Year 3, week 1: liar, lawyer

Attended my first pupillage interview last night as the newest member of the pupillage committee. What struck me most was the enormous irony in the fact that for a profession that prides itself on honesty and integrity its entrance interview judges people on how well they lie. I mean, the rubbish that was being lapped up last night was incredible and when we all went for a drink afterwards we speculated on what the answers might have been had any of the candidates actually told the truth. Here’s a few of the less rude ones we came up with:

Why the bar? “To become a fat cat part-timer like the rest of you.”

Why law?  “Because I just love twisting the truth and taking technical points.”

Why this chambers? “Because you were stupid enough to offer me an interview.”

Why personal injury? “Because it’s easy and pays well.”

Why employment law? “Because litigants in person are always easier to beat.”
Why landlaw and tenant? “Because I’ll enjoy doing-over impoverished tenants and hey, it even beats being a bailiff or let’s face it even a traffic warden.”

And then there’s the question that chambers asked in a rounabout way to a single mum who had worked hard to juggle her study and home life. In effect they asked her about her child care situation but they were really insinuating that she might have difficulties practising full-time. What she should have answered was: “You just fell into the biggest elephant trap in history boys. Either you give me a pupillage and guarantee a tenancy or I’ll drag both your bottoms and your reputations through not only the Bar Standards Board discrimination hearings but also through the media who are currently hungry for stories about rich, arrogant sexist lawyers."

October 3, 2008 · Tim Kevan · 3 Comments
Posted in: Uncategorized

3 Responses

  1. Liar Liar - October 3, 2008

    But we’d all be out of jobs if everyone started telling the truth all the time.

  2. Tee - October 6, 2008

    I agree. its ridiculous! I am yet to acquire pupillage but I used to work with Solicitors so I met quite a lot of Barristers in my field of interest which is supposed to be helpful.After one interviewless olpas season I asked some of the more helpful and experienced members of the Bar what was wrong with my application; I speak another language, I have shown serious commitment to the fields, bla bla bla and yet nothing and I was told I am too honest. so together we twisted my descriptions and made me sound grand but still no interview this year. I am thinking next year I have to just put one field in as my area of interest and if that doesnt work i’ll put another single field in the year after to see which one works. In the end its not what I want to do, it’s who takes me. I am wondering how much of a spin on the truth I have perpetrate before it is good enough.

  3. Roxy - October 7, 2008

    Good call! I was once asked at an interview whether I ‘Had a life’
    After my initial astonishment and asking them to repeat the question in case i had misheard them, i proceeded to list all the stuff i loved to do and said that work was not my raison d’etre.
    I got the job!Most likely as we were all being honest with each other
    and I am still there and love it, 3 years later