BPTC Blog: Live blogging my first full week on the BPTC

I thought it would be interesting to just live-blog what’s happening during the first proper week of classes on the BPTC. Wish me luck…

Sunday

01:54am

As much as I loved being surprised with a visit from the Parisian boyfriend this weekend for my birthday, it has meant that the weekend of admin I’d originally planned went up in smoke. That’s why I am here in the wee hours determined to understand exactly what this next week has in store for me prep-wise. I’ll admit, I found the whole thing quite intimidating at first so procrastinated by watching two episodes of Silk to be inspired. The story line got a bit weird. In hindsight, the BPTC is much less dramatic and far more straightforward. I’ve had a look over what each class requires and…this is definitely going to be a learning curve. Wish me luck!

Monday 

10:01am

I’m waiting for my bus to get to Gray’s inn. My major concern is that I won’t be ready for my classes which isn’t ideal. I definitely needed way more time to sit down and map out how I’ll need to divide my time up this week and the weeks going forward. It’s just so much admin on this course and a very heavy reading list. No more episodes of Silk tonight, I need to plan out the next two weeks!

12:15pm

I just finished my first civil litigation lecture and it was good! I feel like the course is starting to come together a little bit more now. However, I now have to try and get ready for drafting and I have no idea how I’m going to fit three hours of prep work into an hour and a half but wish me luck!

14:35

Today’s lesson is be unprepared for class at your own peril. Seriously, I will never be this unprepared again. Luckily this was the first class but honestly people it’s just not worth it. 

15:37

I have returned home for a quick nap before I dive into admin and prep for my next classes. I’m also going to type up notes from the Civil Litigation lecture and drafting class I had earlier whilst everything is still fresh. I am finding it a little bit frustrating that everything isn’t just in one place. I want to be able to see what I have to do and where my classes are easily but it appears that I’m going to have to sit down for couple of hours and really map this out so that I’m not as lost and confused as I was today.

1:41am

Here we are in the wee hours again. I am very confused as to why it is taking me so long to do all of this work. What’s odd is that I really have been focusing and yet I am still not done with the work for my two classes tomorrow. Both of which are conveniently in the morning and back to back so I don’t have any time between classes. I’m on my third cup of coffee and the end does not appear in sight. Can’t give up because a) I need to be prepared for class b) I have to figure out better time management. 

The current state of my bedroom floor 

Tuesday

10:23 am

Tell me why I can never make it to my bus on time? Anyway, I am currently on the way to Gray’s inn for my first Evidence class followed immediately after by an Advocacy class where we’ll be making bail applications. I’m tired, I didn’t get through all the work for evidence last night and this morning so I am going to endeavour to squeeze as much as possible in the next 30 minutes. Today’s mission is to talk to my friends about their study techniques, speak to my personal tutor if I can and see about a study group. Last night was horrible! I worked so hard trying to get my head around things and the workbook advised 1.5 hours for advocacy prep and 4 for evidence. In reality I was working for much longer and didn’t get it all done.

I remember feeling similarly frustrated at the start of the GDL. I felt like my time was not being efficiently managed. I hate that feeling. I am also slightly annoyed that I didn’t get my admin done last night (hence the picture of my bedroom floor above). No hope tonight either because it’s off to Inner Temple at 4pm for our introductory session and my first qualifying session. Why do I feel like I’m already ready for this week to END?!

13:39pm

Okay so those two classes were GREAT. My tutor for Evidence was really great and funny. The class was super interactive. In the BPTC classes they make sure that everyone has answered a question so this tutor spun a wheel to pick who’d answer first. I lucked out and was first to go so it didn’t hurt me that I hadn’t prepared everything (praise God). I spoke to him about his advice for preparing more efficiently for class and noted what he said which was very helpful. Results should show in my prep for his next class. I was relieved to hear that other members of my class had struggled with getting everything done too so we decided to go ahead and plan a study group.

