Friday, 17 November 2006

Dressing down

I think I have just been given a mild dressing down. For being underdressed, appropriately enough. My pupilmaster tells me (on the phone, we still haven't actually met) that the normal attire is as for court, and that while I might see other members of chambers dressed in jeans and suchlike, it would not be appropriate for me to be similarly dressed. In addition, I may call members of chambers (i.e. the barristers) by their first names, but when I am talking about them in the third person to the clerks I should refer to them as 'Mr x' and so on.

It has only just occurred to me that this may require me to discover the marital status of all the female members of chambers. I get the feeling that this is not really a 'Ms'-friendly environment. I'm going to need quickly to learn everyone's surnames as well as their first names, which is already proving an uphill challenge.

He also mentioned that the recommended hours are 9am to 6pm.

I have been cycling in and changing into a suit I've been leaving on a hat stand. Today I didn't put a tie on as normal, I have been referring to the barristers by the first names in front of the clerks and I've been leaving between 5pm and 6pm so far. Clearly someone has had a word with my supervisor. Otherwise the clerks might get ideas above their station, I suppose, and where would that end? The whole social order could come crashing down.

Good grief. It really does all feel very Dickensian.


Gavin Whenman said...

You haven't met your pupilmaster and it's two weeks into your pupillage - Is this normal practice?

Smartie said...

In my current Chambers i get referred to as Miss (surname) as does everyone else, by the Clerks. Something nice and formal about it :)