Friday, 15 August 2014

Degree Completed

It is with great pleasure that this chapter of my life has now been completed. I received my results on Wednesday and graduated with a 2.1. This was my target classification, with three teenagers and a job a first was never going to be possible without huge sacrifices in the family department, which I was never going to give.

It feels like an immense achievement. This time last year I was very down as regards my studies as I'd had a bad result in my Trusts exam. I was very capable of doing the exam but had two bereavements in the week leading up to the exam and so was not ready. The result led me to believe for a long while that I couldn't achieve a 2.1, it had dragged my overall score down.

However which encouragement from a number on the Facebook groups, but most notably Anne Street, Simon Askey and Sher Muhamed Khan, I was told that a 2.1 was still achievable through working hard the final year and aiming for 60's. I had a target of achieving two grades above 60 out of my three final subjects, I am happy to say that I achieved 68, 63 and 60 in my final year, leading me not just to scrape a 2.1 but to go over and above the borderline.

I'd like to thank everyone who has helped me during these studies, there are far to many people to name individually, so wouldn't want to miss anyone out. I have always had a long term goal of doing a PhD, my next step is the LLM with the University of Birmingham in International Law: Crime, Justice and Human Rights

I intend to revamp this blog, having been absent from here for a few months now. It shall have a focus upon my studies in International law but shall also keep the sections and support for the London LLB.

Thank you to everyone who has been there over the years.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

May Update

Well with the exception of LSP1 and my Dissertation exam it's all over and what a ride. Having spent six years studying law with UoL it's as if there is hole that needs filling.

This blog has been a help in writing down my thoughts and feelings. I haven't really been in touch with it over the last year, partly as things have been hectic and partly because some interest may have waned in keeping it up to date. I intend to revamp the blog over the summer and provide some support links for new students.

It's interesting seeing new students join the Facebook groups, which have grown to a little over 5,000 on the Intermediate group and a little under 5,000 students on the Finals group. When I first set up the groups there were a handful of us, I didn't expect it to be as large as it has. I intend to stay on in the background of the admin role of the groups and see if any new keen students wish to help with running as they are a good support network.

I have two offers (Birmingham and Gloucestershire) to study International Criminal Law on a Taught Masters in September so I shall still be around. I may add some features to this blog to incorporate that too, but keep the main content UoL LLB based. I have also registered for a summer course for a foundational teaching qualification as I intend to start teaching law at some level next year, so would like to keep this blog running for anyone who needs support.

I'll be posting more on here through the summer and will update some new features. In the meantime I hope that your exams have gone well and best of luck for those who have exams left to do.


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Best Wishes

I haven't used this blog at all really for the last couple of months, been quite intense with work and study. I intend to revamp it after exams and hopefully provide support to new students, in the mean time I shall post something each week to bring things up to date.

Would just like to write this post to wish my best wishes to all my readers.


Friday, 1 November 2013

Court of Appeal now livestream

The Court of Appeal went live yesterday. There has been much controversy over the years of whether to allow cameras into courts, historically when news channels have reported on court cases any pictures of the proceedings have been drawn by artists.

I recall the time when Parliament allowed cameras to watch the proceedings, then with the new Supreme Court allowing cameras inside I guess it's only a matter of time before lower courts follow suit.

As Courts are public places it is only natural that cameras should be allowed in, but resistance has always been that the more infamous cases become show trials. The US model is often quoted as examples of how the justice system can be transformed into a show, the OJ Simpson trial comes to mind. There has also been criticism that news channels will only show edited highlights of a trial, meaning that other aspects of a case will not be covered.

In my opinion access to trials via a livestream are a good thing, I am not so sure about highlights though which are very much left in the hand of news editors and sometimes bias reporting.

The link can be accessed through the following BBC site ...

Monday, 21 October 2013

Private Tuition ... 10 questions to ask BEFORE handing money over

The University of London LLB International Program attracts many companies offering private tuition. Other than those official registered institutions the university itself neither endorses nor opposes any of these services.

My own view is that before handing money over they need to be checked out, questions need to be asked. Sometimes a quick google search will do the trick, other times don't be afraid to ask directly.

