Life at the Bar

Wanted

On 12th September I start a trial in Leeds. It may last until Xmas – perhaps beyond. It may collapse. It is difficult to say at the moment.

My solicitors are a firm from London. My junior is from London too. They will not be there all the time. I may be lonely.

What we need is someone to take the note whilst the trial is ongoing, during the days that the solicitor and the junior are not there. If you would like to do it, please email me.

The Requirements: You need to be able to get yourself to Leeds Court Centre and back every day when required. You need to be available whenever you are needed. You need to be able to take a decent note with a computer (which I can provide if necessary). You need to be able to get on with me, the team and the client. You need to be able to email things. You need a Court wardrobe, but you won’t robe.

The Good News: We are able to pay, because you will be billed by the solicitor. The rate is not negotiable, but you will comfortably clear £300 per week. The people involved in the trial are a good bunch and it will be fun. You will be part of the team, integrated into everything that is going on, invited to cons with the client. At the end of it, we will give you an (honest) reference. If you impress, then you will be given things to do. Even when you are not required you will be invited to attend and made welcome. Although the length of the job is not certain (see below), you could probably wait until we are sure the trial is going to fight before quitting your other job, as the solicitor is likely to be about for the first couple of weeks.

The Bad News: If the trial collapses, that’s it. The funding for you runs out and there will be nothing else for you to do. If you have taken time off then you will be stuck. I am sorry about that, but that’s the way it is. On the days the solicitor is there, there won’t be money to pay you (although you will be welcome to come and be part of it as I have said above). There is NO offer of pupillage attached – I want to make that clear.

Would Suit: someone who has done the BVC or is doing it part time at Leeds but doesn’t yet have a pupillage. Preference will be given to those without a pupillage because this is something which will add a bit to a CV. Someone not working, or doing freelance work which can accommodate the rather uncertain time frame.

Next Steps: email me please, with a brief CV. I want to know where you are now, your University, your A level and degree results, whether you have had any interviews anywhere and what sort of law you want to do. That’s it. I will read every email I get. I probably won’t interview anyone because I don’t have time, but I will ring if I need to, so please include a number. I will not expect you to say yes until we have spoken, because I understand that there may be things you need to know, but please don’t apply unless you are able and willing to do it up until the week before Christmas. Feel free to ask, but I do not guarantee a reply. Nor will I acknowledge emails of application, simply because I don’t have time. I will, however, let you know the outcome. The person selected can write about it here if they like.

Timetable: ideally I will decide before I go on holiday so within a week or so.

I think this would be interesting and, hopefully, rewarding for the right person. You will see the nuts and bolts of a big trial and be guided through it. You won’t make much money and it may evaporate. It is, therefore, a risk but one which is, I think, worth taking. If no one wants to do it we can staff it from an agency without difficulty, but my solicitor thought this might be better for us and better for you. Look forward to hearing from you.

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5 thoughts on “Wanted

  1. * Sigh* – what a lovely opportunity for the right person! I expect your email inbox to be full to bursting very shortly!!

  2. I’m in the bracket of people you are hoping to attract but can’t be in Leeds and so won’t apply but I do want to say very well done for thinking about those at the bottom of the profession.

    For this kind of activity I have seen solicitors offer it to BVC graduates without pupillage as ‘work experience’ and thus unpaid, for three months attendance. I call that exploitation. The ones who will pay can seriously aspire for, and when they want a minimum of 12 months similar experience and then only offer national minimum wage in return for it, which after deductions is a good deal less than you mention here.

    This kind of thoughtfulness from higher up the profession is a rare thing and you are be applauded for it.

    1. Note to self: do not reply to threads via the iPhone, the touch controls on a small screen mean that words can get missed out in the haste to write them and their absence not noticed before submission, after which point editing does not seem to be possible(?). Doh!

  3. Sounds like a perfect job for me a year from now, as I have 17 months of note-taking experience! My problem is the location and that I’m about to start the BVC, but it looks like an excellent opportunity for someone else.

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