12.10.06

Day 9 (week 2): Utter barristers

Today I am feeling a little the worse for wear. Last night was my ‘call night’, the time when I was officially ‘called to the Bar’. Technically called to the ‘utter’ or ‘outer’ Bar. So I’m an ‘utter barrister’ or something like that. Anyway, we all queued up in Inner Temple Hall and marched up in front of our families and various members of the great and the good to officially be made barristers. Be given the right to wear the wig and gown.

It was all explained though for the life of me, I still don’t understand it. Maybe it’s a variation on South Park’s ‘Chewbacca Defence’, something designed to befuddle and confuse. Who knows. Remember the scene in Pulp Fiction when they tried explaining Dutch marujana laws. Something like that but centuries older. Let me try. First, inner barristers were students as they sat at the inner tables in Hall. All simple so far and that compares to utter barristers who are juniors and QCs. I’m still there. Then, the next day you trot off to court as an utter barrister along with all your newly found QC buddies. But no. Once at court, they go back to being the inner Bar as they can plead from ‘inside the bar’ in Court.

No, I’m still none the wiser – a phrase incidentally that is worth mentioning in front of any lawyer just to hear them mutter back almost like a Pavlovian reaction, “no but hopefully at least better informed.”

I’m glad we’ve got that settled (just what the Boss said on Tuesday).

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