Mini in Manchester

Spent my final week in Manchester in the best possible way; as a mini-pupil at Chambers. I had decided in final year, that I wanted to specialise in Human Rights and Family Law and set out applying to several Chambers in Manchester. I would have applied to London, but had already completed a mini-pupillage there, and I am currently contemplating a legal career perhaps in the Northern Circuit.
REJECTION after REJECTION....and then *silence*. I'd completely forgotten about my mini applications, and got fully stuck in with my studies, shadowing, legal journalism for the University magazine as well as pro-bono pursuits in my LAC Centre (ok ok...this isn't a glimpse into my CV, I will stop). Moral of the story is, when I got a call back from a clerk, I was completely out of my depth. I had to google while on the phone to sound a tad clued up....
Blazer : H&M | Dress : Urban Outfitters | Bag : H&M | Wedges : Primark
I was excited on the first day and donned wedges, to which the clerk shut down, advising I'd be better off in a pair of flats. BEST ADVICE EVER! Thank God the fashion savvy heifer in me thought ahead and stashed a pair in my bag. It was up this corridor and down this lift all morning, I honestly don't know how they do it cos by midday my feet were numb as hell. I shadowed the most stylish barrister EVER, sporting designer from top till toe. She was so 'set', she voluntarily gave up half her caseload for the day, so I shadowed another dude after lunch.
Was meant to meet this "big, cuddly fellow" at the City Centre Crown Courts, but was instead met (or not, as the case was, he failed to care where I was, talk less of whether I was well-informed of his case or not. Twerp!) by this gnarly beast. Spent the afternoon watching Immigration cases and minor theft pleas. Not gruelling stuff you may think, but particular immigration cases (cannot mention particulars of cases as I signed a Confidentiality Agreement) had interesting human rights elements. Made the mistake of shaking the Barrister's hand on parting and learned the first apparent rule of the Bar, "never shake another Barrister's hands". Noted!
Blazer : H&M | Cardigan : Primark (MensWear) | Leotard : Primark | NeckCandy : TK Maxx
Paperbag Peglegs : ASOS | Flats : Primark
Definitely my best day of the lot! Shadowed the most amazing Barrister that had only been practising just under two years, yet his case load was admirable. In London, a junior of his standard would only be dealing with minor road traffic cases and some trivial fishing license ish, but here he was representing clients with an opposing multiple council made up of reputable Seniors. I was in awe.
He was kind enough to give me a notepad to take notes (2nd lesson in the Bar..."always take notes") and i was able to witness first hand, some backhand out-of-court negotiations in the Robing Room, to which the counsel personified their clients as themselves (another insight into practise at the Bar). Initially it confused me and I honestly believed my Barrister was going to be prosecuted for fingerprint testing on drugs...*bows head in shame* BOY did I blush when I asked about that?
He treated me to lunch and I literally grilled him for hours on end on all and everything I needed to know about the route TO the Bar and life thereafter. He was very helpful and provided insightful tips that will most surely come in handy.
Cardigan : Thrifted (Wales) | Top : Ethel Austin | Bag : H&M | NeckCandy : Assorted
Cotton Peglegs : Primark | Flats : Primark
I'd returned from Brighton a long hour after midnight and hardly had enough kip to justify waking all hours of the morning for another day at court. needless to say, I was ill-prepared for a full day of work and was relatively groggy (even with a shot of espresso down my system), but thankfully I was working with an amazing Barrister who honestly believed in fighting for justice and conveyed this passion in the courtroom. He was emotional when the outcome of the case was not ruled in his favour, then I learned another rule as a Barrister, never bring one courtroom's drama into another. He literally picked up the second file, and in a matter of seconds, he had switched gears.
Victorian-Style Shirt : Primark | Belt : Primark | Tailored Peglegs : Warehouse
Bag : Blanco (Gran Canaria) | Flats : Primark
Short but sweet day. Shadowed a young female Barrister who had a world of experience under her belt, an inspiration. She let me sit in on a murder trial, the first in a long line of jury hearings. Insightful stuff, was naughtily tweeting all day *sniggers*. Interesting to see how much personal information the English legal system is allowed access to, especially in light of the News of the World hacking scandal (btw, remember I've had work experience in their legal department too? If not, be sure to check it out HERE).
This mini was a lot different than my first in London, and other legal experiences I've had in the past. I was expected to fend for myself a lot of the time, and there was no formal mini pupil master allocated to me. On the Monday, I was provided with a timetable for the week of who I will be working with, and when work dried up, I called the Chambers for direction, only to be flicked off to fend for myself again. I guess the cradle of being an undergraduate has been cruelly whipped from under me. *sigh*
Onyxsta says...BLEURGH!!