Ed note: This is the latest post in the 'If I knew then what I know now' series, where leading members of the legal profession share their wisdom with the next generation of wannabes.
One of the things I did know – courtesy of a father at the Bar – was how enjoyable a barrister’s life could be. That’s good, because you’re only here once. But there are still lots of things I wish I knew, writes Simon Myerson QC. So, in no particular order...
‘Pupils contribute nothing to chambers during their pupillage’, writes Simon Myerson QC, so paying them more than the £12K minimum makes no sense
I like Legal Cheek and I like Alex Aldridge who runs it. Nonetheless, it has recently gone all tabloid on the issue of funding for pupillages, and I have told Alex so.
Last week, a tenant at 5 Pump Court, writing on Legal Cheek, argued that barristers should be taxed £3 per day – or the price of “less than two cups of coffee a day” – to fund pupilages, with all sets of chambers compelled to take one pupil per 25 tenants. Under the proposal, pupils would be paid £25,000 per year.
The idea has been taken up by the anonymous paralegal whose idea was to occupy the Inns of Court because he hadn't got a pupillage. He is confident that the proposal would “also have extremely positive repercussions for the outrageous situation with regard to lack of pupillages at the Bar.” He adds: “Force barristers to pay a contribution towards pupils’ training and more pupillages would undoubtedly flow from the wider availability of funding."
To which I can only respond: Stone. Cold. Wrong.