There is an anonymous junior barrister revealing the reality of life at the Bar

Avatar photo

By Legal Cheek Reporter on

Blogging as an art form might not yet be out of short trousers, but there is a growing tradition of anonymous writers hoping to shock by piercing the veil of mysterious environments. Well, environments don’t come much more mysterious and murky than the sect known as the bar of England and Wales — the latest peek behind the curtain comes from blogger Secret Barrister.


Readers aren’t offered many identifying details of the writer — the blog’s ‘about’ section says simply that she is not one of two fictional characters from the BBC programme ‘Silk’.

But we do know the writer is a woman: “You may think that so long as I wore a suit with no sign of the unholy trinity (cleavage, leg above the knee, colour) that I would pass muster,” writes our heroine, “But you, my learned friend, would be most sadly mistaken.”


Secret barrister — who says she is now practising at the bar — did not have a happy time as a pupil. Indeed, where does one start with the litany of horrors she faced daily at the hands of a clearly sadistic pupil mistress?

To celebrate surviving her first week in chambers, SB splurges on expensive biscuits, only to be curtly informed by the wicked witch that she subscribes to a gluten free diet, consigning the tasty morsels to a drawer to be given to her undoubtedly equally horrible children.

Daily rounds of humiliation from the pupil mistress — who, it is suggested, is having an affair in chambers — drives our girl to bouts of weeping. She is routinely scolded for her lack of legal knowledge and an infuriating inability to file papers correctly.

However, a potential knight in freshly powdered wig is on the horizon in the shape of a charming and friendly junior tenant. How will it all end …?

In addition to this soap opera, SB provides some practical and entertaining ‘pupillage survival kit’ tips. But perhaps the best advice for those considering a career at the bar — especially the criminal bar — in the light of the Legal Services Act 2007 and legal aid rate cuts is: don’t.

Beginnings [Secret Barrister]

Image via Jon Mack (Wikipedia)