On Tuesday, legal blogger Amanda "Milly" Bancroft found out, via Twitter, that she’d made the shortlist for the prestigious Orwell Prize For Blogging as she sat watching a panel of top journalists discuss the future of law reporting at a Halsbury’s Law Exchange debate.
At which point, Bancroft roared: “Get in!” Then, like a legal blogging version of Al Pacino’s character in Scarface, she strode to the front of the room and wrenched debate chair Joshua Rozenberg out of his seat. As the shocked audience looked on, the usually softly spoken author of Beneath The Wig announced: “Journalism is dead!” It was quite a moment.
Well, it would have been if it had actually happened. In boring old reality, Bancroft (pictured) smiled quietly to herself upon reading of the good news, sent a couple of tweets thanking people who had congratulated her – and then, as New Statesman legal correspondent (and avid Legal Cheek reader) David Allen Green points out below in the comments, received a huge round of applause when one of the panel announced her shortlisting. At the drinks session that followed the event, I cajoled her into coming on the #RoundMyKitchenTable podcast...
Having filed her latest Comment Is Free piece last night, Bancroft joined me in Legal Cheek’s Hackney studios to talk about her journey to the heights of blogging. And what a journey it is, featuring a teenage pregnancy, expulsion from school, a 2.2 in her law degree, then success as a barrister and acclaim as a writer.
In respect of the writing, Bancroft is especially grateful to the aforementioned David Allen Green, a former Orwell Prize shortlistee himself, who she credits with helping her blog reach a wider audience.
Listen to all this and much more – including Bancroft's warning to blogging law students – below.
The podcast is also available on iTunes.