Archive for August, 2012

Book Recommendation: John Macnab by John Buchan

In 1925, John Buchan published his second most famous novel, “John MacNab”; three high-flying men – a barrister, a cabinet minister and a banker – are suffering from boredom. They concoct a plan to cure it. They inform three Scottish estates that they will poach from each two stags and a salmon in a given time. They sign collectively as ‘John McNab’ and await the responses. This novel is a light interlude within the “Leithen Stories” series – an evocative look at the hunting, shooting and fishing lifestyle in Highland Scotland.

Available from Amazon

August 29, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
Posted in: books

Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons, 27th August 2012

This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including Lawyers Uncovered. He also does the cartoons for BabyBarista and has had two more excellent books published recently: 101 Ways to Leave the Law and 101 Uses for a Useless Banker. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email

August 27, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
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BabyBarista wins a FamilyLore award! @johnbolch

Very many thanks to John Bolch at Family Lore who has done this blog the great honour of awarding it one of his prized Posts of the Months for my post on The Legal Money Tree.

August 26, 2012 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Weekend Video: The Sopranos – Series 1

August 25, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
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Sponsored post: What NOT to do in a legal job interview…

There are many obvious things you shouldn’t do in a job interview that are part of the standard advice you are given – swear, chew gum etc. but there are some things you should definitely stay away from if you are interviewing for a job in law:

1. Don’t open with a bad legal joke
Don’t treat you’re interview as a stand-up routine. Yes, everyone likes a bit of humour and sometimes it can give you an edge, but do you really need to ask your interviewer “How many solicitors does it take to change a light bulb…?”

2. Don’t say “I ran two red lights to get here on time!”
Don’t be late, but certainly don’t break the law to get there on time! (However, if you need some advice about pursuing an appeal, you’re in the right place.)

3. Don’t arrive in full Barrister attire
Ok, so you’re really serious about getting that pupillage? Don’t arrive in full court dress. It’s not big and it’s not clever! First impressions are everything, so think carefully about how you present yourself.

4. Don’t ask, “So… what type of law do you specialise in?”
You should know everything about your prospective employer already. Silly questions just won’t do. Make sure your queries are the right ones.

5. Don’t admit your secret Judge Judy obsession…
Don’t underestimate those seemingly insignificant questions, like: “What’s your favourite TV show?” Even the smallest, throwaway comments can reveal much about your personality. Admitting you’re a big fan of Judge Judy is probably not the way to go.

Thanks to Anna Gibbons, Corporate Communications Manager at the Sellick Partnership. Sellick Partnership is a legal recruitment agency with offices in six locations around the UK. They can give you sound advice on your next career move, including tips on job interviews, CVs and more.

August 23, 2012 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Book Recommendation: A Legal History of the English Landscape


A Legal History of the English Landscape is an engaging account of how the law has played a pivotal role in shaping the English landscape through the ages. Adopting a broadly chronological approach, the book begins with prehistory and continues through Roman and Anglo-Saxon times. It examines the foundations of English land law as laid down by the Normans and developed throughout the Middle Ages. The author explores how landed property became seen as the focus of society by the seventeenth century and how ownership rights were protected to such an extent that they inhibited change. As society evolved, once important laws became obsolete and the author shows how later generations were able to adapt or circumvent them for their own needs. The book describes how Parliament intervened to rearrange the landscape in the Enclosure Movement, authorised the buildings of roads, canals and railways and encouraged the development of industry and towns. The account concludes with a view of the modern law in an era of public access to land, environmental protection and European legislation. By setting land law in the wider context of changes in society, A Legal History of the English Landscape will appeal not just to lawyers and historians, but to the general reader with an interest in the English landscape.


Available from Amazon

August 22, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
Posted in: books

Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons, 20th August 2012

This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including Lawyers Uncovered. He also does the cartoons for BabyBarista and has had two more excellent books published recently: 101 Ways to Leave the Law and 101 Uses for a Useless Banker. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email

August 20, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
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Weekend Video: Yes, Minister – A Clear Conscience

August 18, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
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What makes a good barrister

“I see the Bar Standards Board are proposing an aptitude test for prospective barristers,” said TheCreep. “Do you think we need to introduce something similar for pupillage applications?”

“Yeah, right,” said BusyBody. “As if a test could determine someone’s future ability in court.”

“Unless of course you could devise an objective test for charisma and charm,” said OldSmoothie.

“Sneakiness,” said TheVamp.

“Or an ability to twist the truth into whatever you want it to be,” said Teflon.

“As well as being able to bully your opponent into submission,” said OldSmoothie

“Or a judge for that matter,” said UpTights.

“I think the only reliable test is to pit the candidates against each other in a real life setting in which they have to use all their wits to knock out the competition,” said HeadofChambers.

“Over a prolonged period of time in which in order to win you really do have to prove yourself on every level,” said BusyBody.

“Where you can assess skills such as brown-nosing,” said TheVamp looking at TheCreep

“And back-stabbing,” said BusyBody.

“Learning to keep your mouth shut at the right time,” said Teflon.

“Not forgetting the all important photocopying skills,” said UpTights.

“In other words pupillage is the perfect aptitude test for being a barrister,” said TheBusker.

“And of course the most important thing of all in pupillage,”said OldRuin, “is making a decent cup of coffee.”

“So in actual fact, all the Bar Standards Board should really be testing is coffee-making skills,” said TheVamp.

“Quite so,” said OldSmoothie.

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

August 16, 2012 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Book Recommendation: Citadel by Kate Mosse

From the No.1 internationally bestselling author comes the third heart-stopping adventure exploring the incredible history, legends and hidden secrets of Carcassonne and the Languedoc. Set during World War II in the far south of France, CITADEL is a powerful, action-packed mystery that reveals the secrets of the resistance under Nazi occupation. While war blazed in the trenches at the front, back at home a different battle is waged, full of clandestine bravery, treachery and secrets. And as a cell of Maquis resistance fighters, codenamed CITADEL, fight for everything they hold dear, their struggle will reveal an older, darker combat being fought in the shadows. Combining the rugged action of LABYRINTH with the haunting mystery of SEPULCHRE, CITADEL is a story of daring and courage, of lives risked for beliefs and of astonishing secrets buried in time.

Available from Amazon

August 15, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
Posted in: books