Tuesday, 29 September 2009

And the Votes are In .....

I'm in, phew.

I'm enjoying a feeling of relief coupled with the fact I no longer have to watch my p's and q's all the time.

The hard work starts from here.

I hope to post a proper run down of my year, together with my views on the future as soon as I have some proper time.

Good luck to everyone mad enough to get into this. If I can be any assistance at all please just ask, if I can't help I might know someone who can.


Sunday, 30 August 2009

Not long to go

I am on the home straight. My tenancy application has to be in by Wednesday. It's a fairly simple process, covering letter, CV and a couple of references. No interview, no humiliating exercise to be determined on. We shall see, it makes me feel sick.

Work has been extremely busy. I have been doing alot of prosecuting in the mags as an agent. These days are tiring, you have no idea what the day has in store for you until you turn up at court and look inside the bag of files that is designated to your court. You may face a long list of first appearances, or a couple of trials. Either way I always feel woefully prepared.

Good news on the defending front though, I have my first Crown Court trial in October. At this stage I'm looking forward to standing up in front of a jury, however by the time it comes I will be very nervous.

I shall keep you posted.


Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The Pace of Life is FAST

One of the many things I worried about during my 1st 6 was there not being enough work to keep me busy. There was no need to worry. In the three months I have been on my feet I have had 2 days out of court. Talking to fellow pupils this is less than usual. Put simply I am flat out, and this includes most Saturdays. I'm still enjoying it though.

I am pleased to report that I have now had a few effective summary trials, and am currently maintaining a 100% acquittal rate! This I am very pleased about, but know it won't last long. I am also doing a bit of prosecuting which helps keep things in prospective. Prosecuting doesn't really sit well with me, although I find it hard to articulate why this is. Certainly I am far more bothered by the result when defending. At any rate I am a truely fair prosecutor, and do my duty to the court, and not soley to Her Majesty. As mentioned in an earlier post, many CPS bods are in a permanently cross state, which makes them rather bristly to deal with. I however am not, and it's always nice to see the reaction from those defending when they ask for copies of statements etc before trial, and I simply provide it without any fuss.

Another bonus is that I am finding myself in the Crown Court more than I thought I would too. On average about once a fortnight (usually in far flung places that no one else can be bothered to pitch up to), only to cover the odd hearing, but it's still nice to get into the very expensive fancy dress once in a while.

I cannot believe we are mid way through July. In about 2 months the T word will be at the forefront of my mind. I am too tired to think about it for now.

My thoughts are with all those presently going through the gruelling interviewing process and the painful waiting period. Keeping my fingers crossed for you all.


Saturday, 9 May 2009

In the thick of it

So I have now completed 4 weeks on my feet. In short it is fantastic. This is worth waiting for. Happily I have been kept busy, often appearing in two courts a day and only having had one entire day out of court. As yet I have not received any cheques. Most of the clients I've represented seem nice too, there has only been one so far who I found a bit much to bear. He was high as a kite throughout our conference and proceedings, being far more worried about picking up his next script from the pharmacy. He was very lucky to avoid custody on that day, but I was not convinced he realised the reality of the situation he faced.

I am yet to do a trial, but it looks like I may get one next week. Fingers crossed I win my first one, but sometimes the forces are well and truely against you at the Magistrates court.

I know this post is a bit short, but life has shot along at break neck speed over the last month. Good luck to all those about to confront interview season. I may see a few of you at my set!


Sunday, 29 March 2009

2nd Six Excitement

Many thanks for all the comments on my last post. The question mark over my gender made me chuckle to myself. For obvious reasons I have tried not to let out any personal information that could cause me to be identified. I do not regard my sex as information which could cause me to be identified, but for my own amusement I will keep you all guessing.
The dark days that spawned my last depressing post are over. I am feeling much more comfortable around chambers, and am enjoying the single like in London. I continue to be busy with various bits and bobs of work from my PM, as well as trotting off to court most days.
In preparation for my impending 2nd six, I have been spending a lot more time shadowing tenants in the magistrate courts. The difference between the mags and the Crown Court is stark. A busy morning in Thames mags is akin to being at the NEXT sale on Boxing Day, it's difficult to move around and everybody is cross. In comparison most Crown Courts are like Health Clubs, with regular hours and plenty of breaks for tea and biscuits. What strikes me most is the complete mess the CPS are in. Occasionally members of chambers will act as an agent for the CPS, and I get to see first hand how miserable and downbeat all the CPS bods seem to be. They battle against severe time and financial constraints, as well as snotty defence advocates coming to annoy them about their particular case every five minutes, so it's not surprising they're a little down in the mouth, but the inherent jobsworth attitude gets a little wearing. In terms of my own career progression, I can safely say going in-house with the CPS is well and truly off the list.
The days of me simply following others around all day like a meek little lamb are nearly over. I cannot wait, it has been a long time coming.
I hope everyone is getting to grips with the new Pupillage Portal, and it proves fruitful for all.
Have a good Easter.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Depressed PB

As the title suggests this may not be the merriest of posts.

I have just completed the compulsory first six advocacy course, so can now go forth into my second six. The course was useful, and on the whole enjoyable with many eminent (if a little out of touch) barristers regaling many anecdotes from their careers at the Bar since the ice age.

I am not feeling as comfortable in Chambers as I was. I am at a loss to explain why this is, but I sometimes feel that I come across as a bit dull, particularly with the younger members. As a pupil it's simply not my place to make comment on any gossip or the like being discussed, but nevertheless I feel a bit of pressure to have a bit more about me. Perhaps I'll learn to juggle and flame throw in order to entertain like a court jester. Come April, this may be rather too analogous than is comfortable.

To be completely honest, I'm finding it hard to care. My significant other and I decided to go our separate ways after 5 years. It was in the end a mutual decision based on the fact that we live in different parts of the country and have entirely separate lives. Having managed to get this far, I can't jack it all in for a frolic of the heart, but it is a hard reality to come to terms with. I simply feel sad.

I hope the high price this career comes at both financially and emotionally will be worth it. Looking at it from where I am at this particular moment, I think not.

Happier posts to come, hopefully.


Saturday, 31 January 2009

Busy busy bee ...

As my first six swoops steadily to its conclusion, I have been kept busy. The odd chap mentioned in my previous post has gone from not looking or talking to me, to suddenly acting like my best friend. He has provided me with a few bits of interesting work, not simply confined to crime, which is good. I did a couple of Appeal advices for him, and they were both sent off to the solicitors unamended, so gold star to me! Also an advice on a slightly boring Commercial contract/Business rates matter is currently being worked on. Despite strange initial dealings with him, I now find this chap to be interesting and funny.

Other than this I have been sitting in a couple of very interesting trials. Last week it was a charge of double GBH in circumstances where if found guilty, the Defendant would have been subject to an indeterminate prison sentence because of his previous. Fortunately for our guy, the jury took just 9 minutes to acquit him! A record time for the experienced barrister I was sitting behind. This week it's another serious GBH, coupled with a kidnap, so all very God Father like. Such gratuitous violence makes a welcome change, as my PM deals with a lot of sex crime, particularly dealing with children, which can get rather heavy going and yucky dealing with the Defendant's involved. Further a senior member of chambers has got a murder retrial coming up, so I've also been familiarising myself with those, extensive, papers.

I'm still very eager to get on with my second six - got my advocacy course before then though, which no doubt will prove interesting.

All the best to everyone - I see Olpas its gearing itself up to "that" time of year again. If I can be of any assistance to anyone embarking on the sole destroying pastime of pupillage applications, please feel free to get in touch.