Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Yesterday, I became a pupil supervisor for the first time. For those of you who have no idea what that means (and far less the old-fashioned term, a pupil mistress), this means that I am now officially qualified to take pupils, i.e. to have a trainee barrister sit in my room for 3 months at a time, shadowing me and learning what the profession is like. It's an important role and I had to attend two hours of training, during which they encouraged us to think in advance of what we expected of our pupils, what we had enjoyed about our year as a pupil (nothing, was my initial thought) and most importantly, what we would tell them in advance about what it was like sharing a room or office with us. So today, I sat down and analysed what it means to share a room with me and what I would tell my first pupil in order than they begin to understand me, and here it is:

  • I spend quite a lot of time on the internet. This does not mean that I am shopping for clothes on Net A Porter or planning my next holiday, oh no. It means that I am looking up the finer points of a difficult legal argument.

  • Yes, I do spend quite a lot of time enquiring about the well-being of someone called George. He's my son, and yes, I do spend a disproportionate amount of time discussing the cuteness of said person.

  • I do have quite a lot of sweets in my desk/bag/drawer. If you're having a low sugar moment, I will reliably have piece of chocolate somewhere to hand.

  • I will never expect you to make tea for me, but if you're making one, mine's white with no sugar.

  • I love what I do, but it's not always easy to believe that I do it well. Dropping in the odd 'you were brilliant in court today' will gain you unlimited Brownie points.

  • I love this job. I hope you will too.

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