware I have some seriously crappy times ahead with this moot...

Exams:

Property Law A
I think I did OK. Only time will tell.

Equity
Loved the subject, the exam was pretty good. again only time will tell

Other Subject
This subject was multipule choice, need I say more?

Can't sit still, what an amazing opportunity - Obiter

Monday, June 6, 2011

Exam time stress

I am up to my ass in exam prep.

So I am just going to repost one of my articles from Survivelaw.com, beucase I am just that lazy and there are a few people who read the blog but not the site (odd that). This post cracked 1,750 'likes'. THANKS GUYS!!!!

Here’s some handy advice for those unfortunate enough to live with a law student during exam time. Admit it, we’re not the friendliest when assessment crunch time is bearing down on us!
Coffee
Always ensure there is coffee in the house, particularly at this time of the semester. Be warned if at 4am in the morning Your Law Student (YLS) goes to make a coffee and there is none left, they may decide to carry out multiple acts of battery (law student for ‘mess you up’) on you while you’re asleep. Drink the last tiny bit of milk at your own risk.

Silence
As you would have witnessed, we like quiet while we study. If you have come from the other side of the house, opened the door and said, ‘don’t mean to bother you’, then clearly you did mean to bother us. Get lost. Now expect to be assaulted with colourful verbal abuse. Oh, and our textbooks are weapons of mass bludgeoning.

Tears
YLS is under immense pressure. Yes Ps get degrees, but if you want YLS to be a highly paid lawyer (as they no doubt do) only the best marks will suffice. So naturally they will be cramming 3 months of legal content into their tired and overworked brain. At this point if YLS makes a comment about anything, just agree. YLS is facing serious doubts about their intelligence and their reasons for going to law school.

Don’t make it worse for them by arguing, because ‘damn it they are law students and know what they are talking about’ (even if they have no idea). Usually YLS will rise to your challenge; during exam time anything that may be taken as an attack on their intelligence may very well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. You don’t really want to have to clean that mess up, do you?

Was this advice a little too late? Have you upset YLS?
Don’t stress, one quick way to make them happy is to buy them some stationery! Ever noticed how YLS’s desk looks like a rainbow had a hard night then threw up all over the desk? There are highlighters, post-it notes and sticky tabs of every size and colour. This is because stationery makes us happy. As an aside, a birthday party thrown at Office Works would be awesome, like a law student equivalent of a child’s McDonald’s party. Toss some fluoro stationery in their direction and you are likely to be forgiven.

A Massive thanks to my editor who turns my ramble in somthing worth reading (mostly). Also click here to read more of my stuff. I try to write once a week, explaining why I am posting so little lately

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mooting and 'Brain Gold'

Today was the semi-finals of the Jr Moot, we lost. To get to the semi-finals we beat 16 other teams. I feel O.K about this. Still a bit pissy I did not make it to the finals but at least we made it past the first round unlike last year.

Both in the first round and in the semi-final I got the same feedback - SLOW DOWN. I am quite sure until the day I die I will be told to 'slow down', I keep trying it's just my slow is most peoples fast. Again I was told I have great 'presence in the court room' whatever that means (probably because I am tall and broad), in both rounds I was told I was the best 'mooter' in the room... so why am I not at the finals...? On the bright side this time I did not forget co-councils name only worked off bullet points and knew the law/facts pretty bloody well.

I may say never again, a bit like when you go on a bender and wake up feeling like rat shit but just like drinking when the opportunity presents again I will grab it with both hands. The past 8 days have been a freaking nightmare I lived and breathed the cases, all the chefs at work knew hoe sections 7 and 8 of the Criminal Code worked by the end of last week just from listening to me talk to myself. My house is falling apart because I did not care about the stack of dishes a mile high (to be fair I gave up on house work in about week 5 - we are in week 11), there are dust bunnies the size of your fist rolling around the place as I type.

Mr Ovum and I are in the middle of a fight. I never ever let him proof anything I write. Ever. As part of the exchange process I have to write a one page essay, this is the first essay he has had any say in, in over two years. It does not end well as he is 100% confident anything that comes from his brain in gold, I have coined it as 'Brain Gold'. When I mention 'Brain Gold' it just gets worse. But to hell with it, I am a reasonably successful third year law student, when I put my mind to it my view is just as valid as his... and this is where the fight starts. To be fair I have had months to do this and I am doing it the night before it is due, this just stresses the poor man out.

Time to do some word smithing - Obiter Ovum

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I did this to myslef. I did this to myself. I did this to myself

The moot problem came out. It just had to be a criminal case didn't it?! Torts I could ace, Contracts I would deal with, Property I would survive but Criminal, that is just cruel.

