Showing posts from October, 2011

Trick or Treating - 21st Century Style...

Halloween is a scary, dangerous time. Just making a Jack O’ Lantern gets me all of a quiver, what with the presence of raw vegetables, sharp knives and a lighted candle. As well as the possibility of having Michael Myers lurking around the next corner, there are hazards to be found (and injuries avoided) with even the most innocuous of trick or treating adventure.  Still, whilst I’m all for a safety first approach, it can be overdone.  From up and trick-or-treating is a treasured part of childhood. To keep the evening’s fun meter on high, the Center for Disease Control and other health and safety groups advise:Allowing children to go out during daylight hours only, unless accompanied by a responsible adult. But it gets dark early at this time of year. And trick or treating at 3 in the afternoon just isn’t the same. Still, you could always give the kids dark glasses to give the impression of night.Never allowing small children to go out alone on Halloween. Mak…

Payment Protection… lost in translation

This brarmer (minus the pink text – I couldn’t help myself… sorry) plopped into my inbox a while back. I really didn’t expect something as raunchy from PayPal; since when did they get so smutty?What’ve the smooching couple got to do with PayPal offering payment protection when one of your online purchases goes t*ts-up?No, I don’t know either.Anyway, good luck to the chap.  Now he’s bought his lady friend a necklace (which benefited from the payment protection thingy) I just hope she ‘puts out’.Judging from the picture, I don’t think he’s got any worries in that department.I just hope one of them has thought ahead.  I don’t think PayPal’s ‘protection’ stretches that far.  (See, PayPal shouldn't be forcing me to go down these mental side roads).

Life as a modern law student - a few thoughts

On the back of my half-hearted ‘back to school’ series, I’ve been thinking a lot recently about just what an awful time it is to be a law student (or any kind of student for that matter).  Not to put anybody off, of course, (but seriously - think carefully).

Let’s face it: graduate jobs of any description are hard enough to come by right now.  I know a couple of people who are/were tackling the LPC part time and have put it on hold half way through because they’re so fearful of ploughing in the rest of the fees and then coming out the other side with a useless diploma and no chance of a training contract.Understandably, there is a lot of concern that many would-be students are taking the attitude that going to university is simply not worth the expense, hassle and stress.The Law Gazette report this:The biggest fall in university applications in more than 30 years has seen the number of candidates applying to study law drop by a record 5.2%, according to figures released by the Univers…

Solicitor ‘Glamour’ – Real & Virtual

I know, I know. Just as you thought Roll on Friday couldn’t sink any lower, they bring out this brarmer.Virtual lawyers, law firms ‘in the cloud’ and holographic lawsuits all seem a bit 2008 these days. I remember Pinsent Masons established a virtual office in Second Life a few years ago for any potential clients who fancied bringing a claim way out there in the ether. They swiftly wound it up, however, after realising it wasn’t doing them an ounce of good and was possibly contraindicated in raising their profile in a meaningful way.Still, the prospect of instructing a virtual lawyer still hits the spot according to this poll; nearly 75% of voters (whoever they are) would prefer lawyer Steven Wu in his virtual, ‘aspirational’ form than his natural self.That’s disturbing.So maybe there is hope for virtual law firms after all – (particularly if the fee earners consist of a tasty bunch of butch and buxom pieces of eye-candy with omnipotent legal brains).

A sting in the tail

Over the weekend, we discovered a wasp nest up in the soffit box at the front of the house.  By the length of the wispy bits of wasp nest poking out under the grill in the soffit, it had been up there for a couple of years at least.  We only moved here in May and hadn’t noticed a thing all summer.

Being the wimpish sort, I got an exterminator in.  He duly turned up Tuesday morning and had already spotted the offending nest before I told him where it was.  He seemed quite excited at the prospect of blasting the suckers with pesticide.

Being a chilly kind of morning (and me supposedly working from home), while he fiddled about preparing his pole and nozzle (ahem), I went back into the house to get on with some work.

A while later I heard some exciting knocking at the front door.  When I got down there, he was standing by his van beckoning me to come out (but to run).  Feeling rather perturbed and wondering if the roof was about to come in, I sprinted across the front lawn and s…

Do you worry about your performance as a blogger?

There was an Interesting debate on Windows Weekly a few weeks ago in which Leo Laporte, Paul Thurrott and Mary-Jo Foley briefly touched upon what it means to be a blogger. (Oh, and is it just me, or is Windows Weekly just not the same now?)

Anyhow, according to Leo, blogging is an obsession - and not always a healthy one.  Speaking for myself, I don’t know whether ‘obsession’ is the right word, but it’s certainly a labour of love. I think it’s important not to hang on too tightly.  I’ve always made a point of only blogging when I feel like it. If blogging becomes a chore, what’s the point?

