The charm of the bar

“The biggest problem for TheCreep is that however hard he works and however many people he creeps his way up to, he fundamentally doesn’t have what it takes to be a successful barrister,” said OldSmoothie today.

“And what’s that?” asked TheVamp.

“Ambition and greed,” said TheVamp.

“Charm, or at least a certain charisma,” said OldSmoothie.

“Because you’re just overflowing in those departments,” said BusyBody.

“Overflowing his trousers, maybe,” said UpTights.

“The kind of person who can walk into a room and immediately get people’s attention,” said OldSmoothie ignoring them.

“He does have a point, though,” said TheVamp. “You’d hardly pick TheCreep to try and persuade anyone about anything, never mind a case on which your whole future depends.”

“Luckily for him, the clients don’t choose their barristers,” said HeadofChambers, “and some solicitors, at least, respond to his obsequious little ways.”

“But even they wouldn’t hire him for the important cases,” said OldSmoothie. “He’s doomed even before he wakes up each morning.”

“And I hate to say it,” said TheVamp, “but even OldSmoothie has his day. I once saw him on form in a case a few years ago and I’ve got to admit that his charmometer was up so high that birds would have been falling out of trees had he so wished.”

“Shame he’s turned into such a busted old flush, then,” said BusyBody. “I saw him dealing with a client the other day and oceans could have frozen over with the lack of charm he displayed.”

“Maybe so, but it’s judges and juries that really matter,” said TheBusker.

“I do feel sorry for TheCreep,” saidBusyBody. “Sometimes when he stands up in court it’s as if all other life in the vicinity is sucked into the void.”

“Though he does have one secret weapon,” said TheVamp.

“What’s that?” said BusyBody.

“I once saw him bore a judge into complete submission,” she answered. “He told the judge that if he was with him on one ridiculously wordy preliminary point that he wouldn’t need to hear him spend another two days arguing several other such points. It proved to be particularly convincing on that hot summer’s afternoon and I have to admit that even I was glad to have lost at such an early stage of what was promising to be the most boring trial in history ever.”

“Charm certainly has its place,” said OldRuin. “But I’d always put grace and good manners above it. That, and the little kindnesses which go along unsaid beneath the surface of every community, not least that of barristers and judges. Never under-estimate the simple power of being liked.”

“Or there again, feared,” said UpTights.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister practising at the English Bar, written by barrister and writer Tim Kevan. For more information and to read posts from the last few years visit Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

July 1, 2013 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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