Day 2 (week 1): TopFirst

Not a bad start yesterday. No worse than I expected. Was shown around chambers and introduced to the clerks and a number of the other barristers. Much of it a blur. Also met one of the other three pupils. My competition for this year. On average only one in four gets taken on and there is no avoiding the fact that we are directly in competition for that place. Seemed nice enough. Bit of a swot, though. Got a first at Cambridge and even went on to do an LLM. Very quiet although I’ve been told that quiet is not a bad tactic for pupillage. I’ll call him ‘Top First’ for now. Seems strange when you’re training for such an ostensibly outgoing and independent profession that you spend the first year proving your abilities to slime up to the right people and keep out of the way of others.

Had my first chat with the Head Clerk. Consisted of a “Welcome, Sir, your pigeon-hole’s over there. Always make sure you tell us where you are when you’re not with your pupilmaster. Good luck.” Quite an intimidating manner. By far the most impressive person I’ve met in Chambers so far. The other clerks all kept their heads down when he was talking and only peeked up to say “good morning” when he introduced them. A tight ship indeed.
Today, we meet the Head of Chambers.

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