A new generation of pupils started in chambers yesterday. There was no fanfare or announcement, nor even an email. I did not know their names, and only came to know of their existence because I heard one's Master introducing her to a passer-by in the corridor. Pretty much everyone in chambers will be in the same state of ignorance as myself.
I arranged for myself, The Other Pupil and one of last year's pupils to take them both out for a quick drink after work. In the event the other pupil from last year and one of the other junior tenants came along as well, which was good. I thought it would at least give them an opportunity to talk to each other, and a useful platform for talking to others as well. Although how much longer I'll be here is still an open question. I feel like I'm on a less terminal version of Death Row, with a Supreme Court reprieve vaguely pending.
When I started I certainly had no welcome to chambers and had no idea what to make of the whole thing. It was why I started this blog. Although I suspect that my reasons for starting this blog are proliferating faster than the main weapons used by the Spanish Inquisition, or a politician's top priorities. See my first post for what I then thought my reasons were. Anyway, I didn't want their first days to be as spectacularly anti-climatic as my own, after all those years of waiting and wanting.
I was positive and upbeat at the pub. There seemed little purpose in deflating any remaining enthusiasm after their first day. I hate the sound of a crest falling.
At the moment I am trying to think of useful advice. So far, it amounts to:
1. Be outgoing and friendly. Make lots of tea for other people. Do not hide away in your Master's room, as I persistently have.
2. Offer to do paperwork for other barristers. They won't see it as a hamfisted bid for their vote, they'll just appreciate it. As long as you don't screw it up, anyway.
3. Try to get on well with the other pupil or pupils. It'll look good for neither of you if there are obvious problems, as well as no doubt being bloody stressful.
4. Get a laptop. It's hard to get much serious work done without one. And don't leave it in sight where some little con can grab it after a con. I doubt you're reading this you little bastard.
5. Don't keep a blog.