After successful completion of their second six and securing a tenancy within Chambers some of our recently appointed tenants reflect on their second six experience during the pandemic.
My exerpience as a pupil
I embarked upon my second sixth in March 2020, which coincided with the first national lockdown. To that end, being ‘on my feet’ very much involved me being sat in the house. Despite this, the sense of community for which Dere Street is renowned very much prevailed. Whether it be via virtual quizzes and social events, or members of Chambers individually offering their support to me throughout my second sixth and certainly as a tenant, I have felt and continue to feel thoroughly supported at Dere Street.
Soon after restrictions were imposed, work rapidly increased in volume. With that came the difficulty getting to grips with remote working whilst doing everything for the first time and under pressure. Chambers’ response to those unavoidable challenges assisted me significantly. The consistent support offered by both members of Chambers and staff alike has ensured that I am able to continue my professional development.
Of course, I am eager to return to a ‘normal’ court-based practice and enjoy the community and camaraderie which attracts most to the Bar. I can say with confidence that my experience at this Chambers thus far has prepared me well for when that time arrives.
My experience as a pupil
Second six induces an imminent sense of foreboding in the minds of every first six pupil but in lockdown it was somewhat of an anti-climax, with diaries being vacated and court rooms being closed. Despite this though the sense of camaraderie that I in particular would say I had with my two fellow pupils sustained me. The opportunity to exchange ideas and just catch up with those in the same boat as you that Dere Street provides was invaluable. We were all expressly told by the head of chambers that we were not competing with one another and during pupillage I therefore obtained two lifelong friends at the bar. We continue to support one another as junior tenants.
Whilst remote learning brings it challenges, I had regular zoom calls with my supervisor at the time, without whom pupillage would have been a very different experience. Obtaining work electronically and getting used to reading e-bundles was in fact very good experience for tenancy due to the shift now towards electronic working. I had monthly welfare calls from chambers Head Clerk and felt thoroughly supported and valued during the pupillage process.
I made the decision to accept pupillage at Dere Street after receiving offers from other chambers on the basis that Chambers seemed so friendly even during the interview process. On completing second six and progressing to tenancy I have realised that in particular the quality of family work offered at this set makes it very attractive to anyone with an interest in this practice area. I am a very junior tenant but have already been instructed in three 5-day final hearings for an alleged perpetrator of non-accidental injury, have cross examined medical experts and provided advice in relation to a potential high court claim. I have also been encouraged to maintain a mixed practice post-pupillage and receive very good quality civil work alongside my family practice. I thoroughly recommend Dere Street to any prospective pupil, including those such as myself who do not originate from the North East and completed their bar studies in London.