Getting a good private tutor can be worth their weight in gold, somebody who knows their topic, they may have written work published, maybe a book, or articles. For instance, I have recommended QEDlaw on this blog, their tutors can be checked out, many have written books that have been independently published. I and others have attended their revision seminars and can highly recommend their quality and relevance for exams. I personally have seen Norman Baird fight on students behalf, sometimes against the will of the University, publicly as well as privately.

Further the Cambridge Revision week, though expensive is conducted in the most professional regard to which a number of students can vouch for.

Sadly though, I have known students hand anything from a few hundred pound to over a £1000 to badly run sites.

As an admin of the Facebook groups I have had to remove a number of links who misrepresent themselves. Sometimes former students, or lecturers of jurisdictions other than English law have set up companies and made themselves look as if they are faculties of an education facility such as a university or college. I have nothing against former students or any lecturer offering themselves for private tuition, I tutor for GCSE and A'level students and clearly state I'm a final year student, what I am against are sites who misrepresent themselves, so they need checking out.

I have come across at least two instances where the lecturer refers to themselves as a Professor of an area of law, yet upon a 5 minute Google investigation can see that they are nothing of the sort. If anyone refers to themselves as a Professor, the first thing to ask is where they were Professors, if they are evasive or give out little in way of information then the warning signs are there. A quick look at their profile would suggest whether they have a Professorship with a university ... if they do not have a PhD how can they become a Professor, further a quick Google search will show published articles, I have never come across a genuine Professor without easy to find published articles or books. I have no doubt that these people have a limited understanding of the law and at the moment maybe more than yourself as an undergraduate student, but is it worth paying money out to these people if they have to represent themselves as something they are not?

In fact, i'd go as far as to say that a genuine Professor rarely calls themselves a Professor to students, there are genuine Professors on the Facebook groups who offer free advice just to see you do well, yet only to find out later of their Professorship with UoL.

In addition there have been instances where a site looks as if it's an institution or faculty department of a college or university, yet upon a quick Google search of for a private ltd company, their registration can be found. Ask yourself whether it's a new company? Find the address and do a Google street view of the office address. If at first appearance they look a genuine institution, but upon a short investigation are a private limited company with only an online presence, then ask yourself why this representation? One so called 'faculty of law' run by a 'Professor' that appeared on the groups was addressed to a small office in a block on the outskirts of London, yet upon first impressions you'd have thought they were a Faculty linked to a University.

To try to sort out those who are professional, to those who are not I have composed Ten questions to ask BEFORE paying money to any online tuition service ...

1) Do they come recommended by other students?
2) Do they have independently published books or articles?
3) If stating they are a Professor, where did they hold the Professorship? Or are they a self appointed Professor?
4) Can they be easily found via Google?
5) Can the company, faculty or institution be found as a registered company, if so how long have they been trading?
6) Can the lecturers be found via their LinkedIn profile page, if so what does it say? Are they former students? Or are they genuine lecturers of English Law?
7) Are they qualified to teach English law, or another jurisdiction?
8) Are you able to see a sample of their materials?
9) Are they easily available for free advice, or offer it willingly to assist?
10) Have they misrepresented themselves, either the individual or the institution concerned?

These are questions that need to be asked before handing any money over ... a good UoL tutor is something worth having and keeping, but make sure they are recommended and not fall into the pitfall to which I have seen happen, of handing money to someone who has misrepresented themselves ... ultimately your grade depends upon it.

Monday, 14 October 2013

QED Law Revision Weekends 2014

QED Law has published their timetable for revision lectures which are held at UCL. It maybe a little early to start thinking of revision but is good to pencil in those dates for those who have to travel. I have written here before of my experience with these lecture weekends, they are given by experienced lecturers and examiners, some of whom are the voices on the VLE. In my opinion they are on a par with the Cambridge week, I wrote an article two years ago entitled, 'Revision Courses ...Cambridge or QED?'

It's well worth taking a browse of the timetable, whether you are a student of the University of London, or other universities. The timetable can be found on the following link.