I have a love hate relationship with the criminal code, it has been like that since first semester last year. On the other hand this time I actually care about the issues and I am probably learning a whole lot more about the issues than I did in a very, very superficial way when I was actually getting marked on the subject.

When I read the problem I had little panic attacks that went a little like this.

Good Law Student Obiter: This is great, see a problem get overwhelmed then work your way through it bit by bit. What a great experience.

Bad Law Student Obiter: SH*T! what have you done? you have all this work to do without this crap to add to it. Anyhow your barely smart enough to bluff your way through classes, what do you think is going to happen when your under the spot light being quizzed on stuff your too dense to wrap your head around?

Good Law Student Obiter: Well on the weekend you read an entire book on mooting skills. Between the book and what you learned last time it has to be better. You will be more prepared and under control. GO TEAM!

Bad Law Student Obiter: Just shut the hell up! do you know what you got yourself into? Remember last year? First question from the bench 'what is conversion' and you honestly had no idea...none. Your screwed.

Good Law Student Obiter: Rah, Rah, Rah GO TEAM! Because of last year you will never forget that conversion is the dealing with goods in a manner inconsistent with the rights of the true owner!

Bad Law Student: Misery loves wine, drink red bull then have a wine.


Kinda a bit pissy, definitely a lot hypo right now - Stoopid cases on common purpose need to be understood if I am not going to publicly humiliate myself... again.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Reflection and poorly thought out rant

My campus backs onto wonderful botanic gardens that also connect to the city, as an apprentice chef I remember sitting in the gardens gazing at the massive buildings in awe of the whole thing tainted with just a little bit of jealousy and sadness that I was not and I thought, would never be smart enough to be a part of it.

Today I took a walk through the gardens and I remembered those feelings, they are not so dissimilar to the inadequacy I still get from time to time still. Maybe, just maybe they are not always justified? Nope still feel like an imposter.

On a different note: Culture clash, when is it OK to impose the new culture on the immigrant?

The Story.

I work with some wonderful Indian women, they subscribe to a religion that imposes very, very strict moral codes. That’s all very well and good. In the past 3 years they have grown soo much, carving out an identity that works with their culture and the freedoms enjoyed here, there are some exceptions.
One lady came into work with a slight rash on her neck, one of the other staff members and myself asked if it was a hicky (knowing full well it probably was not). After explaining what a hicky is (she went bright red) she giggled and we all continued on with our work. The next day she came in all bruised up because she had jokingly told her fiancé it was a hicky, he then slapped her so hard she fell to the floor. This is OK as far as she was concerned, this man has hit her on number of occasions that we know of for things such as holding his hand (they are not permitted ANY contact before marriage), and even cutting her hair.

It is never OK to hit a spouse. I cannot look at this man without seething about the low creature he must be to hit this sweet lady.

Australia like many western cultures is dealing with spousal abuse, it happens and we know it does, there are campaigns working on raising awareness of the problem. I would like to sit her down with the other staff member (we are all close friends and meet outside work) and try to explain to her this behaviour is not acceptable, but I feel like I would be crossing a line and offend her, not what I want to do.

In the same veign, the burqa was recently banned in France.

This disgusts me. In some circumstances, such as when driving or entering a bank I think it is justified, the law should not cater to a group for religious reasons and the safety of others should not be put at risk for it. But the government should not impose on an individual’s right to worship.

Stopping religious violence is different to forcing individuals to conform to the majority. Yes it is oppressive to women and I do not agree with women having to submit to the patricidal rule, but I do think people who want to, should have the freedom to worship in whatever way they see fit as long as no harm is caused to others. The move France has made is cultural discrimination on a huge scale. What if Catholics were banned from attending worship in a western country – imagine the backlash.

If I has more time I would do a much better thought out and supported post, but I don’t so all you get is an emotional half-baked rant.


Off to the next mental flogging that is commercial property law – Obiter.

Friday, April 22, 2011

To Moot or not to Moot?

Chances are I will be mooting in a few weeks time, only this time I intend to not forget co-councils name...

Because I am lazy and sub-headings negate the need for actual thought and effort here goes:


Property Law A:
The content of this subject is very, very new. We are learning how to apply the Personal Property Securities Act 2009, that comes into force in October 2011. As you can imagine there is very little in the way of helpful text books, it is just a case of sitting down with the relevant sections and focusing so hard you get a nose bleed. 6 pages of notes later and I might be able to bumble my way through a question.

