It has been a very long summer in Pupillageville and I have finally been able to blow off the cobwebs from the electronic quill, so as to at last engage once again (in a more timely way), with writing another draft upon ‘The Pupillage Blog’.
These last few months have been very difficult for me and my family, as our daughter was taken very poorly in the summer. Most of August and September was spent pacing hospital corridors and embracing the very role and function of the NHS. Our first hand collective experiences dispel any criticism of our National Health Service, as I can only offer complete admiration and commendation for those hard working, tireless souls of St. Georges Hospital in Tooting, of whom we are very indebted.
Life has once again returned to some normality, with lecturing and union representation being at the very heart of regular day to day activities. In July amidst the turmoil of endless marking, I was very pleased to be duly elected as the new local Branch Secretary for the University College Union. So life is as busy as ever and the pen will remain mightier than the sword as I return to report and reflect upon more pressing issues at hand and at the Bar.
Saturday saw the largest event in the Bar’s calendar with the 27th Annual Bar Conference. The focus this year was ‘The Modern Bar – Accessible, Adaptable and Relevant’. For those who could not attend, a stream of well versed and informative ‘tweets’ were posted across the Twitter airwaves. The key note speech from Michael Todd QC, Chairman of the Bar Council, was passionately delivered with the address centrally focussed upon how the Bar must fight to shape its own future in this modern, dramatically and quickly changing, legal landscape or be lost forever. Dramatic as this sounded, I cannot help feeling that the tide is turning and given the publication on Monday of the 2012 Bar Barometer by the Bar Standards Board, one might be excused for thinking that the statistics might just bare out some very real concerns within our profession. Safeguarding and promoting the Rule of Law along with the core values that underpin the profession is paramount to the longevity of the Bar, this has never more been so in such times of austerity across the legal divide. As an individual, I am passionate about my profession and supporting all of those individuals who wish to come to the Bar, after all this was my primary reason for creating ‘The Pupillage Blog’. However, experience has borne out that collective fundamental attitudes need to change so as to foster a more productive and persuasive approach to steer this legal ship back on course.
Now to future events. I have been contacted by The Chancery Bar Association with regards to The Chancery Bar Careers Fair which takes place this Saturday 17th November. This is an excellent opportunity to meet barristers and get a good insight into life at the Bar. To this end, I have posted further information on a dedicated page covering this event and a link for registration. If you are thinking of attending this event, I would certainly recommend having a read though the commentary from the The Guardian’s Live Q&A on ‘How to get the most out of law fairs’, which was hosted last Thursday, which is supportive, informative and constructive in its approach.
Turning finally to ‘The Pupillage Blog’. Over the course of the next few weeks and months, I will regularly be updating the Blog along with key links to provide the very latest legal information and opportunities. Note that daily information will as always be channelled through @Pupillageblog on Twitter.
So until next time.
Stephen AKA Justin Time