Coffee wars

It’s always been a well-known fact that the way to a pupilmaster’s heart and hence to the coveted prize of a tenancy in chambers is through the making of consistently good coffee. So it’s perhaps not particularly surprising that a coffee-making sub-culture tends to develop during the year of, er, legal training.

But this year it’s started to get way out of hand. You see, it started with one of the pupils who I’ll call PipSneak smuggling a top notch coffee-maker into one of the cupboards which adjoined the kitchen on his floor and using it on the sly while nonchalantly pretending that he really was doing nothing more than taking extra good care.

Then, an enterprising pupil in another chambers installed his own extremely smart coffee-maker in the basement of the nearby law library and hired it out to numerous other pupils including two of the other three in our own chambers which thereby neutralised PipSneak’s little wheeze.

Pretty much everyone in chambers has caught wind of all this frothy activity in the last few weeks and one morning OldSmoothie approached PipSneak about it directly who responded by suggested that perhaps chambers might organise a coffee-off to see who really was the king of the coffee-makers for this year. Thinking this a spiffing idea, OldSmoothie took PipSneak at his word.

Naturally, each pupil was told that the result wouldn’t in any way be taken into account come the tenancy decision but each knew to take this particular piece of advice with the pinch of salt it deserved. So today was the big day and OldSmoothie ensured that no-one had access to any of their trusty coffee-machines. As you might expect, the one pupil who had singularly failed to cheat thus far won hands down due to the fact that she’s been hard at work learning her craft since October.

But this wasn’t going to keep PipSneak down for long. I’m told that he’s now written a letter to HeadofChambers complaining that said competition was in breach of whatever code of conduct might be relevant and implying very clearly that if he wasn’t taken on as a tenant, he would be reporting chambers to the Bar Standards Board. So the game is now truly on.

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.

September 17, 2013 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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