My Everest!

Posted on September 03, 2011 by RAQUEL RODRÍGUEZ 

I am sorry for my lack of posting lately guys! A while ago I came to Barcelona to visit my family and friends and have been busy catching up ever since. Although I meant to write an entry every single day this lovely weather has been keeping me away from books and internet. Time goes fast and it has been almost a month since my last post. So let's get a move on!
Last night while I was chatting with a couple I am friends with I came up with the subject of this new entry. It is actually one of my biggest concerns and most likely the one for many non-native English speakers. Being able to speak as an English lawyer does is certainly one of the biggest challenges I've ever come across. It is my Everest!
The same rule applies for all lawyers regardless of where they come from. Lawyers must be able to explain themselves clearly. Having an extensive vocabulary helps you appear intelligent, professional and enables you to communicate concisely. It should also enhance your chances to succeed. After all, words are the principal tools of lawyers.
QLTS gives you a base of Legal language and terminology to work from but it is not enough. There is still a long way to go.
Anything that challenges your current English level can be useful. Starting from watching films or listening to music then moving on to reading through Legal websites or blogs. The stuff is out there you just have to take a look and choose what suits you the best. If you're really lucky finding an internship or doing some work as a paralegal would be ideal. I have even gone to the Court in different occasions. It is amazing how much you can learn from listening barristers and judges talk to each other. For them it's just another ordinary day whereas for me it's a chance to learn an insight to what I hope one day will be my future. Another idea is to make native English speaking friends that are very well spoken and articulate and chat with them as often as possible. It sounds selfish but it will help!
So let's be enthusiastic and proud of ourselves. Eventually we'll get there!
In the meanwhile I leave you this joke I found the other day and put a smile on my face...


  1. Hi Raquel,

    Searching the web site for QLTS assessments' materials, I came across your blog, and I cannot do other thing than congratulating you for the excellent info you are sharing with all of your followers.

    I am also planning to take the MCT in January, however I have not started to study yet. Actually, I am still in the process of choosing training provider. I have been in touch with QLTS School and Central Law Training. The materials provided by CLT are less expensive, however QLTS School seems to be very active in the provision of training for the QLTS assessment. What is your opinion about the QLTS School's materials? Is it worthy spending the money. Do you of somebody already enrolled with CLT. Thank you very much for your help.

    Also, given your civil law background, it would be interesting if you post something about the difficulties you are encountering in your study because of the differences of civil and common law legal systems.

    Re the language skills for the assessments, I do agree with you that the preparation of the MCT will improve our vocabulary. Nevertheless, I find equally essential enhancing our conversation skills before sitting for the two following assessments. I have seen that both CLT and QLTS School offer face to face preparation specifically tailored for the OSCE and the TLST.

    Best regards,


  2. Hi there,

    Sorry for the delay in replying. I already had in mind writing about this issue but thanks for your suggestion anyway. I booked my course with the QLTS School. Since I have not seen any other materials from a different school I can not tell you what the best option is. However what I can tell you is that QLTS School is really expensive.

    Thanks for your comment!! If you've got any more questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Keep checking out my blog!!

  3. Hi Raquel,

    Thanks for sharing all this helpfull information with us. I am seriously contemplating on doing the QLTS as well. Although, I work as a full time lawyer in an english firm at the moment, but in brussels. Do you think it is feasable to work and study for the QLTS at the same time? If so, how much prepartion time you think is needed for the MCT?

    Kind regards,


  4. Hi there,

    It's my pleasure! Regarding your question I don't really feel comfortable telling people what they are or are not capable of doing. Before making any decision you should consider these points:
    What your background in Common Law is;
    You will be studying in English. There aren't lectures or fellows to speak with. It will be you and the materials. Hence it requires personal commitment.
    When do you want to take the assessment? Based on that you could come up with a study timetable and see if it's manageable.

    I find the QLTS more challenging than I expected. According to my experience taking some time off before the MCT exam might be a good idea. You have commented me that you are working for an English Law Firm. Why don't you explain to them what your thoughts are? They might be able to help you with some training and maybe even time off.

    I hope you find this helpful. I'd love to give you a straight answer but unfortunately things aren't always black and white.

    I am sure there are many people studying for the QLTS part-time. I've done it myself for a while and may have to do it again if I find an internship. So I encourage you to go for it! Please let me know if I can help you with anything else.

    Raquel Rodríguez

  5. Hi Raquel,

    Thx a lot for your answer. I'll take it into consideration.

    Concerning the study mode. I have got 2 masters in Law, of which one is a LLM at University College London. So I should be used to studying in English. And there being no lectures should be fine as well, as I wasn't a examplatory student, a.k.a. I skipped a lot of/most lectures, henceforth had to study on my own. Nevertheless, my knowledge on Common law is not that extensive, as I don't have an UK LLB.

    But as you said, its all about personal commitment.

    If I take the test (MCT), it would be for June, as its too late (imo) to do it in January. How are you doing with studying for the MCT?

    Kind regards,


    1. Hi L,

      I would take the MCT in January 2013 and am currently working in brussels as legal counsel. I wonder whether you have taken your MCT in June. Similar to you, I have got a LLM in London but not LLB. So, how are you doing with studying for the MCT and have you taken the OSCE and TLST?

      Thanks for your reply in advance.

      Best regards,

    2. Hi there,

      I sat the MCT exam in January 2012 and passed! So now I am getting ready for the TLST and OSCE which will take place in September this year. You should check this out: I am sure you'll find it useful.
      If you've got any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

      Many thanks,

      Raquel Rodríguez

  6. Hi Raquel,

    First of all congratulations for your blog, I found it really interesting!

    I have one doubt, maybe you can help me, I am currently an "Abogado" (I'm living in Barcelona) and I'm about to move to London. I want to do the QLTS and from what I have read so far I need to send a "certificate of good standing" to the SRA, to be able to start the process. What is the name of the certificate in Spanish? I know it sounds odd, but I am an italian and Spanish is my third language..

    Thank you very much in advance!

    Moltes gracies,

    Valeria Gentile