This week Alex Aldridge is taking a barely earned rest from uploading blogs to Legal Cheek to go on holiday to Morocco. As he tries to sell Aunty Em for 2 camels and a leather bag, co-host Kevin Poulter takes charge of the #RoundMyKitchenTable podcast (for two weeks only), rebranding it #RoundMyDiningTable.
Joining him #RoundMyDiningTable is fresh faced (but very experienced) employment lawyer Laurie Anstis, of Reading firm Boyes Turner, and former colleague of James Blunt (i.e. he was in the army), current Magic Circle 'Outsourced Operations Manager' and law student, Neil MacKinnon.
As Christmas party season is in full swing, this week's podcast tackles that seasonal institution that instills fear in trainees and underlings across the country - for those lucky enough to work in firms able to afford a Christmas party that is.
Also up for debate is the two year combined LPC and training contract soon to be offered by Eversheds and new suggestions for sifting training contract applications.
Debbie Matthews regrets her night out with a senior male colleague
Wednesday morning. I’m back in the cosy confines of my office, feeling slightly nauseous. The nausea seems less about the wine I drank last night, and more about my flashbacks of the evening.
I eventually left the bar at around 10.30 - too late for me on a school night. Middle-aged lawyer quaffed far too many pints of bitter and started on the shots. I declined. It took me probably an hour to get out of his clutches, with him moving in closer, loosening his tie with one hand, rubbing his thigh with the other. As I edged further away, he sidled up towards me, putting an arm around the back of my chair.
Women are rarely welcomed into judges' chambers for cosy post-case chats, says Deborah Matthews, continuing her tales of legal life
Sitting in my office, reeling at my weakness for having agreed to a drink with predatory middle-aged lawyer, I realise I have work to do. So I run haphazardly in my stilettos and pencil skirt to the local county court in order to deal with a ‘protection from harassment’ hearing (how very apt)!
Waiting outside the district judge’s room, I sit quietly and survey the scene. Alpha male barristers are strutting around, briefs in hand, while their young, female clerks run around after them in mild panic that they are missing one of the orders being thrown at them.
...No we shouldn't, thinks Deborah Matthews, continuing her tales about predatory male lawyers from last week
Sitting opposite the prowling middle-aged male lawyer in the small confines of my office, I try desperately to stop imitating his body language, while simultaneously fighting the impulse to twirl my hair, conscious of the assertion by experts in this field that twirling hair evidences attraction. There certainly is no attraction. And I don’t want to encourage in any way what I know is to come next: the obligatory “we should go for a drink after work to discuss…..” In fact, I’m already thinking of excuses to avoid separating myself from the rest of the female office pack.
“We should go for a drink after work to discuss...” he suggests. The bait is set and now it’s my job to wriggle off the line. I think about the many times I’ve heard the giggles of young office juniors when confronted with the suggestion of a drink with the prowling middle-aged lawyer (then, as she walks past her fellow juniors, rolls her eyes and sticks her fingers jokingly down her throat as he strides in front, oblivious).