This week’s #RoundMyKitchenTable podcast guest, City University’s Emily Allbon (pictured), is one of the pioneers of legal blogging, having started the excellent Lawbore site way back in the dial-up internet days of 2002.
Since then, Allbon has seen many legal blogs fall by the wayside, and a fairly recent new wave of really good bloggers emerge – like David Allen Green, Adam Wagner (editor of the UK Human Rights Blog), Amanda Bancroft (Beneath the Wig) and Lucy Reed (Pink Tape), amongst others.
Lawbore, meanwhile, has gone from strength to strength to maintain its position as the online law student resource, despite competition from various other well-resourced law schools.
The secret to Allbon’s success? And her predictions for the future of legal blogging? It's all on the podcast...
Gasps, sighs and the sentence "A blog about a Scottish football team’s tax case?!" echoed around a disbelieving Church House Hall in Westminster last night, as the winner of the Orwell Prize for blogging was announced.
Supporters of Beneath the Wig author and former barrister Milly Bancroft, one of seven bloggers nominated for the prestigious prize, shook their heads in disbelief as some Scottish bloke trudged to the front and made some speech about football and tax.
"GET OFF! YOU’RE BORING!" we yelled in unison, before turning on the event organisers. "Where’s the food? At other award ceremonies you get food! What the hell is this?!" we continued.
Following Thursday's news that Eddie Stobart lorries is launching a barristers’ arm, law graduates Cathryn Kozlowski and Krish Nair (AKA The Training Contract Hawk) explain how they feel about entering a profession in flux where lawyers’ high status is no longer assured.
The pair also recount the successes they have enjoyed since they entered the glittering world of social media. Last autumn, when Kozlowski and Nair contributed some of the first ever blogs to Legal Cheek after the site launched in October, they worked, respectively, in a non-law job and as an adviser at the Citizens Advice Bureau, foraging by night for training contracts...
Orwell prize short-listed blogger Amanda Bancroft, a former barrister, on what differentiates the wannabes from those who make it into practice at the Bar
What is it that determines that some people get pupillage, and some don’t?
I said a couple of weeks ago on the Legal Cheek podcast that I found of the five or six people who fall into the have-pupillage group I know, they all shared attributes; similarly so, of the don’t-have-pupillage group, they have shared attributes which are distinct from the have group.
Having been asked to elucidate, I have to admit I am struggling. What gets you pupillage really is a personality X factor – indeed, leaving aside those few barristers that you can’t help but look at in utter bewilderment and wonder how on earth they got to the Bar, you will find that most barristers are similar people, and those who fall into the have-pupillage group share a commonality with them.
So, cutting through the waffle, what is it?
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...