Equity
All going well, however there was a change to the subject plan and this week and I did tute work for next week. This means I am sitting in a tute with no idea what is going on, as tute participation is weighted in marks I was not deterred from having a crack at the answers (power point slides and half baked noted on the lap top screen)it got to the point where the tutor made the comment 'In Equity any action can be boiled down to un-consionability'. To be fair, when he asked a question and no body answers, after long periodnof silence is when I offer my 1c (2c would be giving myself far too much credit).

Other Degree Subjects
Last week I had to do another literature review, I hate lit reviews. So bloody much. The other subject is an even bigger joke, 7 1,000 essays (now if you have between 4-6 questions to answer, that's not an essay right?) and one 3,000 word essay at the end (which will be an actual essay). What exactly is the incentive to show up to lectures and tutes? None.

The Cackle Berry
I hate being a chef. The idea of cooking for the rest of my life makes me immensely sad. My new Sous Chef (has the job because I declined) attempted to make my life miserable and get me fired. Jokes on him, now the Head Chef wants him gone ASAP.

On the bright side at the very most I have under 400 shifts left in a commercial. Yes that is more than a year but it is far less than a life time.


Property Law assessment needs my attention - Obiter

P.S will have another Survivelaw.com article soon, just have severe writers block

Monday, April 4, 2011

When will I get my life back?

The answer .. at least 11 more weeks, then I go back to Lucifer's Corner Office ... that still does not feel like getting my life back.

On the bright side my self induced pity party was over just as fast as it started.

Lately it feels like I am getting to the swing of this whole law thing. Still spending hours upon hours in the library however these hours are more and more productive. This is of course only if I don't spend too much time in transit telling myself I study better at uni/home (depending on where I am at the time).

One of my good friends is a super high achiever, gets the kind of marks that most of us only wish we could (granted they are still learning the fine art of being smart without being a smartypants). Somehow the conversation came around to stress and how it impacts each of us. It was interesting hearing how this high achiever felt much the same as the rest of us did, it really drove home how we really are all in the same boat.

Today I turned in my equity assessment. This assessment was group work orientated, I can not believe what a dream is was to work with those students. We also had to write a reflective summary about how we dealt with conflict. I think we may have 'missed out' on an intended learning experience by having dedicated group.

Pot is only on simmer right now, but I can see the hand ready to crank it up to boil - Obiter

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Where did that come from?

Yesterday I was looking out the kitchen window at the park across the road, a care taker was removing tree limbs from the creek. He looked happy. I thought I could be happy doing that kind of work. fleeting thougths of throwing it all in and calling it a really long bad joke ran through my head.

Today while sitting in the libary it felt like it was all over, like I had failed and it was time to leave. I got really depressed (for about 5 minutes).

Not ready for this to be over.

Guess first year wasn't the only time is all feels too much - Obiter

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Running up hill

It’s week three and things look OK. This is a mirage, I know it, but I am still drinking that sand.

Lucifers Corner Office.


On my way out yesterday I was informed that currently there is not space in the office (two new solicitors starting) and I am not needed…until my uni holidays. That’s great news! I was freaking out about how I was going to maintain the insanity of working 45 hours a week on top of all my study. Now I don’t have to worry about it and I have a summer (winter really) clerkship lined up. On top of all that, the solicitor who has come from the Glass Tower was really sad to see me go, said all these really great things about my work and that is was a shame I am leaving for a while.
I have had such an interesting 4 months there. Learning so much, and actually doing legal work. I am already excited about going back!!


Subjects

Property Law A

I freaking love this class! Maybe it is because I used to be real estate agent (I was 18…why did people allow me to sell their homes!?) and a Mortgage Broker (21…I was good with people…not so much with the whole number thing) but am enjoying it all the same.

Equity

Also really lapping it up. I think I am getting more from my law subjects then I did last year for a few reasons. Firstly, the learning curve is not 90 degrees, I know how to find/read/note a case. Secondly, I have soo much more time with only 2 law subjects. So much more time.

Policing in context

My old man is a cop, I find this subject interesting if nothing else. I have no real interest in a career in the service but a policing major is a much better choice than a criminology major (for me anyway, I hated the psychology subjects).

Introduction into criminal research

I can see the utility of this subject. In fact it might be a great subject however the text book is a nightmare. I usually would not slam any book or text in this blog but this book makes me physically sick when I think about having to read it (for goodness sake, I read a contracts text book – cover to cover last year) “Research Methods for Criminal justice and Criminology” so poorly written. There is some really great content and examples however it is too hard to read, it is as if the author got all excited with all this stuff and just crammed it into a book without thinking about how to structure it. This one subject is going to ensure a very, very long semester (the unit co-ordinator and lecturers are fine, it’s just that freaking text).

