17 November, 2008

The Barristers (and other pupillage matters)

I watched The Barristers last night on the i-player and enjoyed it very much.

By the end of it, I remembered quite how badly I want a pupillage and consequently wandered off to pupillages.com to look at the newsflash. Well, one more application in the post....

It was slightly nice, actually, I was re-reading my covering letter and whilst it wasn't bad it didn't flow especially well. Having spent the past few month paralegalling and writing (seemingly) hundreds of letters, I was able to edit it into something much better, reasonably easily. Nice that my job isn't just giving me money and the legal experience box on the CV but actually helping me. Now I just need to complete that training contract application form so I have a back up.

I've also decided that I will apply to some chambers in London. I enjoy the work I do at the moment and I know we instruct a fairly narrow range of chambers. I'm therefore going to go onto the system on Monday and find the list of who we do and don't instruct and apply to them when the time comes. I note that the Nursing and Midwifery Council were also offering a pupillage last year. I didn't apply as it wsa London based but having now talked things through with the Boy a little more, I think if it comes up again, I'll go for it.

Talking of pupillage, a person came into the office the other day who had also completed the BVC. He had been searching for pupillage for a few years, but without success. It's alright for him though as Daddy is a barrister and so he starts his pupillage in Daddy's chambers in January. As he was telling us about it, he didn't seem ashamed in the slightest. He pointed out he had applied for a couple of years without success. It makes me so cross. If I apply for a couple of years and fail, I will accept that I am not good enough compared to the other applicants. I don't have Daddy to rescue me. So not only is the Bar not getting the very best people, this person has also 'stolen' a pupillage from someone else. Good Lord I was furious, I could scarcely speak to him - at the very least he should have been utterly ashamed at what he had done. Ethics my arse. Given that applications for pupillage have fairly strict guidelines, why on earth doesn't the Bar Council ban people from applying to chambers where they have a relative working there? Fairly simple, I would have thought!


Law Minx said...

I cant say I enjoyed it Ms Mids, (but then again I am a glass half empty kinda gal) largely because I found the whole thing a bit forced - though at least our domus looked gooooooooood! :)

Glad to see that you are addressing your pupillage campaign at an early stage, planning your moves like a general at the battle of Waterloo!!
As I understand it the NMC offer pupillage in alternate years -though dont quote me because when I emailed them during the BVC I was told that they had planned to offer it every year, so who knows?!

Eeeugh - the Daddy Network! So completely full of wrongness, isnt it?! I know of one chap who consistently out performed his fellow pupil at one nameless set with regard to set assessments, only to be passed over because the fellow pupil was the son of a High Court Judge. I dont think you can say any more than that really......

G said...

Hi Miss M of M,

I don't know if it is any consolation but (speaking from the inside) is extremely unusual in today's climate for someone to be given a pupillage because of Daddy - indeed I have never heard of it actually happening.

In cases where students are given minis because of their contacts, it often actually counts against them because members of chambers are fully aware that the student doesn't deserve the place (and the junior members who select mini-pupils feel put out that they have been bypassed). I would think that someone going to Daddy's set will actually have to work extra hard to persuade members that he deserves his place, tricky as he will already have got people's backs up and members of chambers will know that he has failed to get pupillage elsewhere. Most chambers decide tenancy on a vote so Daddy won't be able to help if the majority vote against him.

I am happy to say that the old boy's network is jolly nearly dead and those who try to use it to get pupillage/tenancy may find that isn't as easy as they had hoped. I hope that cheers you up a little!

nought.point.zero said...

Did you see the bit where they took the piss out of the company I work for and the guide we publish? Outrageous!

(actually, they kind of had a point)

Miss Middle of Manchester said...

Minxy - less of a campaign, I fear, than a forage :)

Thank you for the info on the NMC - I had forgotten that, of course, you would know all about them!

Mr G - welcome to my blog (I don't believe you have posted here before?). I think it is the rarity which makes it moer annoying. Most chambers are trying really hard to use anonymous applications etc in order the admissions to be fair. I don't mind the Daddy network getting people minis and the minis and experience ebing the reason for the pupillage - I think doing marshalling, minis etc does take time and commitment and that it is fine to recognise this. Your comments on tenancy are interesting - I hadn't appreciated that.

Perhaps the true irony is that The Barristers is a largely successful attempt to show the Daddy network is dead (or at least in a PVS) and that pupillages are hard to get and awarded on merit and then this happens.

Mr Zero - indeed I did notice - and I meant to post a sarcastic comment on your facebook wall to that effect! Consider this the message!