A history and politics degree at the University of York; the GDL at City University, London; the BVC (the Bar Vocational Course, now the Bar Professional Training Course, BPTC) at BPP; and then pupillage.
The idea of a job which is intellectually stimulating whilst allowing me to work with a wide range of people was extremely attractive to me. I also relished the opportunity of the idea of being “truly” self-employed and having the responsibility, status and challenges which come with it.
The opportunity to obtain interesting insights into other people’s lives. The work I do affords me the opportunity to see how a vast range of people work and live. Whilst often stressful, the academic side of my work is extremely stimulating; and the independence I have (perhaps often more apparent than real) gives me a very satisfying sense that I am truly master of my own destiny.
The unpredictability. Things can happen very much at the last minute – something can come in for court in the morning at five minutes to six the day before, necessitating the dropping of everything to work; or conversely a week’s trial which has been in the diary for six months can adjourn or settle, leaving you unexpectedly underemployed.
Know where you want to go and why. Be prepared to know (and demonstrate) at what part of the Bar you wish to practise and tailor any application you make accordingly. Whilst it is probably acceptable to say you wish to do practise a broad area of law within reason, the scatter-gun approach is unattractive and immediately obvious to a chambers to which you are applying.
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