Monday, 20 February 2012

A Mini History Lesson - Part 3

If you've kept up with the complex plot thus far, you'll know that at the end of my second year as a law student I was in trouble. I'd failed my trusts exam and had to take a year out, all because of some faulty wiring in my loft.

The long and short of it was that I was stuck in London and needed to get a job. The job I found, just two days later, turned my life around. Through a bizarre alignment of the stars I found myself as the new Researcher and Speech Writer for an MP. Now, the work was enjoyable and it gave me focus, but the real highlight of the job was the MP's secretary - a brilliant, sensitive battle-axe of a woman who had been working in the Commons for nearly 30 years, 20 of them under this boss. Her advice, cajoling and tellings-off changed my outlook completely and at the end of the year I went back to law school with a renewed vigour.

Although still fairly lazy when it came to my studies, I cut out a lot of the unnecessary distractions (perhaps only doing one play at a time instead of three!) and actually started going to lectures and tutorials. Three years after moving to London I finally had something approaching the right attitude to my studies. I started looking into the Bar again, trying to work out whether or not it was for me, and (if I decided to go for it) whether or not I was doing it for myself, or out of some immature attachment made more than a decade ago to a dying father.

So I called up the clerk who had sorted me out with a mini-pupillage the year before, and asked him if he could sort out another week for me. He went one better and gave me two weeks in Southwark Crown Court following around three different barristers - one of their second-six pupils, a junior and a silk.

It blew my mind.

This career wasn't the dull monotony of statute and reading dozens of pages of judgment, this profession was alive, vibrant and exciting.

This was what I wanted to do, but how on earth would I get there?

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