The Bar as a career

Geeklawyer was drink­ing with young LP : a delight­ful young stu­dent doing the GDL, or BPL, or MFI, or what­ever they are call­ing the law con­ver­sion course this year. Of course she was inter­est­ing for any num­ber of rea­sons: female, pretty, 22 and posh. Her large brain and incli­na­tion to dis­pense inci­sive opin­ions were not enough to put Geeklawyer off her, even though it is as desir­able for a woman to have an opin­ion as it is for her to have a penis (not at all).

No, the abid­ing impres­sion was that for all the uncer­tain­ties of the Bar it’s aspi­rants remain as buoy­ant and opti­mistic as ever. We griz­zled old hacks look in awe at youth. We see a call­ing (it’s a ‘Call­ing’ not some mere bour­geois pro­fes­sion like solic­it­ing) suf­fer­ing under a lead­er­ship appar­ently deter­mined to  fix it in Aspic: who ignore the rival­ries and encroach­ments of solic­i­tors, at the junior end of the legal world, on the one hand, and a deeply cor­rupt abu­sive gov­ern­ment deter­mined to under­mine fair tri­als and inde­pen­dent legal rep­re­sen­ta­tion for those they per­se­cute, on the other.

Young LP  was well aware of this. She was also well aware of the hor­ror sto­ries of hun­dreds of appli­ca­tions per pupil­lage, with each appli­cant hav­ing an Oxbridge dou­ble first. Such war sto­ries will become her stock-in-trade when she starts on the BVC and becomes immersed in the whole bloody process. Of course she is an impres­sive high achiever: past pres­i­dent of her Uni­ver­sity Union, Good degree (albeit only Eng Lit) and win­ner of GL’s heart. Lofty achieve­ments indeed. But as she is well aware her peers and com­peti­tors will also have  sim­i­larly good CVs despite which she remains undaunted.

Ms LP was equally undaunted even by the real­i­ties of new entrants to the Bar: last minute instruc­tions for a hear­ing 100 miles away requir­ing overnighter prepa­ra­tion and for a fee that barely buys a starBucks.

Geeklawyer pointed out there were two fast routes to poverty at the Bar: Gov­ern­ment funded fam­ily law and crime; Miss LP’s career pref­er­ences. Daunted and deterred? Not even a lit­tle, both admirable and wor­ry­ing. Miss LP’s response was that she had heard that these sto­ries and prophe­cies of the Bar’s doom went back 30 or 40 years. True, but Geeklawyer remains of the view that recent trends are accel­er­at­ing the decline of the Bar in its tra­di­tional form. Miss LP says “Meh, Twas ever thus, tell it to the hand” .

Her final response was: “What I really need, there­fore, to sus­tain me is a rich hus­band”. And she caressed GL’s hand and flut­tered her long dreamy eye­lashes. There is ambi­tion and over–ambi­tion: madam is hot, but is she that hot?

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