Fifty Shades of trainee solicitor torture

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By WaitroseLaw on

Forget the book; sod the gala film opening — as Valentine’s Day approaches, wannabe lawyers should just read this


“Ms Steal, our requirements are … singular.”

I bite my lip, dreading what is to come. After the exertions of the assessment day, I feel spent, drained, my muscles sore. Do I really want to know the depths of depravity that this firm can sink to?

But then I catch sight of the immaculately expensive office chair my interlocutor sits in and recall the really quite nice sweets they gave out at the law fair.

No firm has ever made me feel the way this one does …

“You should take a few moments to have a look at the contract,” he says, handing me a printed document. I shiver as the cool, smooth paper touches my burning hand and my inner goddess literally flails wildly before collapsing in a heap on the floor. While she recovers, I start to take in what it says, my mind racing.

“The parties agree that the fundamental purpose of this contract is to allow the Trainee (hereafter known as “the Submissive”) to explore the limits of her threshold for misery, tedium and humiliation and for the Firm (hereafter known as “the Dominant”) to introduce the Submissive to the aforesaid misery, tedium and humiliation in accordance with all applicable Law Society and SRA requirements.”

This comes as no surprise, but at the next sentences my inner goddess starts to dance the limbo with a pineapple on her head.

“The Submissive agrees that she will:

(i) Eat only on the Dominant’s premises, at times to be agreed with the Dominant or otherwise arranged so as to cause the minimum inconvenience possible to the Dominant, and eat only approved substances provided by the Dominant;

(ii) Sleep for no more than 5 hours at a time (2 hours in busy periods);

(iii) When in the presence of any partner of the Dominant, respond only when asked a direct question and keep eyes lowered at all times;

(iv) Wear only clothes pre-approved by the Dominant; and

(v) At all times subordinate her will, personal life, opinions and needs to those of the Dominant.”

My pulse begins to throb at this catalogue of subjugation and I shiver with anticipation picturing the delights of the two years that lie ahead. But it all seems a little broadly-drafted to me.

“Isn’t there something about agreeing a list of activities that I haven’t agreed to? I mean, I don’t mind a bit of mild humiliation while I’m proof-reading but I’m not signing up for anything too degrading.”

“Oh no, Ms Steal, we got rid of that bit when the Solicitors Regulation Authority dropped that ludicrous nonsense about having to pay you some sort of living wage. It’s take it or leave it — or rather, take it and be taken. Ha!”

He laughs devilishly and my insides clench pleasurably at the sound. I know it’s wrong, but it feels so right! He takes me by the hand, and my inner goddess has a mild seizure while scoring the winning goal in the Champion’s League final.

“I think it’s time for you to see the Red Room of Pain — or as Facilities insist on calling it, printing and reprographics”.

WaitroseLaw is a lawyer with luscious organic selection, impeccable ethics and dinner party skills. She is not affiliated with or authorised by Waitrose.