Let me start with a confession. After reading this, many of you will think that I should be sectioned under the Mental Health Act. True, if Im honest there have been several moments over the past few weeks when Ive questioned my own sanity. To explain, let us defy the wonders of science and travel back in time to Monday 1 September 2008.

Monday 1 September 2008. Seem familiar? It should do. For the majority of penultimate year law students this date is as pertinent as 4 July is to Americans. Independence Day, the date when law firms may offer training contracts to all those budding solicitors who havent quite reached their daunting final year. The time when a firm I had thoroughly felt at home within offered me my independence, and instead I chose insanity.

Deciding to jump off the conveyor belt of vacation schemes, degree, LPC, training contract, was perhaps the hardest decision Ive ever had to make. Many tried to talk me down, yet still I jumped! When all those around you are out celebrating the fact theyd secured a job with one of the countrys leading law firms, it can be hard to take a step back and ask yourself, am I ready? Is this what I really want? More to the point, am I really going to have to sacrifice nights out in my third year to get the best degree I can, when all those with a training contract only need a 2:1 so are out having a seriously good time!

Everyone comes to their own decision in differing ways. However, after many late nights that invariably rolled into the early hours of the morning, I finally found it within myself to pull over from the fast lane and into the hard shoulder. As a bit of a tip, speak to graduate recruitment about your choice, if theyre anything like those that I spoke to their advice will be much more meaningful than that of friends. I suffered no end of banter for this choice. The general remark: Man up and strap on a pair, youre being stupid!

So where now? Ive no idea! I suppose from here on in the world is my oyster. Although the world seems like a rather scary place right now! A training contract offers some security, stability and a degree of certainty. Entering into the final year of my degree without any solid plans for the future seems a rather daunting prospect. Although, the legal world is so far ahead in terms of its recruitment process that stepping back and taking some to time reflect doesnt seem like such a bad choice, though it hasnt been an easy one. In truth, Ive an immense desire to work abroad before settling down with a pipe, slippers and a career.

So, while all of you with training contracts are out enjoying your third year, I trust youll think of all of us poor people who are working hard. Be sure, we will be thinking of you whilst lying on a beach in the warm sun whilst you enjoy the delights of legal research skills that the LPC promises you!

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