Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Being called to the Bar

We are delighted to announce that Clea Topolski and Tariq Al-Mallak were both called to the Bar in July 2014. We now have 4 Barristers in our Crown Court Advocacy team - see Clea`s blog below for her experience on the day.

Being called to the bar is a little like getting married. A lot of ceremony and tradition, with a steady pulse of anxiety and fear. The weight of responsibility is not lost on you. How could it be? You stand shoulder to shoulder with young aspirational lawyers and face the visceral reminder that this is a job for life. Especially when you cast your eye to the "masters" in the second pew along from you. 

I was called by a high court judge, who happened to be the same master who moved my father's call back in 1986. My father was a transferring solicitor too, so the poetic symmetry made the occasion steep in emotion.

I was the one hundred and twenty third person out of one hundred and twenty four to be called that day. As a result of being at the back of the list, I was second to last in entering the church at inner temple. Me and number 124, were asked to wait in the doorway whilst the other 122 were seated. I whispered to the head of education  that I had purposefully avoided a big wedding, to escape the hundreds of pairs of eyes looking at me as I walked down the aisle. She smiled back at me and whispered "we got you eventually"

It does feel like a marriage of sorts. One that is almost certainly not to be a plain sailing union. But I feel honoured to be a part of an institution  that has overcome decades of adversity and continues to thrive.

By Clea Topolski


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