Junior solicitor ditches law to become a clown

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But confesses comical career change isn’t ‘financially stable’

Image credit: Phoebe Mason

A junior solicitor has quit the legal rat race to pursue her dream of becoming a professional clown.

Phoebe Mason, 26, worked as a solicitor at New Zealand law firm Atkins Holm Majurey for more than two years when the red nose and big shoes came calling. In 2016, Mason — who studied law and arts at the University of Auckland — was offered a four-month unpaid sabbatical to attend a theatre school in Melbourne, Australia.

She also began acting at an improvised theatre company, ushering at local arts centre, and temping in an office. She has since gone on to create her first solo show, which debuts later this month.

Mason, who describes herself as a “freelance actor and writer” on her LinkedIn profile, also applied to become a ‘clown doctor’. This involves working in partnership with medical professionals to, among other things, help lift children’s spirits during painful procedures and medical emergencies. Following a succesful audition, Mason spent time ‘clownterning’ (essentially a vac scheme for clowns) alongside veteran clowns in local hospitals.

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So what promoted the career switch? Speaking to New Zealand news site Stuff, Mason explained her lightbulb moment came when she asked: “What could life be like” away from law?

Having ditched her horsehair wig (and replaced it with an even sillier one), Mason says her clowning pursuits aren’t overly “financially stable”. But, she has more control over her time, the report says. And what do her family make of Mason’s new occupation? She continues:

“My parents have been getting some good mileage out of the ‘lawyer into clown’ story.”

Mason isn’t the first legal professional to venture down a very different career path.

Legal Cheek has reported on lawyers becoming professional cake makers and full-time personal trainers. One lawyer even ditched the profession to do ‘The Nicest Job in Britain’.

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Its her life, got for her. Who are we to care?



Not much difference between a solicitor and a clown in any event.


LC staff

We’ve all ditched law to be clowns a long time ago!



Not really unheard of, Eversheds and Shoosmiths are full of clowns






This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.



Nice pinch from ROF again there Tommy, are you hustling for a raise?



Legal cheek is more readable and the website is better



Hi Alex.



Someone half a planet away changes their job. It’s news.



Now she can represent sub prime mortgage companies on possession days. 🙂



The outfit is no sillier in her new profession…



The issue here is that LC steals content from ROF and then rewords it slightly before uploading it as their own about 2 hours after publication by ROF.

That is what winds people up.



In fairness they both pinched it from a New Zealand news site 🤷🏼‍♂️



“Winds people up”

The guys who work for Rof you mean? Like any readers give a sh*t



This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.



I don’t care. I don’t visit ROF because it is a crap platform.



Why is she wearing a wig?



I think in NZ everyone is called to the Bar, regardless of barrister/solicitor status afterwards


Twonk of Counsel

Same in Canada.

People who quality and tend to be trial lawyers refer to themselves as barristers, and those who tend towards litigation refer to themselves as Solicitors, but it’s the same qualification and profession.


Triggered Loon

How DARE this woman voluntarily move from a highly paid job to a lower paid job just because she wants to!

Doesn’t she know such actions contribute to the GENDER PAY GAP!

Force her to stay! The sisterhood demand it!



Why didn’t she get a job on Park Square in Leeds – you can practise whilst being a clown at the same time.



she’ll be good at it since the criminal law pay has been making a clown of us lawyers for way too long.


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