David Woodall

Mature(ish) law student bringing you legal gossip and opinion

I am a soon-to-be overworked, potentially financially ruined, wannabe lawyer. I am starting the Graduate Diploma in Law course at a university in the South East, and felt (having searched online and found nothing similar) that I should share the practicalities and realities of returning to study after some time out in the real world working, because prior to starting this course I really wanted to know what it’s really like to do your first moot, how easy it is to write essays again, how important volunteer and extra-curricular activities will be to my new career choice and how easy it is to fit them around studying, just how difficult it is to manage money.

As often as possible, I’ll blog about the challenges I face and how to achieve the best results so that others may learn from my catastrophic mistakes/follow in my footsteps.

As the rate of unemployment increases in the UK, a growing number of people are looking for a switch in their careers. For those with a non law degree, the only route into the law profession is to undertake the Graduate Diploma in Law. I hope that my blog/diary/ramblings will aid those wishing to get a real insight into what the course can offer, and what they will be required/expected to do to get a pupillage or training contract or any other law orientated job, should they be thinking of embarking on the course themselves or are already on it.

Diary of a GDL Student is intended to give current and future students an accurate, practical, humorous, and opinionated insight into the realities of what is potentially one of the most important and costly, courses they will take in their life. As a mature(ish) student myself embarking on the one year Graduate Diploma in Law at University in September, I will give as much information on the course, its aims and outcomes, the realities of returning to day to day study and essay writing, as well as how to manage financially and how you can get the most out of the course, as well as what you can do to fashion yourself into a winning law graduate, including mooting, advocacy, volunteering, and similar.

By throwing myself into everything my university can offer I hope to be able to offer an insight into how to get the most out of the course and of being back at university, I will include information on finance (where course fees are so high, and the opportunities to work whilst on the course full time are dramatically limited by the need for study, how I will finance myself, be it savings, scholarship or otherwise will be of interest to anyone in a similar position – for many, including myself, their course fees have to be paid out of their own pockets), research, mooting, volunteering, networking, time management, mini pupillages/placement schemes and deadlines for applications to the LPC/BPVC.

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