“These breaded treats (pictured below) are absolutely world class – and I don’t use that term lightly – get yourself a plate lad,” purred Legal Cheek’s Kevin Poulter at last night’s legal tweet-up, held at the Old Bank of England pub on Fleet Street in central London.
At least that’s what I think he said; Kevin’s mouth was filled with the aforementioned treats after all, and the room was full of noisy chatter between Twitter avatar photos who, it turned out, are actually real people!
Leaving Kevin to his platter, I scanned the room. Immediately in front of me was a man with a white @GavWard sticker on his chest. Wait a second, I thought to myself, could that be the @GavWard in whose Twitter Daily newspaper I’d featured just hours earlier?
I went for it: “@GgggavWard (pictured), I was in your Twitter daily!”
It went on like this. Having exchanged pleasantries with Gav, I moved on to event organiser @ShireenSmith and law students @RayjanBibi and @dralvesvaldez. These people, I can confirm, exist in real life as well as Twitter – and are very nice.
There were plenty of people I already knew there, too, including 3 Verulam Buildings practice manager Jeremy Hokins, employment lawyer Jo Martin, law blogger Carl Gardner and Ilex lawyer Barbara Hamilton-Bruce (pictured), who’ll be joining Kevin and I on this week’s #RoundMyKitchenTable podcast. Plus the hosts of last November’s tweet-up, the College of Law, were also there, along with lawyers Anya Palmer, @stokenewington and Sundeep Bhatia, and law grad Krish Nair and journo Rupert White.
It was an evening of too many golden moments to relay, but the brief history of legal tweet-ups told to me by another old Twitter buddy, Brian Inkster, is worth sharing.
Legal tweet-ups, Brian explained, actually far pre-date Twitter, with the first held in 1667, the year after the Great Fire of London, by a group of lawyers who used to communicate with each other by notes sent via a type of medieval fax machine made from a new fire-resistant wood.
Well, it would have been good if he’d said that. The first legal tweet-up actually happened in 2010 after Brian sent a tweet while on the train from Edinburgh to London to see if any of his legal Twitter mates fancied a drink when he got there. Five people – @Clarinette02, @JohnAFlood, @legaltwo, @MichaelScutt, @ShireenSmith – met Brian at the Old Bank of England pub, the same venue where last night’s meet-up was held, and history was made. To commemorate what lawyers are increasingly referring to as “the new Christmas”, Brian is planning an anniversary tweet-up on 24 April.