Upon returning to Canterbury last month after a week away in London, I am now, like everyone else in the world, only just starting to get used to the surreal new reality we are all living in. However, despite recent events, I have not forgotten how fantastic my first two months of pupillage with Becket Chambers have been. I have already been exposed to a mix of fascinating cases and drafting work, and it has been great meeting and getting to know everyone in Chambers.
Case-wise, highlights so far have been: observing a fast-track RTA trial, sitting in on an ongoing, complex public law childcare matter where I have been able to shadow Counsel at various stages of proceedings, seeing a contested final hearing for a child arrangements order in private children law proceedings, and observing a full condemnation trial in the Magistrates Court.
Having gained some courtroom advocacy experience before commencing pupillage, it has been invaluable to observe Counsel in court and talk to them about how they prepared and presented their case each time. Learning about the expected and (maybe more importantly) unexpected intricacies of representing clients in court is priceless knowledge for when I begin to practise, and each member of Chambers has taken the time to brief me on the case, explain its outcome to me, and go over any queries. It has quickly become clear to me that members are passionate about the work they do, and I am privileged to be immersed in such a positive working environment.
As the impact of the pandemic becomes omnipresent, this learning curve will continue in “remote” form over the coming months as I brace myself for what will likely be a drastically different second six “on my feet”. Having recently benefited from remote advocacy training sessions provided by the Inns of Court and from seeing the Bar’s initial response to the Government’s guidelines, I am confident the legal community will adapt, innovate, and get through these uncertain times together.
Alongside this advocacy experience, I have drafted advices on personal injury, contract, employment law, and land matters, and have read papers and undertaken legal research on cases involving enforcing settlement agreements, administration of estates, and adverse possession applications. I have always relished getting to the heart of any intellectual or legal problem to find a solution, and I have enjoyed being able to gain drafting experience as part of my pupillage.
Also, as Becket Chambers is known for its expertise in public access and mediation, I have already been able to shadow Counsel working directly with members of the public. Having come from a client-facing, consultancy background alongside my voluntary and pro bono experience, I want to eventually qualify in both and incorporate them into my future practice. Being able to learn from and undertake the necessary training with Becket Chambers is another huge benefit of doing pupillage here, and it is apparent these services will become ever more vital as court capacity is rapidly reduced and much of our work moves to the remote sphere.
To be honest, I was nervous about starting pupillage, as there tends to be a certain mystique around the year and what is in store for pupils (even more so with global events as they are). Having said that, everyone here at Chambers, and the wider professional community in general, have been extremely friendly and supportive. I feel at home here and I cannot wait to see what the rest of pupillage and beyond brings.
Please note: Becket Chambers remains open and continues to provide a full, comprehensive service to all our clients, and has taken the appropriate steps to safeguard our clients and members of staff.
We are continuing to assess the developing situation in relation to Covid-19 and will continue to take advice and follow guidance from the Government, Bar Standards Board, and Bar Council on a daily basis. All our systems are cloud based, and as such our clerking team are able to work remotely and continue to operate as normal.
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