Bar School


I travelled into London on the tube for the first day of Bar School. Along the Central line to Holborn, I went up the long escalators wondering what it would be like. When I arrived, the place was rammed with students. I signed the enrolment forms and was given details of my tutor group. I received all the course text books – which were A4 sized and filled two big plastic bags – and headed off to the pub with my tutor group. There were some down to earth students and others who were very well spoken. I tried to avoid most law students at Oxford Brookes University because they were snobbish, so this was going to be odd as I would be surrounded by law students all day long. Continue reading



There was a new application process for Bar School, which involved completing an application form and sitting an entrance exam. I spent months preparing for that exam, which focussed on critical reasoning – an analysis of facts, evidence, relevance, fallacy, evaluation, inference and conclusion. Continue reading



I joined an Inn of Court, which provides services for and a disciplinary role over barristers. It was a prerequisite to going to Bar School. My savings had run out and I plunged into debt with no way of paying it off. I needed a scholarship to have any chance of financially making it through training for the Bar. I applied and looked at the list of previous successful candidates. It was lined with Oxbridge and a smattering of red-brick Universities. I knew it was a long shot, but worth a try. A few months later, I was invited for an interview. Continue reading



Michelle and I boarded a Monday morning coach from London to get our degree results. It was all quite relaxed until we neared Headington and I clammed up. This was an important day. If I didn’t get an LLB with First Class Honours, my chosen career would be over before it had even begun. I’d heard about snobbery in the legal profession and my education was from an ex-Poly. Continue reading

Hard Times


In the final year, Michelle and I moved a few streets along to East Avenue, which was a bit closer to college. It was a run-down, mid-terraced student house, but nothing a good clean wouldn’t sort out. Danny decided to move back to the halls of residence that he’d initially stayed in and so, unfortunately, we wouldn’t be lazing around watching videos so much. Danny, Michelle and I still met up regularly over our final year in Oxford. Continue reading

Great Days


Danny and I spent a lot of time chatting and watching videos at our house. The all-time favourite was Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson in Bottom. One morning, we were in our dressing gowns watching THE best episode where a gas man called at their flat, was offered a cup of tea and they beat him up, and tried to throw him out of a window. Continue reading

Ridgefield Road, Oxford


Just before the next academic year began, I moved into a house on Ridgefield Road with Michelle, Danny and Ade. It was in Cowley, a student area of Oxford where we knew a lot of people. The unkempt house had a musty smell of dust and old carpet. There was a brown, threadbare sofa in the living room and the kitchen was dirty. The bedrooms each had old, chipped tables to serve as desks. This would be home for the next year. We all got on well and I settled into my studies. I had the sole aim of getting a First in this degree. But, mid-way through the initial law subjects, I lost a bit of confidence as I wasn’t sure if I had it in me to get high enough grades. I knuckled down to some hard work. Continue reading



In my second year, Michelle was working in London, so I got all my studying done during the week to clear up weekends for her visits. I still lived at Heyford Hill and was due to graduate with a BA degree at the end of the academic year, so it was time to decide whether to go into business – in which case, I should do a masters degree in business administration – or law afterwards. I was convinced on law because, although it was more difficult to get higher grades, I really enjoyed it. So I arranged to begin an LLB degree – with an exemption from the first year again – straight after my BA graduation. Continue reading

Go With The Flow


In the early hours of the morning, we arrived at the port in Corfu, met by a gaggle of taxi drivers and others offering places to stay for the night. Over the noise came a booming voice from a thin Greek man with long, greying hair. Continue reading



During the summer term, my subjects were a combination of business and law. I was going out with Michelle and those long, warm days at college were spent between lectures, studying and enjoying life. I was happy and felt like I was heading somewhere. Continue reading