Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Chucked out of court

Hum, just got back to chambers after getting chucked out of court. Well, not allowed in, anyway. I'd just been sitting in on a case management conference in a care proceedings case and the barrister I was following -- not my supervisor, he's working from home again today -- asked the various parties if it was acceptable for me to come into the hearing. One of them objected (fairly vociferously) and his barrister suggested that it wasn't worth the hassle of sorting it out before the hearing just as we were about to go in as it would only delay the case getting started. I decided to go before causing further embarrassment. My barrister wasn't too pleased and had started to object, but I didn't want to get in her way or cause a problem.

I'm reasonably sure that it isn't supposed to work like that. Obviously, I can understand why the parties would object, particularly the parents in a care case where the children have already been taken into care because of alleged serious prejudice to their best interests, often physical abuse or neglect. It will certainly be difficult to learn how everything works if everyone has a veto on whether a pupil can sit in on proceedings. I'd already been there for two hours at this point, and it would have been useful to see the culmination of the discussions I'd witnessed.

I did try calling the Bar Council but they were busy and asked me to call back later.


The 'Twenty-Something' said...


As a keen barrister-in-waiting myself, I'm very glad you have taken the time to write about your experiences of pupillage.

Bit of a b*gger about being shown the door in court on 21st, and it sounds as though that barrister who took a disliking to you being there might have just fallen out of bed the wrong way (and most of them do, I'm afraid).

Also very interested your pupillage is in family law. I'm an currently an undergrad LLB student, but have big aspirations to join the Army Legal Services and work in areas of military, criminal and international law. I'm thinking about family on the side considering all the civil disputes families of squaddies have these days.

Like Gavin said in your earlier post, it is more than unusual for you to go 2 weeks without any proper pupil-master. Aren't pupillages meant to last min 6 weeks. How could they not have assigned you anyone?

Best way forward. Attach yourself, unless otherwise, to someone who has already taken a liking to you. But make sure that he or she isn't your only contact. Network the chambers and if you have spare time or you get chucked out of court again - introduce yourself to another tenant, ask whether you can help, and go from there. Iniative is always the best way to impress.

Bad luck about the hobbies - did no -one take an interest? are they that bad - haha

Good luck,

Miss H

Smartie said...

> introduce yourself to another tenant, ask whether you can help, and go from there.

Miss H, i admire your initiative taking. However, my experience of pupillage was that the tenants (and sometimes even your pupil- supervisor) couldnt give a shit who you were or how you spent your time esp in the first 6 months (i did a reduced 3 months 1st 6 - at a purely criminal set). But yes, if tenancy is what you want, then i guess being keen and the eager beaver helps ;)

Root said...

Persons contemplating a career any where near the Army Legal Services would be well advised to drop the word squaddies from their vocabulary. And any notions of weighty matters of international law and war crimes tribunal should be forgotten.
Most of it is depressingly familiar territory to any criminal solicitor in lets say - Liverpool for example.