Diary of a not-so-baby BarriSTAR

An alternative perspective



365 days ago or thereabouts…

Was my first day of Pupillage. I was due to meet my supervisor in Southwark Crown Court. He was in a multi handed money laundering trial. Remember waking super early out of nerves. Making my way to London Bridge. Taking pictures as I went, still being a brummy tourist having had only been in London a short while before.

I remember sitting downstairs in the reception waiting for him. The minutes passed by… A good half an hour and I still hadn’t met him. I asked myself – had he forgotten about me?! I plucked up the courage to call him, to learn he was waiting for me in the canteen…

Where I would go on to have so many grim Southwark CC lunches!

Remember not being able to work the crazy hole punch. Remember answering wrongly to the Q about time limit for service of a defence statement…!

One year on. Attendance note-ing on the train, figuring out what I’ve got tomorrow, briefs to sort, juggling lots of deadlines, texting the new pupils to make sure they’re ok…

How did that happen?!

Thankful and grateful.

And the journey continues.



Concluded my last full week of second six Pupillage with an acquittal for a grateful and deserving client.

Having welcomed our new first six pupils into chambers yesterday evening, I can’t quite believe how fast time has gone. They fired questions at us, most identical to ones we had asked the previous year. I remember the same excitement, nerves, apprehension and generally not knowing what to expect. I remember the shoes I wore and how they gave me blisters!

Going on to do a third six and so the hard work continues. But the big Q* is pending. And it is exciting. And an achievement I feel.

Don’t have all the answers moving forward, but for now, for this moment in time- this is me. And I’m getting there.

Officially qualified on 1st October 2014.

Every day feels like a lifetime. It’s impossible to retain details. Details of the madness, the stories, the frustrations, the triumphs and everything in between. I started this blog in the hope I could reflect upon and monitor (!) the madness that is pupillage. But I have not posted anywhere near as much as I had hoped. When every day is a whirlwind it’s hard to keep track. Of your own thoughts. Of your own anything.

Mid week and thus far I have submitted my first tenancy assessment, got a transfer of legal aid on a seemingly impossible case, got an acquittal for a guy pretty much in contempt of court and sat the longest I ever have with a guy in con on the day of trial- who ended up pleading. Just a snapshot.

Final countdown to the big Q. Milestone of sorts although tempered by the mandatory third six that follows.

I wore heels in court today and I rarely-basically never do. I think it made my advocacy better? Any reason to invest in more shoes…

In a sleepy slumber but thought I should touch base. With myself.

Weeks off being a qualified barrister.
I hope I learn to know what I’m doing soon….!

If I could categorise this process in one line it would be –

Flying by the seat of my pants.

One month today.

One down

One out of six complete.

Never really anticipate the sacrifices that you inevitably have to end up making. Those sacrifices become normalised because each day is about survival.

On the rare occasions where you find a millisecond to stop.
Step back.

Then you can see.
The things that have had to give.

Family. Friends. Physical. Mental. Emotional. Spiritual.

That’s a whole lot of give. Balanced against…?

Dreams? Hopes? Aspirations?

Balance needs to be struck.

Between actualising yourself.
And losing yourself.

The line is a fine one.

The irony lies in the potential of totally losing everything you are whilst on the journey to fulfilling everything you are.

Short term pain for long term gain perhaps.

I am blessed to wake up every morning without a feeling of dread. But to think the ride is going to be an easy one is a misapprehension.

Nobody said love came without sacrifice.

But will the love be worthy?

On a 6.36am train to Manchester, with the only instructions I have so far scrawled on the back of a Pret napkin.

So far, I know I am going to Manchester. Client is a ‘yout dem.’
For a sentence.

That’s quite good going actually.


Just been identified as PLC.


Lols. Out of London lingo.

Week 2 of Madness

On route to Prelim morphed PCMH.

I hope Shrewsbury is pretty.

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