It was just another ordinary Friday; I was at the supermarket taking a break from the overwhelming array of cheeses in the dairy aisle when I bumped into what could only be described as a barrister. I was in disbelief at this rare occurrence, but not only that, I was all of a sudden in the middle of a conversation with them. Then out of the blue, and I tell you, you wouldn’t believe this if you were there…
Ok you caught me, we met through me stalking her on the Vic Bar Website, but I’m telling you everyone is doing it (it’s a great way to meet barristers)!
She had to reschedule a couple of times, but that certainly didn’t deter me, and finally the morning I was to formally meet her had arrived. It must have taken me all of two hours to choose a tie fit for the occasion as I hoped that this would go better than my most recent legal encounter; being asked in the interview “so Nick, how is your attention to detail?” Knowing full well that the CV I had submitted in my application had a glaring typo on it I responded, “It’s of a very high standard.” This resulted in the longest pause you had ever experienced as I waited for the interviewer to hold up my mistake and suggest that my attention to detail is not indeed of a very high standard, but much poorer, but I digress.
I arrived at her chambers and as we went to a nearby café the witty wordplay went back and forth with my stories of glorious university adventures, exciting constitutional law lectures and lust to be a lawyer, coupled with her genuine charm and knowledge. And it occurred to me: barristers are people too, not just elderly grumpy men, but people of all ages and backgrounds who are happy to give you a chance if you simply reach out.
As I sipped my coffee looked up and said ‘please, tell me more about administrative law' (aside: administrative law is actually interesting, in fact public law in general is something I feel more students should look into). I felt my choice of tie was in fact the wrong one, but it didn’t matter, I reached out and I was rewarded with an opportunity.
So as you can see, my take away message from this experience is that you should stalk anyone and everyone! Ok, not really, but making use of this amazing resource known colloquially as ‘the internet’ can be a great place to start, and you never know you may find yourself getting a free coffee…or two (as well as legal opportunities, but coffee first and foremost).
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