It’s been a good opening month to the year. The first milestone in the diary was my interview with Digby Brown for a traineeship with them next year in their Glasgow office.
Omicron meant it had to be online, so I ensured I had exclusive, undisturbed access to the flat living/dining room for that Monday afternoon, got my suit on and gave it my best shot.
It was the latest in a succession of such appointments I’d been having towards the end of last semester. This one I really wanted though. I’d been going for more full-service business-oriented firms before and while I’m sure they would have given me a real breadth of experience, what I really wanted to be doing in law was contributing to society in a more direct way by facilitating access to justice. On the one hand, I recognise that Digby Brown isn’t a charity, but it does help the underdog in most cases and my impression is that it fights to ensure clients get everything they’re entitled to in law. My decision to apply to them was also motivated by the fact that involuntary obligations or delict (basically, suing people for civil wrongs) has been one of my favourite subjects over the course of my condensed law degree and this was a great opportunity to work for the best firm in Scotland in that area. I really wanted it and so I went into the interview with my galaxy brain meme infographic, law clinic experience and the luck of the gods behind me.
While I felt it had gone well after it finished, as the week progressed, I began to doubt myself and think about all the things I didn’t say, how I could have emphasised a particular interest in personal injury instead of my experience in employment law and criminal through MOJO. I said this to the HR woman when I answered the phone on that fateful Tuesday and she opened cryptically with the question, “How do you think the interview went?”
After I had finished my two-minute post-match analysis where I was essentially talking myself out of the role, she interrupted me to say, “Well you’ll be pleased to know we’re offering you the traineeship.”
What a relief! I felt euphoric. The struggle was over. Victory at last. Looks like this law degree will pay off after all.
I really did not want to be going into the diploma without having something lined up at the end of it, and it was one of my new year’s resolutions to secure a traineeship. Good to tick off a year goal in January. Let’s hope 2022 bring yet more wish-fulfilment and hopefully I haven’t peaked too soon!
There we are then. In September 2023 I will start working for Digby Brown in their Glasgow office as a trainee solicitor. Before all that I have to pass my LLB at Strathclyde, then complete my diploma in professional practice, which is another year starting in September. The traineeship itself is two years and only after that can I say – “I have qualified as a solicitor.”
It’s a long haul, I know, but it’s good to have a clear direction in life. It is freeing in a way. My future-worry part of the brain is less engaged, so I have more space to enjoy the present. Of course, one still has short- and medium-term worry, but the bigger dread seems to have been defeated, at least for a couple of years.
This semester I’m doing three main classes: commercial law, evidence and EU law, plus a portfolio for the Clinical part of my degree. Surprisingly I am actually finding commercial law the most engaging at the moment because it’s something I rarely think about in day-to-day life. Evidence I feel I have a head start on through my MOJO volunteering. EU law is probably where I’m most at home because I do think about it quite a lot and I’ve just finished reading Tony Judt’s Postwar, which talks about its development in some detail. I’m continuing with my IACs in the Clinic and dealing with a couple of employment cases, one of which has recently been resolved in a negotiated settlement (another small victory for me at the end of the month).
Something I said at the end of my last blog was that I wanted to become happier in 2022. I have tried to do this by meeting friends a bit more spontaneously. After my mooting mentees completed their first round, I decided to catch them unannounced after the verdict and invite them for a pint. As for the mentees, this flopped, but the judge and their opponent accepted the offer, and we had a good time of it anyway.
The following week I cajoled my school friend (and entourage) to go with me to see Romeo Taylor’s gig at Bloc, just announced that Wednesday night. I knew the billed artist from his Twitter and Twitch presence as cooljinzo and introduced myself to him in the toilets afterwards as my username, flettcetera. He was about to vomit but politely delayed his regurgitation long enough for me to congratulate him on his new English girlfriend with whom he informed me he is besotted.
Speaking of romance, this year I am trying to take steps to mitigate the lack of it in my life. This is contrary to the lets-just-see-what-happens approach that has dominated previously without much success. I am hoping that making a written disclosure of this intention will bring such a desire into actuality, much like my traineeship search. Perhaps this is a form of magical thinking? Anyway, of the three dates I have been on so far only the one I liked the most blocked me. We fight on.
I write at the end of a weekend that similarly started with great promise. For the first time since the pandemic, I was host to a dinner party. Much red wine was consumed and my flatmate, interrupting the interregnum between the main course and dessert, commented on the “jovial” atmosphere. Here’s to more soirées in future; the spirit of “2022 is going to be my year” lives on.