BabyBarista competition results

Well, having asked for readers to come up with a new character for the blog, I’m pleased to say that they didn’t disappoint with their collection of the funny, the tragic and the just plain grotesque. It certainly leaves me with the distinct impression that the dark humour that keeps so many lawyers going is still very much alive and well. As you can see from the comments section of this post, they’re a rum mix of a little good, a lot of bad and even more of the ugly and I thought before I announce the winner that it might be fun to give a run through of the contenders.

First off, there were the modernisers who would be destined to join Slick in the civil war which has kicked off in chambers. These included Eluned51‘s ManagementMan with his MBA and American jargon, mandrake99‘s vain and ambitious serial entrepreneur BusinessBarrister, susannahcc‘s NewPracticeManager and Bitterhippy‘s Injuncstice who thinks that being in with the likes of Slick might help him become a judge.

Next up were the outsiders, the eccentrics who don’t really have a practise but like the idea of being associated with the Bar. These included bobinio‘s out of touch academic IvoryTower, pheidippides‘s tight-fisted Crime with his private income and litigation habit, livingperson‘s TheEccentric who spends so much time thinking outside the box that he has forgotten how to work in the box and then Smather21‘s TheMediator who preaches peace but gets rather angry when anyone questions the value of his work.

Then there were the hapless junior characters. These included LuckyChancer who is only in chambers by accident, HashimC‘s Mini-Pupil, VelvetBear‘s SqueakyWheel who’s forever complaining about the quality of his work and BarSchoolGrad‘s sycophantic GlamourHungry who dines with TheCreep (say no more) and has a habit of getting unprofessionally drunk in social situations with practitioners.

Other great characters included TheBustler who reminded me of BusyBody as a whirlwind of luggage and papers, Getridofem‘s glamorous Felicity Briefless who is a potential rival for Claire with the affections of BabyB, SNKris‘s AuldSpice, a former member of the Lesbian Avengers who’s having a fling with TopFlirt, bobinio‘s GoldenFred, the affable solicitor and son HeadClerk never had and then the middle-aged and liberal Disillusioned, whose name again speaks for itself.

This brings me to my choice of the top three entries, all of whom will receive a signed copy of my new book Law and Peace. Prize for the best name goes to vastariner with Romford–born EthicsMan who is a criminal barrister in all senses of the word. Prize for the most loveable character goes to Sybantcho‘s VintageBriefs, a lady who came to the Bar as a second career and becomes somewhat of a parental presence around the other pupils. She reminded me a little of a character I’d already written about called FifteenthSix who, as the name suggested, was sadly for her still doing one six month pupillage after another.

Finally, first prize goes to slightlyfoxedlady with her heart-breaking PanickStricken (my capital S) who is a paralegal employed as ‘minimum wage cannon fodder’. Her caseload tends to be the dustbin of the office with most of her cases being losers and she’s left begging counsel to take them on at the last minute. Her dismayed parents remortgaged their house to pay for her Legal Practice Course fees and her grandma keeps asking when she’s going to actually qualify. But this looks unlikely ever to happen since she’s simply being exploited with the empty promise of a training contract being mercilessly dangled in front of her. I’ll be bringing PanicStricken into the story on the blog next week and in the meantime, I have copied the full entry below. I have accompanied the post with a picture of Worrier since PanicStricken very much reminds me of her, particularly as she herself is now working for a solicitors’ firm. Thank you to everyone for their entries. It has been a lot of fun reading them all.

Winning entry from slightlyfoxedlady – PanicStricken

Paralegal employed as minimum wage cannon fodder by SharpPractice. She has a caseload of 500 matters – mainly hospital passes from battle hardened colleagues – and is wholly out of control spinning wildly from one crisis to another. Totally untrained, she is incapable of distinguishing a winning claim from a hole in the ground, which is ironic as most of her clients have sustained unfortunate falls on the perilous pavements of the north west. Hollow-eyed from lack of sleep and existing on a diet of black coffee and Red Bull, she is exploited mercilessly as the promise of a training contract is dangled before her always tantalisingly out of reach.Her dismayed parents remortgaged their house to pay for her Legal Practice Course fees so that she could qualify as a solicitor and her grandma’s constant queries as to when she will do so cause severe embarrassment every time she visits.She is baffled by advice to “just roll it out” and sends tearstained and desperate briefs two days before trial begging that counsel take on cases they are almost certain to lose on a no win, no fee basis.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister written by Tim Kevan whose new novel is Law and Peace. For more information visit and to read past posts visit Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

July 7, 2011 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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