Unfortunately, I don’t seem to be able to leave a comment on your blog today. Normally, I’d forget it – but you may need to hear it – or not!
The following is what I tried to leave:
I’m glad you’ve got it all in hand. Silly me.
As for your presumption of my having an entitlement mentality – you can guess again. I started out swabbing decks in the Navy, having barely scraped through school. I got my 2.1 and LL.M at a respectable (I call Russell Group) School. I even got my dissertation published in a law review – and am amazed that academics continue to refer to it. So thank you, but I understand the Bar, and the world generally, doesn’t owe me a living.
I had 10 years’ experience working for solicitors, including taking cases to appeal. I hit the buffers without a practising certificate. I was encouraged by my barrister line manager and others I’d briefed that I had what it takes to do the business as a barrister. I’ve done the mini-pupillages and I continue to volunteer.
I’m a nice girl and I don’t hold grudges – even though it will take some time to forget the telephone slam-down by the BSB. (I suppose the Head of Education at my Inn shares my “entitlement” mentality too.)
I’ve had enough. Even I had to accept my usual “If I took ‘no’ for an answer, I’d still be a seaman in the Navy” kick this in the arse drive was getting me nowhere.
You think I’m the Lone Ranger? lol. Herewith a link <http://www.pupillageblog.com/?p=281 Will you single him out as a deluded inadequate or will somebody please now wake up and join the dots?
Thanks for your offer of assistance re the BSB. I’ve taken your earlier advice and secured my qualification as a solicitor some time ago. I am genuinely grateful for your steer in that regard.
Firstly, nice to hear from you and I trust that you don’t mind that I have posted your comment. It seemed to be that, having ripped into you, your reply should be readily visible.
Secondly, of course I accept that you have worked to get where you are. I don’t, however, accept the points you make on the thread below. I have followed the link you include here, and have found an account of a lousy interview. We are not arguing about whether some interviews are poor – I have made my own view clear about that issue on a number of occasions, and tried to suggest ways in which the Bar could improve. But bad experiences do not equal institutional policy.
Like it or not the tension between funded pupillage (small number of applicants selected, playing field as fair as we can make it) against unfunded pupillage (much expanded numbers – although not as large as some of you think – but much easier for those who have money from family or previous career) will not go away. In my view you cannot square that circle by complaining that funded pupillages are given to white males from middle class backgrounds. Not only is it not so, but most Chambers are trying to expand their selection procedures. That an individual – however deserving – didn’t get pupillage, doesn’t prove the contrary.
I have also heard from Nicholas Green, the Chairman of the Bar for 2010. He says (slightly edited to exclude irrelevant information):
Thank you for your email and for forwarding on the feedback you have received on the pupillage award, which I read with interest. All pupillage regulations (including the amount of the award) are dealt with by the Bar Standards Board. I have spoken to Valerie Shrimplin (the Head of Education Standards) at the BSB about this issue to understand the extent to which funding is being considered by the ongoing review of pupillage.
I am assured that your email and the attachment will be passed to Derek Woods QC, who is leading the review of all aspects of pupillage. The issue of funding, including the amount of funding, is being addressed in the review. I am afraid that I cannot say much more than that at this stage, as the review is not yet finished (and I have not seen a draft). I am told that the report will be considered at the April BSB meeting.
As for any advice to prospective pupils I am sure that there will be a number of proposed reforms arising out of the Derek Woods’review which will be of interest.
So, the people running the profession do listen and respond. No one is pretending it’s perfect, but the Bar is trying to improve its own communication and standards. Watch this space in April…