Has flamboyant TV barrister ‘Judge Rinder’ widened frame of reference for bar hopefuls seeking to stand out from the crowd?
Chambers and law firms value non-legal work experience more than students often realise — with the skills learnt from, for example, assisting customers proving transferable to the legal market.
So the decision of Northumbria University combined LLM and BPTC student Richard Duggan to write an eye-catching article for The Tab last week about his time as an Anne Summers sex toy salesman may not be such a bad one.
But the accompanying photos of Duggan (pictured) posing with sex toys might not thrill all potential legal employers in what remains a conservative profession.
Duggan, who is Northumbria Uni’s representative for Middle Temple, begins the article by explaining that he sells sex for a living, before clarifying the exact nature of his role: “No – I’m not a prostitute,” he reassures readers, “I’m a Sales Consultant”. However he accepts that there is a stigma attached to working in this particular industry — so much so that he has had to lie to his granny about what he does.
“I’ve even told my granny I work for Topman; if she knew the truth I think it might kill her.”
The wannabe barrister, who is the only male Ann Summers employee in the north east of England, suggests that women actually quite like being served by him, explaining:
“I’ve actually been very surprised and warmed by the number of women who have welcomed the chance to be served by me. And some even ask to only be served by me because they feel intimidated asking my female colleagues for advice.”
Duggan completed his LLB at Newcastle University in 2013. He is currently studying for his combined LLM and BPTC at Northumbria and hopes to one day practice both family and criminal law.
When contacted by Legal Cheek, Duggan acknowledged that he was taking a calculated risk in writing such a racy article, while emphasising how valuable the work experience had been. He said:
“Some of the more conservative members of the bar may deem the job unorthodox, however I feel the more open-minded ones will accept that students have to work while studying. I often deal with tricky customers and sensitive information so this is valuable experience.”
Certainly, in the hyper-competitive race for pupillages, students often need to do something to stand out, and that means taking risks. And with 2 Hare Court’s Robert Rinder — aka Judge Rinder — showing the nation over the summer that barristers can actually be quite fun, perhaps Duggan has pitched it just right with his article.
Time will tell if his strategy pays off.
Images via The Tab
I’m a sex-toy salesman [The Tab]
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