I met a girl this weekend who is a third year law student who wants to do the BVC.
She had evidently heard that I had completed it a little while ago and wanted to 'network' (well, that was what it felt like when she sought me out). It felt odd to be the object of a networker and is a salutatory lesson in remembering to be subtle in order to not instantly annoy your networkee.
She asked me how pupillage was and I informed her that I still didn't have one and I was looking. She looked at me in a 'oh, I thought you were intelligent but now you are stupid' way - in a similar way you would momentarily look at someone who you had presumed to be intelligent but who told you they could not read, but herr looked lacked the bit of sympathy I assume would be present in your look to the illiterate. So, to quote Tim Minchin(1), "my diplomacy dyke groans, And the arsehole held back by its stones. Could be held back no more"as I proceeded to go off on "one of my rare (2), but fun, rants" at her:
I might have said something along the following lines "No need to look quite so shocked, you realise, I presume, that only one in every five (3) people who complete the BVC successfully ever get pupillage. I have to assume you knew that because frankly, anyone who is idiot enough to shell out £10,000 without fully researching the odds obviously hasn't got the requisite judgement which would be needed to be a barrister anyway"
She continued to look shocked in a slightly different way and I suspect that she wasn't quite as aware of the statistics I as assume any prospective BVC student is and is now caught in a conversational catch-22 between admitting she is arrogant enough to think she will make it (and therefore implicitly telling me I'm rubbish for not doing so) or admitting she's an idiot for having no idea how competitive it all is.
I really hope that she now does go away and do some actual research. And, perhaps hypocritically given my lack of people skills in the rant above, learns how not to annoy people in under 30 seconds - surely that skill is an inherent part of any pupillage interview?
(1) He's very funny. Do go and see him when he next comes to your city.
(2) The word 'rare' may not be strictly accurate
(3) I tend to change this number for anything between 3 - 8 as it doesn't exist in my head as a 'real' number any more, it is simply there as 'only 1 in lots' or 'only 1 in many' (I feel like one of Terry Pratchett's trolls)
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