No more 6am starts for this egg, I can drink on weekdays again!! Yay! – Obiter

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tell me about it

I want to read all about your law school experience. I really do. Blogging about your law school trials and tribulations has many benefits, so why not start one?

Maybe I am just a little late to the party (see bottles everywhere and nobody in sight), but I seem to be the only Australian law student keeping a blog. Why is this? I don’t have an answer for you but I will ask you to join me. Here is why.

It is Cathartic
We all experience stress, anxiety and the crushing pressure of studying the law while also doing all the other things we need to do (it sucks how sleeping takes up so many hours each week right!?). Sometimes just taking the time to sit down and express those worries is enough to bring back some perspective and create a bit of clarity.

Comradery, Amigo
When you share your experience and read those of others some of the isolation felt during the peak of the stress is lessened. Yes you could lean over the partition, talk to the person next to you and break the golden law library rule but then you would obviously not be reading those cases (naughty you).

Different writing styles

Writing in a different ‘voice’ is great training for the real world, as legal eagles in training we are also apprentice word smiths. Writing in as many different styles to develop your ability to work with the written word is like exercising different muscle groups, yes it would be nice to have great abs but it would be far better if the rest of the body was in shape. Your blogging/creative writing helps shape and mould your more formal work, practice, practice, practice. In any event, imagine how liberating writing a whole paragraph without referencing a single case is! Looking back at my own posts, the growth in my proofing, grammar and spelling is blaringly obvious (I think editing a post after posting is cheating – my writing is there for all to see, good, bad and blotto)

Creativity
The cases we read are full of imagination and flights of unbridled fancy… Clearly I am taking some artistic licence when describing the tedium that can be both legal reading and writing. Break it up a little, after hours salving away at that criminal law memo flowed by briefing notes on why Mabo changed the legal landscape in Australia, be crazy and produce a little bit of airy fairy fluff. Just writing outside of the topic might alleviate some writers block and allow fresh eyes, maybe even a different angle you did not see before.

A record (productive procrastination)
If that Equity text book looks a little too dense and cracking in open for the first time can be avoided for just a moment longer is that not reason enough? If you’re just starting law school this is the best time to write about it, because the learning curve is about 90 degrees and when exams are over you can see how far you have come.
Do you put your name to it?
In my case no. I like the anonymity of my pseudonym; there are both pros and cons to both sides. In any event always be careful about what you put out there. I follow a few golden rules

1. Never name anybody
2. Be general when talking about a person (yes the 5’3 Caucasian guy with brown eyes, tongue ring and Mohawk, I know you read my blog… and I am watching you, watching me).
3. Play nice with others.

When you start your blog, let me know and we can get a roundup happening.


See you in the blogosphere – Obiter Ovum

Monday, February 28, 2011

Minor Panic Attacks

I have little heart palpitations when I look at my weekly schedule. I have painted myself into a ‘I can do that’ corner. Between the chef job, the clerking and classes I have about half an hour a week to do everything. It is probably more than that but when I look at the calendar in outlook plus my normal commitments I doubt it.

Realistically if it all becomes too much I will have to drop the job at the firm, they just don’t pay enough to compared to the Cackle Berry. I would prefer not to do that.

Occasionally the solicitors either send me into court to watch a case or invite me along to watch. Watch being the key word. Last Monday I was tagging along to watch an application to the court. When it was the solicitors turn to do their thing he got up and went to the council table, I just sat there like a good clerk. When he got there he pulled the other chair out and beckoned me to sit with him. Very cool. I got to sit with council in court in front of a judge in a live matter. See why I really do not want to give that up even if it does pay peanuts?

I am now a Torts Student Peer Mentor – I got it! I am going to be let loose on 25-20 students each week to help them understand torts, without giving them any solid answers. This will be interesting to say the least. My first session with the mentorees (yes that’s a word) is next week. I can’t wait to share what an epic mistake allowing me in front of first years is. I don’t mean that, well maybe, lets hope they knew what they were doing choosing me.

Let the fun begin – Obiter

Thursday, February 17, 2011

That was interesting…

One of my goals for 2011 was to be a Student Peer Mentor with Torts. I managed to get an interview (after a follow up email regarding my application) and it went really well.. So I must have tanked it.

I spent the night before cramming as much of Torts A back into my head as I could, not so much as a question on trespass was fired in my direction. That’s Ok, actually knowing the elements of detinue off the cuff will be helpful I am sure. . Instead a heap of questions about what it means to be a roll model and mentoring situations were put to me, I think I answered them rather well. Once again, that means I probably babbled incoherently in their direction (there were three of them) for the duration of the interview.

