Introduction: Diploma in Legal Practice

I am supposed to write about my university career, experience and plans (if any) for the future – near and/or distant – and I will… soon.

But first, I think it is only normal for me to introduce myself. And I think most of you would like to know who the person, typing this up on their laptop, gazing in its screen,  actually is, right? Well, if that is not the case, than just scroll down to the essentials of this text.

My name is Penyo. I think a name can say a lot about a person, but that would be the case if you actually have heard and know where the name comes from, I guess. Well, Penyo happens to be a very rare (nowadays) and archaic Bulgarian name. Yes, you read correctly – Bulgarian. I have been born and bred in that small eastern-European country that most of you would have heard only negative comments or facts about through the media. I do hope that this degrading and diminishing rhetoric used both by news outlets and politicians in the UK will not cause you to discontinue reading this blog. If it does, I would say that it is of very poor taste on your part.

Right, so let’s get back on track. I arrived on the beautiful, but rather windy and cold shores of Scotland four years ago to study for my degree in Law and Management Studies at the University of Aberdeen. Four hard, but seemingly short, years later I have achieved that ominous but profitable and proud-worthy degree in Law. I have to say, I cannot be more proud of my achievements to date (and so are all my relatives, but that would be normal, wouldn’t it?).

Nevertheless, this was not the end of my university career and tortures. I have begun my fifth year at my beloved granite, semi-Hogwarts University. And no, it is not a Masters degree… it’s something else that most of you might know or have heard of – the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (DPLP).

A year, that I thought would look more like a mini apocalypse tailored to each of us to destroy any social life or standing that we had created the previous years at uni, than a year of further study. The way older students described it, it sounded like a personalised torture chamber at the Ministry of Love, which I can escape from only when I am actually released. I dreaded the beginning, the middle and the end of these 9 months, which would be the most important months in my life, or at least that’s what I got told by my experienced older friends. Looking at the situation now, a month into the programme, I could say this can’t be more enjoyable than it actually is.

See, when studying the LLB, most of us never will have the chance to practice any of the theory that we learn, and there is a reason for that. The LLB is designed to create the basis on which the next few years of a career in law would depend on. The practice starts with baby steps during the diploma, and by the end of it, I would presume most of us will have the experience and confidence to tackle most of the basic legal tasks and be able to talk and help clients with their queries. But this year will not help me secure that needed and desired traineeship that all law students who want to qualify and practice strive towards. The DPLP acts as a trampoline for anyone who is proactive and motivated enough to use it successfully and to their benefit. Sitting idly and waiting for a law firm to come and say: “Hey, you are awesome and we want you to work for us!” is frankly impossible and ludicrous. But I think I will leave all of the motivational, uplifting stuff for another time.

Let me quickly describe my aspirations for the future – near and distant, as I am asked to do. Qualification would be the first step I am looking forward to. This means I need to find and secure that traineeship as soon as possible. The moment I qualify, though, I will be waiting for a few years and apply to become a judge and from there, well… we’ll see.

I know this was a short post, but as a first one I would think it is enough. I do hope it was enough to capture your interest and attention and I hope to meet you again, be it here, on the pages of the Upcoming Lawyer. I pray I have not bored you to death and I will be sure to write soon.

1 Comment

  1. This a beautifully written post, Penyo. Well done! I really much enjoyed reading it. Good luck!


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