A law student’s honest Christmas holiday diary

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By Farah Ali on

Eat, drink and be merry? Try easements, deadlines and mood swings


Christmas, they say, is a time to kick your feet up and relax. But for an aspiring lawyer with impending training contract deadlines and exams, it’s not always that easy.

I’m Farah, I’m a student on the Legal Practice Course and here’s a little peak into what I’ve done and what I’m going to be doing over the festive and new year period…

16, 17, 18 December: Those first few days of ‘chill’

Following the wretched wills (alliteration intended) exam on Friday 16, I was given the next few days to put my feet up and smoke a cigar (or stock up on strawberry laces). I used these days to just take a breather, go out for dinners and brunches, and binge on Netflix before things got real again…

19, 20 December: Getting some work experience in the bag

I was able to secure a couple of days’ work experience with Legal Cheek. It was an attempt at boosting my CV, to understand and experience legal journalism.

I realise that those not as fortunate as myself would either have started revision for the upcoming exams at this time, or used it to further Netflix-binge. I hear you guys. Whatever you decided to do in these two days though, you know you have to really up your game in the next few days to get your work in order.

21, 22, 23 December: Nailing that revision

I mustered up the courage to look at my incomplete lecture/workshop notes from the previous term before I thought of the upcoming despair of filling in those notes. I viewed my friends’ snapchats to see who’s into the revision swing — and how competitive I had to be. The results were somewhat nerve-wracking.

Overcoming this, I prepared a short and concise revision plan to complete all possible work I could encounter in the coming few days. I spent just over three hours working on this short revision plan before I decided it was time to kick things off. Oh, but I had to have lunch first.

Shortly after, I discovered that my local library is shut for maintenance. So home it was. I wrote tirelessly before my fingers became numb.

24, 25, 26, 27 December: Cornwall

These four festive days were spent in cosy Cornwall where walks and dinner at Fish House were the highlights of the break. I forgot all about work and exams to give myself much needed time off from the work done in the previous week. The five hour drive back home gave me enough time to reflect on my blessings and how the next few days of revision will decide my fate as a future corporate lawyer.

28, 29, 30, 31 December: Looking ahead…

Needless to say, things are real, my break is over and I need to become an expert in solicitors’ accounts and legal writing (in prep for those early January assignments).

The plan is to compile a set of beautifully highlighted notes, attempt all previous past papers archived on solicitors’ accounts and practice writing the most sophisticated letter of instruction you could imagine.

However, I know this won’t come easy. There will be many friends who have to be disappointed at my last minute cancellations, family whose dinners I can’t be a part of and training contract deadlines I just wouldn’t have time for. You can’t please everyone, particularly as a law student.

31 and 1 January 2017: Wedding or clubbing?

New Year’s Eve will again be a matter of choosing who to ditch; my old friend who will be wedded that night or the club event which I’ve been looking forward to attending for ages. No matter what I do, somebody will get hurt. And that’s just life.

But free travel ALL night. Enough said.

1, 2, 3 January 2017: Last minute revision panic

After exploiting the free travel that I’ve looked forward to for the past 12 months, it’ll be time to grind my teeth and refresh that memory.

It will take some sleepless nights and much needed 2am McD’s, but it will mean that I hit the revision hard and do everything I can to have it all sink in.

To ensure that I get that distinction, I plan to stick up all my revision cards on the wall, creating a somewhat disintegrated wall rainbow. An effective form of revision as many of you will agree. At the same time, I’ve also got to have those workshops prepared for. And don’t bloody forget to apply for TCs. Christ.