Archive for September 14th, 2006

Exhausted … I return to ephemera…

Perhaps traumatised by writing about something which could actually be useful to lawyers (Peter Rouse’s new coaching service – below) I have a need to draw your attention to some diversions and, perhaps, make a comment or two on modern life in London

I shall start with Vinyl Killer

After the spoof website episode of yesterday – which Liadnan added to in the comments section – I have found something which I might actually enjoy buying. I probably won’t buy one – because my mind will be onto something else by tomorrow morning (I am having an entirely Rioja free evening and a diet of water only – no food – for 48 hours.)

This mad gadget amused me. It’s not the record that spins. The world’s smallest self running record player doesn’t need turntables but churns out music by driving round the record with a needle that is underneath the car.If you have this, you can enjoy music whenever and wherever you are. 33RPM Only. Built in motor, amplifier ad speaker. Requires 9V alkali battery.

I’ll probably stick to my iPod.

Detox… and a peroration on bottled mineral water

I have a very good German friend who goes on water only diets for a week. He says it does him good. It certainly seems to. He is in good shape and, when the occasion demands, he is fit to sink quite a few german beers and a decent quantity of red. I am losing a bit of weight, intentionally – the dying embers of lost youth? No.. I just don’t want to turn into a porker. My problem, and I suspect it is the same for quite a few men, is that weight tends to go onto the belly and the face. I decided to drink nothing but water for 36 hours, give the Rioja a rest for one night and forego the pleasures of breakfast and lunch. I rarely eat dinner. I feel good for the experience – if a bit flushed out. I did not, of course, give up the cigs – Silk Cut and tapwater go well together. I have, this night, completed my self imposed penance – which may account for the fact that there are not too many typos floating about. Tomorrow I will attack the Rioja with verve and, possibly, a bit of style. A close friend from Oxford is coming down to demonstrate his particular ability to sink several bottles. I need to be in good shape for evenings with him. I also need to keep my wits about me – he is well read and highly educated in all manner of things. I believe he has seven degrees (including two law degrees). He is a collector of books, samurai swords, knowledge and life. We do not, of course, discuss law as we quaff the Rioja. It was this friend who introduced me to the wonderful old english word ‘Toper’.

And so to the question of mineral water in restaurants… “Would Sir like a hideously expensive large bottle of mineral water?” asks the waiter or waitress – fully aware that a charge of anything rom £3-7.50 will go onto the bill with VAT and service on top. I do not like bottled mineral water. I feel no shame or guilt in asking for good old British tap water. Yes, it might contain estrogen, viagra, Prozac and minute traces of illicit substances – having passed through at least seven other Londoners before getting to my tap (Is that really true?) – but tap water is free (or very cheap in the grand scheme of water rates) and, to my Rioja hardened taste buds, tastes pretty good.

Why would one person want a whole bottle of mineral water? I remember going to a meeting years ago at a magic circle firm. I asked for a glass of water. A bottle of ‘top of the range’ mineral water was brought in by a waitress with a beautiful tumbler. It was a huge bottle. The partner I was talking to and his associate decided that they, too, would have water. Two more large bottles were brought in. Each of us solemnly opened our own wine bottle sized bottles of mineral water. It did not occur to anyone that we might share one bottle between us. Life is different in magic circle meeting rooms. Although, having said that, I visited a leading Family set to see a close friend of mine – a real silk – and a Butler, complete with striped trousers and what appeared to a sommelier’s tasting cup, dangling from his waistcoat, came in with coffee. 15-Love to my friend, I thought. He was very tolerant of the fact that I was sitting in his elegant room dressed in motorbike leathers with a bright yellow helmet on his highly polished conference table. The butler was inscrutable.

I am now rambling… I see a bottle of Rioja on the sideboard in my office. It will stay there until the morrow…

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Charon to be coached?…

Building on Talent – Law Talent Service from Advizory
So…do you want to make partner? Do you want to have an edge? I know Peter Rouse – an original and innovative thinker – and I am delighted to draw your attention to a new service which he is offering lawyers – coaching. His website is worth a look and a phonecall to him won’t hurt if you are intersted in developing your skills and abilities.

Recently launched by Advizory, a coaching and consulting firm lead by a Solicitor, Peter Rouse, is a service that offers individual support and guidance to Solicitors ‘from Trainee to Partner’. Peter had a long and highly successful career as a lawyer, starting out in a small provincial firm before moving on to the City (Barlows and Lovells) and then out to Asia with Baker & McKenzie; in 1990 Peter founded what are now the IP specialist firms Rouse Legal and Rouse & Co International. Author of a new book, ‘Every Relationship Matters – authenticity and vocation in practice’, soon to be published by the American Bar Association, Peter is now turning his skills and experience to helping other lawyers succeed in life in legal practice.

These days lawyers at all levels have to fend for themselves as they make their way up the ladder to Partner; and thereafter the going can be just as tough. Advizory believes that all lawyers have their own particular talents and strengths that can be nurtured and built upon to deliver the success they deserve. Advizory are keen to recruit junior lawyers to their service and to create career-long relationships; the service is priced so as to make it affordable for junior lawyers.

For more information see the website

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LAWinaBOX Study Kits….

It is not often… that I promote SPR products on my blawg, but I do so unashamedly here because SPR has been producing courses and materials for law students and practitioners for some years now and this year has gone back to producing CD ROMS for sale through bookshops.

LAWinaBOX is a sophisticated product designed specifically for law students. (It is also useful to practitioners who may wish to refresh their core knowledge.) You may see the full range on these websites: Consilio and LAWinaBOX.

A bookshop only initiative. Students may buy recorded one hour lectures, textbooks, Q&A packs in downloadable format from the LAWinaBOX website.

This year SPR is publishing, for the first time, a full Study Kit in the core subjects at a very competitive price and offering a resource which no other legal publisher does. The Study Packs contain 20 one hour recorded lectures delivered by experienced law teachers, a detailed textbook (200-500 pp), casenotes (100 – 150pp) and a Q&A Pack (25 exam style questions with answers and 50 MCQs) all for £42 – a saving of £25 on the purchase price if all items were purchased seprately in downloadable format from the LAWinaBOX website.

Subjects available: Contract, Criminal law, Constitutional (Public) Law, Tort, Land Law, Equity & Trusts and EU Law.

The following bookshops stock LAWinaBOX: Waterstones, Blackwells, Ottakers, Wildy’s, Foyles and Bllomsbury books in Hong Kong.

If your local bookshop does not have stock – they will order it for you and delievery is usually only a few days.

Available in the bookshops from 28th September 2006

Optional subjects are also available – but the Study Kits for options do not contain Q&A packs as these are being written over the course of the year. See LAWinaBOX website for the full range. You may test drive the lectures, textbooks and recorded lectures on Consilio and LAWinaBOX

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