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Book Review: Order in Court by David Osborne

Survive Law's Jess Awad ponders the ups and downs of life at the Bar from the perspective of an aspiring barrister.

Ever wanted to know what it's like to work at the Bar - the Criminal Bar?! Order in Court, a fictional novel by English barrister David Osborne, provides us with a protagonist who like all young lawyers, is ambitious.

We first join Toby Potts as he strides out of his Bar exam with starry eyes into life as a Barrister. Occasionally prosecuting, but mostly defending, he has flung himself into what he quickly learns is nothing less than a rollercoaster ride, trying his best to reach fame and fortune. Toby's journey shows the excitement and the struggle of practising as a Barrister in criminal defence, while simultaneously trying to stay afloat.

Though the story is set in the United Kingdom, you can see the similarities with the Criminal Bar in Australia. From the way work is handed out through the clerks as well as directly, to the way court unfolds (with just a few surprises) and finally, to how cases are finalised. It is very much a reflection of what it is like for a young barrister just starting out (read: minimal money, high hopes, difficult clients and dealing with some of the silliest cases). It is sure to give anybody who is interested in a career at the Bar a taste of the excitement. And if that doesn't entice you to sit the Bar exam and become a barrister, then what will?

From dangerous dogs, to farmers, to paranoid professors (and the Queen!), you will witness Toby’s topsy-turvy journey as he learns the reins and tries to make a name for himself in the world of criminal law. With a little romance thrown in the mix, it is not easy to forget that Toby is just a regular guy, trying to make it in the world – like you and me.

Order in Court is written by David Osborne, an English barrister, and is published by Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co.

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