Pupil protest

“Have you heard that one of the pupils has made a complaint about OldSmoothie to the Bar Standards Board?” said TheVamp today.

“What on earth for?” said HeadofChambers.

“The possibilities are endless,” said BusyBody. “Sexual harrassment might be a starter.”

“Actually, she’s not complaining about his lechery,” said TheVamp. “Her line is that she’d have had to put up with that in other jobs too.”

“Not quite on the OldSmoothie scale, though,” said BusyBody. “So what’s even worse than his continual barrage of innuendo and general dirty old man leering?”

“She’s made a complaint that she has to do excessive amounts of photocopying and coffee-making,” said TheVamp.

“What?” said Teflon incredulously. “That’s what pupillage is for.”

“I know!” she replied. “That was my reaction too. She claims it is demeaning for someone of her great intellectual capacity to be doing such menial labour.”

“That’ll go down well with her tenancy application,” said HeadofChambers before adding a little nervously, “Not that we’d be taking it into account in any shape or form whatsoever.”

“Naturally,” said TheVamp.

But HeadofChambers couldn’t contain his indignation. “Though clearly if people know about it then they may well find it extremely difficult to dismiss entirely from their minds.”

“And that’s before word spreads to other chambers,” said UpTights. “Anyway, what’s she getting so high and mighty about? It’s no different to doing articles at a solicitors office.”

“Well so far she says that in over six months of pupillage she has been asked to do only three pieces of legal work and they were for other members of chambers,” said TheVamp.

“But isn’t she now getting her own cases?” asked TheBusker.

“No, that’s just the problem,” said TheVamp. “HeadClerk knows what OldSmoothie’s like. But he’s furious that the pupil didn’t just bite her tongue and get on with it like the rest of us had to in the past.”

“Don’t you just love the fact that the reality of the so-called rigorous selection process for tenancy is whether or not we can put up with bullying, hectoring and generally demeaning behaviour from our pupilmasters,” said BusyBody. “I mean, what use in the world is that?”

“I think you’ll find that it’s rather good practise for dealing with judges,” smiled TheBusker.

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 babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

February 24, 2013 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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