Open letter to new LDC students

Law Development Centre (LDC) main gate in Kampala. PHOTO/ FILE


What you need to know:

Read the law, read those Acts, there is no other option. For each teaching week, ensure that by the end of that week, you have read the major Act covering that week

Dear Law Development Centre Bar course students,

Heartfelt Congratulations upon your admission to the Bar Course. I agree, it is a difficult course but that is what makes it fun. The bar course is likely to take everything from you, but I guarantee you, it will quadruple whatever it will take from you.

I understand you look forward to passing and I take the privilege to share with you a few tips on how to  excellently pass the course.

You can agree with me, most of us spend almost 12 hours of our time on WhatsApp per day. So open individual WhatsApp groups or folders on your laptop for each subject taught at LDC. One for civil litigation, one for corporate and commercial law, et-cetera.  Then keep sharing all the materials you receive in their respective groups or folders on your laptop, all the materials you receive for civil litigation, share them with your civil litigation group or laptop folder, do the same for corporate and commercial law and all the other subjects. With this, you will always be sure to easily locate your reading materials as and when you need them.

Then ensure that you read all the materials you send in your respective WhatsApp groups or folders on your laptop. At the end of the civil litigation week, go back to your civil litigation WhatsApp group or laptop folder, look through the material there and confirm that you read all of them, at least three quarters of them.

Read the law, read those Acts, there is no other option. For each teaching week, ensure that by the end of that week, you have read the major Act covering that week. If you are in the partnership week, ensure that by Friday, you have read the entire Partnership Act. Then on top of that, read the locus classicus cases on the topics/ learning outcomes you are covering in that week.

Make notes, do not copy but make notes. Get the learning outcomes of the week and do your personal research on all of them. Do not think that just because the exams are open book, you will refer to the Act in the exam room, I guarantee you, you may not even have time to look at the Act in the exam room, instead, your well-researched notes will save you.

When it comes to documents, make sure that you have the best drafted documents in your book.  There is little or no re-inventing of the wheel in law, therefore, reach out to one or two practising lawyers to share with you “precedents” of well drafted documents which you can use as a guide to draft correct documents in your book. Some of them may be kind enough to teach you on how to draft good documents.

As you advance with the course, know how to draft some commonly used documents like a plaint, notice of motion, Chamber summons and agreements off head without necessarily referring to your book. This will help you save time in the exam.

When it comes to workshops, the answers to the workshop are actually in the list they tell you to read. For example, you will get a big criminal case file and they tell you to identify the offences disclosed, but you will have Section 129 of the Penal Code Act the reading list. That Section is not there for fun, they are actually telling you to identify the case of defilement. The same applies to other subjects, read the cases and statute provisions highlighted on the reading list. All the answers to the workshops are there and nowhere else.

While reading the facts of the exam, test or workshop, read them like a lawyer, not like a person reading a newspaper. Lawyers are very mean with their words, so there is a reason for each word they put in those facts.

Beyond attending discussions, ensure that you also teach or discuss something during discussion group meetings. You cannot forget what you discussed or taught.

Believe in a higher power. Pray, pray hard, pray, please pray, pray like you haven’t read and then read like you haven’t prayed. You are free to think that some things are impossible, but when you kneel down to pray, pray for the impossible, please pray.

Finally, be very organized, positive, optimistic, diligent and prayerful, trust me, Law Development Centre will have nothing to do but to grant your prayers of success.

Good luck to you all.

Alfred Muyaaka, A recent 1st Class Bar Course graduate, A Bachelor of Laws (Honours) graduate from K.I.U, a 1st Class Diploma in law graduate from LDC and currently an Advocate at Kalikumutima and Co. Advocates.



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