Advocacy was a great class too. I’ve watched bail applications be done but doing it yourself was something else entirely! I went first (is there a running theme here?) and it wasn’t my favourite case out of the three I’d prepared but I accepted the challenge. I loved it! Even though I was terrified my tutor was so good at playing judge (she didn’t break character once which I thought l was awesome). It helped me stay in character as counsel and I got really valuable feedback. Advocacy definitely requires practice so I’ll be practicing before I get to class so I can get the most  out of my feedback. City records your advocacy performances so you can listen back and improve. It will definitely cringe me out to hear myself but I know it will help me improve immensely. 

Alright so last night wasn’t great but it’s time to put a line under that and move on now. Today is a new day! I have headed home to get dressed for my introductory evening at Inner Temple (which is also my first ever qualifying session!). I don’t have my vlogging camera yet so I will vlog it on my phone and try and capture as much as I can. Head to my YouTube channel and subscribe so you don’t miss it! I’ll be posting pictures on Instagram and updating my story so follow @blessingatthebar if you haven’t already! 

Wednesday 

10:55am

Sacrificed some prep time because I needed to buy food and eat it, sorry BPTC. I am just getting ready for opinion writing class – guide time says 4 hours to prepare, I current have 1.5. To be honest I made the executive decision to chill out last night seeing as I had such a lovely time at Inner and I just wanted to clear my mind a bit. I have a deadline for an essay on Friday at 5pm and I need to be rested to crank it out. 

Let me get back to this prep work. Apparently we have to show our work to the class so…I need to get it together ASAP.

15:13

I actually enjoyed the Opinion Writing class so that was an alright start to the day. I’m currently sat in a 1.5 hour (why???) Evidence lecture. I can’t wait to get home and sleep – I’m nearly about to pass out. I wonder if I can eat my lunch without the lecturer noticing… 

22:30pm

I have no more class prep for this week so have been able to have a little moment for myself. I am now using an excel spreadsheet to organise my timetable because apparently City are unable to give us our timetable online and it only comes in hard copy. I reckon the BPTC is a solid 90% admin.

23:06pm

FINALLY!!! MY TIMETABLE IS FINALLY SYNCED ACROSS ALL MY DEVICES! YES! 

Thursday 

09:11am 

I woke up ready to seize the day today! I have just over 24 hours to get this essay in and I’m glad I took the last two nights to rest. I woke up this morning and gave my room a good tidy and a vacuum. I feel like my bedroom is an accurate reflection of my mental state at any given time – does anyone else relate? BPTC-wise I only have an Advocacy lecture today where I think we’ll be going over submissions. Once this deadline is done I’m going to spend the weekend piecing this course together and allocating study time for each class.

I’m definitely going to start working in the Inner Temple library next week, I could do with a change of scenery! 

12:00pm

loved the Advocacy lecture today. It really showed me more about what I need to learn and practice in order to be a good barrister. We were able to understand exactly what the purpose of a submission is and what the advocate’s purpose is in court. I got to understand the format of the Advocacy course more and we were encouraged to consider forming study groups where we practice our submissions before class. I’m definitely keen on that idea and have already started a Whatsapp group with some girls in my class so we can do this. 

Saturday

15:38

There were not updates on Friday because it was a crazy day. I was juggling being sick, a visit to hospital and the essay deadline that was at 5pm. I made the deadline and feel better now so I’m focusing the weekend on doing my BPTC filing and organising myself for the week of classes ahead. 

My first week on the BPTC has been eye opening for various reasons. The most important one has been that it has highlighted to me the importance of good organisation and preparation. With this course you need to be thinking days, even weeks ahead. You need to know what is coming up for each class and where you might need to use the same sets of papers for another exercise. Your filing system needs to be on point too. With that being said, let me crack on with sorting my life out.

There’ll be a blogpost coming up about how I feel starting the BPTC and also what I’ve been reading to prepare for the course and get my head around things. Watch out for that soon and if you haven’t signed up for my mailing list do so ASAP before you miss out!

I hope you enjoyed reading this live blog! Until next time,

Ps, Don’t forget to watch my GDL VLOG with LawCareers.Net on Youtube! Link here: (http://bit.ly/BATBYT) and follow me on Twitter! (@blessingmukosha)