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Chris Snell, President of Birmingham University Law Society
So another week has passed, where is the summer going? This week Ive had the pleasure of working in possibly the quaintest part of London town, the Temple. For those of you who havent experienced the allure of the barristers sanctuary allow me to paint a brief picture. The Temple comprises two Inns of Court, the inner and middle temple, and peacefully rests between the chaotic bustle of The Strand and the noisy embankment of the River Thames. It is the barristers world. The streets are cobbled, the pubs always full to the brim and the picturesque gardens eerily desolate. Dotted around this antiquated institution dont be surprised to find signs such as any person making noise in this Inn will be removed by the porters. It is perhaps the closest Ive ever come to travelling back in time.
Enough of the travel guide talk. What were the few days I spent in chambers like? In a word, quiet. To some extent perhaps this is a symptom of the economic climate and the time of year. Nevertheless, my time spent in chambers was most definitely enjoyable.
True, Im not going to be an Oxbridge graduate so this did place me in the minority. My fellow mini pupil had graduated from Cambridge with a double first and is now moving on to Oxford to study a Bachelor in Civil Law. So imagine my fear when I had to moot against him in front of a member of chambers. All sympathetic comments welcome. In truth, the experience was thoroughly delightful. The barrister who judged the moot was of the pleasant variety, neither brash nor out-spoken, and managed to tie both mini pupils in severe knots that proved impossible to untangle.
I must add that at no point did I feel similar to an inferior being due to my somewhat different university background. Indeed, having met the soon to be latest chambers pupil I was delighted to find out that she was a Birmingham graduate. Small world! Perhaps, just perhaps, being different is not such a bad thing on occasion?
To end, I have one final observation. The difference in atmosphere between chambers and the corporate world of the international law firm is enormous. I cannot describe it; you must experience it for yourself. However, in passing I will simply comment that chambers is the only place I have visited where the toilets on the client floor are considerably worse that those elsewhere in the building! Enough said.
One more week of placement to go! Until then, its time for me to have a much-needed break. I shall catch up with you all shortly.
This week in a word: Archaic
This week likened to a drink: Port. Old, dusty and yet somewhat delightful.
The weeks most embarrassing moment? Come on, even I couldnt achieve one of those in 3 days!