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With the help of my hubby, March was a productive month and quite a lot of furniture was refurbished. We were assisted greatly by the lovely weather and the lighter nights. I’ve worked some long hours during the past 12 months and enjoyed the work very much.

I’ve a few items that need finishing touches, but then must knuckle down with the search for a pupillage (a trainee barrister’s job). Most positions for pupillage are advertised on OLPAS; an online portal. Here’s the rub – I can only apply for 12 per year. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be doing some pupillage searching; sifting through all the vacancies advertised, picking the 12 Chambers which I think will best suit my attributes and where I stand most chance of getting an interview. This task comes with a little soul searching too. I’ve spent 8 years slogging away over law books, but competition is fierce and there are thousands of younger candidates competing for pupillage. Last year there were around 400 pupillages available, with around 3000 fresh graduates, plus previous years graduates applying for ‘The Golden Snitch’. I’m female, a mature entrant to the Bar, and I didn’t go to Oxford or Cambridge to study law. The odds are stacked against me! My applications will need to be carefully drafted and I really do need to make a good job of selling myself.

I miss law very much, but also enjoy refurbishing furniture. I’m not in a position to choose. If I’m fortunate enough to gain an interview or two, the pupillage committees will decide my future. In the long term, a career at the Bar will provide a better income. In the short term, I don’t exactly relish the prospect of starting a new career at my age, at rock bottom. The first 6 months of pupillage are fully supervised and I’m not allowed into court on my own. During the second six months, I will be allowed into court alone to deal with minor matters such as bail applications, with maybe the odd small trial here and there. Once the 12 months of pupillage are over, the Chambers will consider whether or not to offer me tenancy (a self-employed position) (or might even ask me to do a ‘third six’ if they need more time to decide). Many pupillages offer the minimum award, which is currently around £15,000 for the 12 months. I will be poor; my travel costs will gobble £200 a week.

I guess you couldn’t find 2 more different careers if you tried. Barrister-at-law or furniture painter/refurbisher. Are we destined to do one thing or another, or is it all just a game of chance?

Over the next few weeks I won’t be refurbishing at my usual rate of knots, but do need to keep ticking over with a few new items. I’ll keep you posted.

Wish me luck in search of my destiny:-)

Jackie

 

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