Oh and the moot 'judge' was there. . . The guy from my fist mooting competition, you remember the 'judge' I decided I should thoroughly grill about my performance in my highly inebriated state at the law ball? No well click here and here to catch up.. jeez are only just staring to read my blog or something?

I am pretty sure I caught the 'umm nope, not you, you won't be 'mentoring' anyone' glint in his eye. Anyhow, what is this guy doing on the panel for Mentors AND Moot judging. This must be my little academic green eyed monster coming out.

LCO has been interesting. I have actually managed to secure a paying client for the firm. My client (under the very, very close supervision of Curls of course). After the first appointment listening to his problem I was actually fighting back tears over the situation. Its not a messy family law issue (ewww!) but something that would seem relatively innocuous.

I am a soft touch. I drafted the letter to ZXY about the problem, sent the draft to the solicitor for checking, the feedback I got was 'its not bad or anything, just need to de-fluff it and harden it up'. So I spent the next few hours practising being an asshole without being an asshole via written word. Neat.

I am being sent into court to observe more and more, I have this sinking feeling they are going to drop me in it soon.

10 days until my schedule goes to hell with Uni being back - Obiter

Friday, February 4, 2011

Dog paddling in the deep end

Lucifer's Corner Office is doing my head in. But I am enjoying it.

I am very lucky, I am being exposed to various areas of law and been asked to do things far beyond what I singed up for. I am being sent to court to watch (carry stuff) and sitting in on some client meetings.

However, I am not sure if I can handle it! I am the only clerk for two associates, the solicitor, council, and the principal. Being the legal bitch for five lawyers is interesting. I have no idea how to prioritise 6 tasks all marked 'URGENT'.

Every time any of the above people think 'I wonder...' or 'I need ZYX..' even 'A letter to XZC needs to be drafted for ABC' I get an email. It is too much for me to do in only 2 days 2.5 days and moving into 3 days (still working at the Cackle Berry as LCO only pays $16 an hour..soo not enough to live on), this Saturday will be spent in the office attempting to knock out as much as I can before the next round of work starts.

On the other hand I am learning who to get work from and who to avoid. For example, Curls (the partner) only gives vague instruction I kid you not this is how it went.

Early morning: Got an email asking me to find a document in the file (file is 5 volumes)

Morning: Sent email to associate, document not in existence (now I had looked, looked, walked away and looked again before sending that email)

Late morning: Told to look for different documents, note and take to Curls.

Afternoon: Noted documents, sent email to Curls, what we were looking for was not there.

Evening: Email from Curls telling me to read transcript looking for - - - (yeah no idea what I was looking for).

Early morning: Read transcript, meant nothing to me.

Morning: Curls tells me to read x case. 'x' case does not exist either so to be safe I read 'A','Y' and 'Z' case.

Afternoon: Gave summary to Curls, Curls asks where is the letter I was to draft?

WHAT FREAKING LETTER?!?!

That just pisses me off. I suck it up, ask what letter and get given more instructions. That letter (no idea what I am supposed to say and to who) is one of the reasons I am going in on Saturday.

Other times the Associate will open with 'this is a highly procedural and technical part of the law' only for Curls to walk past and tell me again how easy this document is to screw up. Yay.

Its fun, but so demanding. I am only supposed to be there part time, but even when I am at home I find myself working on stuff and thinking about it.

About to use bubbl.us on a project for Curls - Obiter

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Not dead, just busy.

Total lack of posting due to the vast amount of work I have at the moment.

Promise I will get back to it very soon. I miss blogging :-(

I have coffee stains on my nice new shirt, its going to be one of 'those' days - Obiter

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Flood


Thanking my lucky stars.


I don't know how well broad casted outside Australia the Queensland Floods were but we are right next to the thick of it.


Thankfully we live in a unit, on a hill, next to the Brisbane River. If Mr. Ovum and I walk 500m in any direct from out unit the road was under and many homes were flooded out.
We lost power for about 2 days, that's it. We are very, very lucky.
On the night of the floods with the power out we had a cook up with all the neighbours, drinking all the wine that was going warm, cooking up all the meat that was defrosting and having fun.
Just heard on the news that the iconic boardwalk is currently floating down the river, nice. Brisbane will be cleaning up for some time to come. I am impressed by the statistics that only 10 people have been charged with looting (out of over a million).
Off to work and if thats closed to go clean up - Obiter
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