Monday, 8 October 2007

Last Post

As I sit here at home an hour, now, after the tenancy decision meeting was due to start, I feel nauseous. I have felt this way all afternoon. As I drifted around chambers during the day, no-one would meet my eyes. I sit here and wonder whether this was an early sign of my impending rejection, or just simple paranoia. Perhaps no-one used to meet my eyes, but I wasn't looking.

I am also thinking about the alternative endings to this blog, this record of the prolonged hazing process that has been my pupillage.

In one of these endings, I am rejected. I feel bitter. Unavoidably, I think about all of the things, both big and little, that I could have done differently. Top of this list is not wasting my time and energy writing this blog. I wonder what on earth I am going to do now. I think about my old workplace and whether they will take me back. Would I be a failed wannabe barrister who couldn't make it, or would I be seen as courageous for having tried? Perhaps, I think, one of my other tenancy applications will succeed, although I imagine that to be a hopeless prospect at this point in time. Perhaps I grit my teeth and apply for third sixes, looking to endure more of this ridiculousness. My mind then focusses on the immediate issues. Should I go into chambers tomorrow? What, if anything, will people say to me in the morning? How will I bear their sympathy, knowing they probably voted against me? And what happened to The Other Pupil?

In the other ending, I am accepted. I am delighted, of course. I open the bottle of champagne in the fridge and I consider my potentially glorious future at the bar, as a barrister. After my conversation with The Master last week, I simply cannot see both The Other Pupil and I being taken on, and I will have to embarrass us both with the expected platitudes. Looking slightly further ahead, I will have to start paying rent immediately, and my pupillage grant will come to an end. It is time to get to work.

In this second scenario, would I come to think of pupillage as a tough but effective selection process, being as it managed to select me? Like the Whig view of history, everything will have led to this current, blissful state of affairs. Even if some of the contributing events may have seemed nonsensical or even unpleasant at the time, with hindsight I might see them in 'proper' context, as part of the tough but fair process that all us barristers had to endure, the process which fashioned us into the brilliant, ingenious advocates we are today.

Perhaps most poignantly, from the point of view of Pupilblogger, the persona I now cast aside, how will I treat the new pupils? Will I myself become a pupilmaster in the years to come? Watch out for MasterBlog, should this strange turn of events ever come to pass. In the meantime, only occasionally in and around chambers myself to pick up briefs (and occasional cheques), with my own living to make and no responsibility for their welfare, will I simply fail to see them as others failed to see me?

I hope not. I hope that if I do become a tenant, I will remember.

22 comments:

Avid Blog Reader said...

Don't let it be the last post!! Let us know!! Good luck!!

Nearly Legal said...

Whatever happens, and heaven knows there are enough of us out there with our fingers crossed, I don't think you should ever regret this blog. For all it might have cost you in time and energy (and other worries), it is something that you should be genuinely proud of, as an educational project, perhaps, but also as an excellent piece (or pieces) of writing.

It has been a great pleasure reading this blog for the last year. Now, for narrative reasons, (and perhaps for sentimental ones too - we care dammit) you have to give us the yes or no, even if that is all.

Anonymous said...

No!! please you must say! Been following it for a year and without resolution how can it be judged in context. Don't be cruel...please

Anonymous said...

Ah the cliffhanger ending .... the credits roll and we clamour for the next instalment. And we know you couldn't torture your beloved readers, who have laughed and cried with you, by failing to bring this to a conclusion, could you ?

PS "MasterBlog" - a masterstroke ! I laughed out loud, and look forward to it !

Anonymous said...

Your blog has been priceless - please don't take it down after the decision! Good luck, I'm hanging on to see the outcome.

Josephine Bloggs said...

Philosophical and pensive to the last. Pupilblog, I hope you let us know in due course what was the outcome of the tenancy meeting.

Simon Myerson said...

I would like to know the outcome. I don't think you could attribute an unhappy outcome to this blog, which has been a source of rich amusement and some discerning comments.
Good luck.

Paranoid Pupil said...

Good luck Pupilblogger - although given the timing I suppose that the die is cast. I hope that the outcome was a good one for you. Having just started this scary journey I find that writing the blog is helping me to make sense of things, so I hope that you don't feel that it has cost you your tenancy if things do go the wrong way. There is always going to be an element of luck/personal chemistry and if you are not taken on you mustn't give up. Lots of hugely successful people (bar and non-bar) have had knockbacks in life and the experience has made them more determined and much more effective. I know that it seems like everything to all of us at the moment (it certainly does to me) it is just one chapter.

Keep writing whatever happens - please!

faceoff said...

"A fool is nauseous, but a coward worse"

Anonymous said...

You've got to tell us the outcome!!

The system in Victoria (Australia) seems more egalitarian -'chambers' can be just a room one rents (although it's desirable to take / enter chambers with like-minded counsel)... and one's 'clerk' or 'list' is settled before starting pupillage ...

Bystander said...

Well?

Verity said...

Come on then? What was the outcome? We are all dying to know!

Law Minx said...

I have ALL my fingers crossed for you - I'm sure its gone really, REALLY Well!
Spill already - what happened?? if it went as we all hoped it did for you, are you still drunk?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Pupilblogger, I have faithfully followed your journey through pupillage, since you started this blog.

Please, please (see reduced to pitiful begging) let us know what the decision was!

I wish you every success for the future, whatever the outcome.

Anonymous said...

I've also followed this blog from the start and I can't bear not knowing the outcome! Perhaps if enough of us ask, you'll take pity on your poor readers...

Good luck with whatever you do.

Lawdent said...

All the best.

This was the first blawg that I ever read.

Pupilblogger said...

Thanks, all, for your comments and your well wishing. I had not planned to finish this way. It only occurred to me as I started to write that last post, but I am afraid I am rather taken by the idea.

Simon Myerson said...

Well think again then. Your reward to loyal and supportive readers is to not tell them whether their loyalty and support saw you home, or consoled you. Hmmm. Writers need readers or else they are simply self-satisfying.

The Chief said...

Rather taken by which idea? Leaving us all on tenterhooks even longer? Cruel, cruel move. Still, thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable read over the year and good luck with whatever happens next.

Pupilblogger said...

Many thanks, Chief. For the less generous out there, this has always been a self-reflective and no doubt self-satisfying journey for me. See my
first post.

I feel those purposes have now been fulfilled and that the blog's job is done. Many thanks for the support of my readers, though, which was genuinely helpful to me at times this last year, particularly during my first six.

Mr Pineapples said...

Pupilblogger - have you considered a career in accountancy? It pays well and you dont have the problem and trials of pupillage. in fact in the big firms they treat you like an adult and really do try and train you up.

Money's sensible too.

Good luck in your new career - whatever you decide to do.

Anonymous said...

This was such a let down in the end!