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‘We would be foolish indeed to sneer at the principle of the barrister hottie’

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After overcoming his initial scepticism, OccupyTheInns — who will shortly be commencing pupillage — is keen to see the ranking of attractive lawyers extended to pupil barristers.

Being in Australia in July, where it is of course winter time, one forgets that it is the “silly season” in Great Britain. However, I was reminded of this fact when I read of the extraordinary “Your Barrister Boyfriend Hottie List”.

Initially I was horrified by what I saw: as a feminist I regard the objectification of women as abhorrent, and being committed to equality I regard this principle as applying equally to men.

Then I went and read the thing and realised that it was a rather different creature to the one I had expected. These rankings were not made on the basis of looks alone, far from it. No, they are an appraisal of a barrister’s overall offering, with looks just one part, and a liberal helping of humour to boot. I note the chambers which feature in the admittedly rather crudely named list are all of the highest level…

The debate therefore turns to whether it is right or wrong to judge an individual at least partially on looks. My starting point in considering this proposition will be a quote given by one of the “Barrister Hottie Experts” behind Your Barrister Boyfriend to The Lawyer journal.

“Intelligence is as arbitrarily distributed as beauty. I don’t think any barristers would be unwilling to accept accolades on the basis of their intelligence. Why not beauty?”

During my childhood and teen years I am rather embarrassed to admit that I did some modelling work for a selection of leading catalogues. It made my mother proud and earned me a few extra pennies in pocket money. As I approached university age, a fork in the road appeared. Would I use the modelling as a springboard to pursue a career as an actor (because a life as Mr Calvin Klein certainly did not appeal)? Or would I follow my passion for human rights and justice. The latter prevailed.

Part of the reason for making this choice was that I felt that my intellectual side, which is very important to me, would not be satisfied by the treading the boards of the West End or even tackling Hollywood. At the Bar, I realised that I would be able to bring my overall package to bear. To put it in simple terms, as a barrister I believe that when I commence pupillage in September I will be able to utilise my brain, my advocacy ability (which is closely related to acting ability) and my presence as the sort of individual who is at ease in a courtroom. If that sort of individual is good-looking, then I am sorry but there is little I can do about that :-) .

In attempting to quantify these qualities, it is my submission that the Barrister Hottie Experts are not only providing the profession with a bit of fun, but have created a useful ranking service that is surprisingly sophisticated. Moreover, this kind of list is an excellent opportunity for the Bar to show to the wider world the formidable steps it has made towards improving diversity, particular at its junior end. We would be foolish indeed to sneer at the principle of the barrister hottie.

There has been discussion of what further lists could be created. Today a satirical list of the “hottest birds at the Bar” appeared, featuring pigeons. More seriously, a regional list of attractive barristers for our colleagues in the provinces has been mooted, so has a woman’s list (which seems only fair) and even an international list. However, I believe I am the first to suggest a pupil barrister hottie list…

OccupyTheInns was called to the Bar in July 2011. He will commence pupillage in autumn. There’s more from OccupyTheInns here.