CASE STUDY 1 - STRONG ACCENT
I was concerned that my strong accent would prevent me from passing the Advocacy Assessments. I spoke to Sonia about this at the start of the Bar course. She reassured me that there was nothing wrong with having an accent, as long as my oral delivery was clear. In fact she told me that an accent added interest to my voice.
During my Advocacy classes with Sonia, we worked on my voice production, pace, varying the tone of my voice and diction. As a result of her tuition I was able to pass my Advocacy Assessments at the first attempt.
CASE STUDY 2 – I FAILED MY ADVOCACY ASSESSMENTS
I had a very difficult time on the Bar Course and failed my Advocacy witness handling Assessments several times. I worked really hard to try to pass the exams but couldn’t understand where I was going wrong, despite receiving ‘fail feedback’ from tutors.
I had one more chance to pass the assessments. I became very disillusioned and considered abandoning the idea of being a Barrister. A friend told me that Sonia was running evening revision sessions for resit students.
In the first revision session Sonia was immediately able to identify what the issues were with my examination in chief technique. She gave me lots of constructive feedback, as well as a ‘prescription’ to remedy the problems. She made me perform several times during that first session. With each performance my examination in chief improved, and so did my confidence levels.
For the first time ever I went into the Advocacy Assessments knowing what I had to do, and knowing that I would pass the exams. Needless to say, I did pass the exams and I am now a practising Barrister, specialising in Crime.
CASE STUDY 3 – INTIMIDATED BY MY COLLEAGUES
I suffered from nerves and anxiety whilst studying on the Bar course. I dreaded Advocacy classes in particular. Everyone else in my Advocacy class seemed so much better than me. They sounded and looked like Barristers. I was really intimated by them which affected my performances.
I spoke to Sonia about this, she was really helpful. She explained that there was nothing wrong with being nervous, in fact it would be odd to NOT be nervous. Sonia gave me tips and strategies to overcome my performance anxiety; I used these during the Advocacy Assessments. I passed the assessments, first time.
CASE STUDY 4 – I COULDN’T GET RID OF MY SCRIPT
I was told by my Advocacy tutors time and time again that I was overly-reliant on my notes during my Advocacy performances and that I would be penalised in the exams if I appeared scripted. But my script was my crutch, I thought that if I didn’t have a script I would forget everything I wanted to say and just freeze.
During an Advocacy class with Sonia, she explained why a script was not a good idea. She gave me a technique to enable me to perform script-free. She also gave me the confidence to know that I could perform without a script. In that class I actually performed a cross examination WITHOUT A SCRIPT.
This was the first time on the Bar course that I had ever done so. For the rest of the Advocacy course I was able to perform with just a few notes
CASE STUDY 5 – BARRISTER NEEDED A REFRESHER AFTER LEAVING THE BAR
I was called to the Bar in the 1990s. I was a tenant in a general common law set up until the early 2000s, when I then decided to become an employed Barrister.
I worked for the civil service as an Employment and Housing Barrister, my duties did not require that I conduct any Advocacy. When a matter had to go to trial I simply instructed counsel. However, my role gradually changed and I was required to conduct various court applications.
I was very apprehensive about appearing in court again after an absence of 7 years. I contacted Sonia and asked her if she would coach me. I had a single session with her, I left that session full of confidence, having learned some new techniques and skills.