According to Leo, any self-respecting blogger sweats over their posts, is surgically attached to their computer keyboard, and dwells over what they have written (to the point of getting up in the middle of the night to correct an erroneous post). Casting a quick glance around the UK blawgosphere (which is starting to look a bit frayed around the edges – let’s be honest), I can’t see many of us…

Speed reading Ts&Cs

Lawyers are always reckoned to be the guiltiest when it comes to failing to read terms and conditions properly (outside the course of work, that is!!)So you’re not alone in happily planting a tick in the ‘yep I’ve read and digested each of the terms’ box before ordering something online – (when, in fact, you’ve done no such thing).  Ahem.  So far as the least-read documents on earth are concerned, I think EULAs just edge out the terms of most online stores.  And what’s the harm, scooting down to the bottom and emphatically whacking the ‘I Accept’ radio button when you’re installing something? After all, Microsoft haven’t come over and sued your sweet merry ass yet, right?  Better watch it though: you might just be caught out.Nah… Redmond wouldn’t have the sense of humour for that!  Found here.

Karaoke… for lawyers

Lawyers aren’t particularly renowned for letting their hair down, so what better way to help them unwind than with free-flowing tequila, a stage and a good ol’ karaoke machine.

Professional etiquette might prohibit traipsing over to the entertainment hall at Butlins and getting down and dirty with a Britney Spears rendition but even personal injury lawyers have to cut loose occasionally.  They can’t spend all their time ambulance chasing.

So, in a first of its kind ‘Karaoke for Lawyers’ (sponsored by Law Actually - of course) is coming to a bar near you.  Here are some of the songs currently available.

Pink -  just like APIL” - inspired by a search term from one of my wacky readers...

Elvis Presley - “law me tender” - an obvious choice, but we’ve just gotta have a bit of Elvis.

ABBA - money, money, money” - again, horribly obvious but hey-ho.  All lawyers have a reputation (rightly or wrongly) for being evil, money-grabbing bast*rds.  Why not play to it?  Literal…

Pet Peeves

Come on - admit it: we all have them.  Some of us just seem to have more than others.  Here are 5 I’m currently struggling along with.  There are lots more, believe me.The flailing arms of ‘large’ pedestrians when they’re walking out and about and any other pavement hoggers or those wandering aimlessly talking on their phones. Seriously, talk about asking for what you get...  
I’m something of a passive aggressive pedestrian and I’ll happily ‘pull a manoeuvre’ on you - Michael Schumacher style.  
People who bring their bikes on a train (or anywhere in a railway station).  YOU people….!!!
Email - yeah, (as I’ve already admitted .. I can’t cope with it.)  But I think I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact I can’t cope.  So at least I can say I’m coping with not coping.  Which is an improvement.
Phones vibrating on desks.  Heck, my blood pressure’s up just thinking about it.
Name shortening - particularly mine.  I don’t really like my name (who does?), but I can toler…

Bare assed law

From Roll on Friday 07/10/11:The clients of a legal aid lawyer have recreated a John Lennon and Yoko Ono magazine cover to support her fight to keep her practice.Yvonne Hossack has dedicated her legal career to helping vulnerable people and, in particular, is known for her work on behalf of care home residents facing eviction. She's acted for over 2,000 clients, saved care homes from closure and taken cases to Strasbourg. But it's not been an easy ride: her firm has lost over £100,000 in the last year and she's been fighting a battle against the Legal Services Commission which refused Hossack's application for a legal aid contract (citing incorrectly filled out forms). Down with those bureaucrats, I say!Therefore former clients Roger Kinsey, 66, and his wife Chris, 58 …have decided to draw some attention to her plight by recreating Lennon and Ono's 1968 Rolling Stone cover. Explaining their decision to get their kit off to the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph the…

Money saving tips for law students

Continuing my ‘back to school’ series for law students, next up is saving money and general thriftiness.  Now freshers week is a distant memory, it might be time for a bit of common sense and sound judgement when it comes to finances..I admit it’s a bit of a quirky list, but it should prove a useful starter for ten for any law student.Budgeting: if you’re concerned about your willpower and general prudence with suddenly having so much money, create a separate bank account for the first term taking just under a third out. Go mental with it and enjoy yourself. Then grow the hell up.

Don't bother with expensive screen wipes for your laptop. Instead, keep the free ‘freshen up’ wipes you get given when ordering a KFC and use those instead.

Buying the previous edition of textbooks second hand is a false economy. The hassle of having to update them / always wondering whether the content deals with the most recent law means it’s worth paying more for the convenience.  

If you ge…

What is it with law and portals?

From the Lawyer 19/09/11:Lawyers were told earlier this year that to stay on the roll they would need to ­register between 30 August and 14 October - only then could they submit their applications before the deadline of 8 November.Complaints were made after the site’s launch was delayed by several days and passwords were rejected.“It took me 10 days to ­register,” one lawyer said. “It was a long process and the system just kept coming up with complete gibberish messages. I called the SRA twice and they couldn’t help - they said the deadline wouldn’t be extended.“The problem is that everyone will leave it until the last minute and then there’ll be a deluge and it will go into meltdown.”An SRA spokesman said that so far 25,000 solicitors out of 165,000 had registered online and ­activations have risen to 3,000 per day.“Implementing [the] mySRA [system] signals a step change in the way ­regulated individuals and firms will access our ­services in future,” said the spokesman. “We’d like t…

That’s… an interesting approach

If you find the average EULA (End User Licence Agreement) a touch trying for its verbosity, awkwardness and generally unappealing nature, how does the above grab ya?The lawyer in me is screaming in pain at this. The free-radical hippie undercurrent(that’s probably more under than current) is whooping for joy.Found here.