Posted by: scottishboomerang | December 5, 2007

The Devil and Ms Boomerang.

If you believe in the Devil, it’s a mistake to think that he’s a Beast with 10 horns or whatnot. The Devil is more a kind of James Bond. Expensive tailored suit, always with a Martini in his hand and an extra one for me. He is, in fact ( and I know that you will not be surprise by this) a lawyer.


Which rather begs the question why Ms Boomerang, BSc – shortly to be Ms Boomerang LLM – is considering a career in legal practice. The throws of my legal Masters over, I am considering biting the bullet and entering the Law as lawyer, not an academic. To some religious people, thats tantamount to saying “I’m joining the legions of hell to prepare the way for the prince of darkness, you know, going over to the dark side. In fact, I’m starting a coven every Saturday night: we study contracts and then have a Black Mass. Bring your own big dribbly candle, that sort of thing. No no, the wine’s on me. Literally.” Not to confuse matters, but Scottish trainee Advocate is actually – owing to some obscure point of legal English – called a Devil.

Whether I go home to Scotland, jump ship to England or Canada, or even take up the place offered to me in a law school in India, the whole process of making Ms Boomerang a lawyer will take a further five years. Before which I must find a way to do it without selling by mortal soul. Some Christians believe that this is not possible.


How to keep ones soul unspotted, that’s the question, when the process of training a lawyer in the United Kingdom is not as easy as in the US. There’s so much more opportunity for compromise before you’ve even stepped into a court-room. Please, please, allow me to explain, brethren of the American Bar. I’m not minimizing your sufferings, all you with the Juris Doctor. I’ve seen how they torture you at law school. I’ve seen you brief those cases and sweat blood over the Blue Blook referencing system. The fact remains though is that three very expensive years later, you memorize 2000 multiple choice questions from the Bar preparation books, and sit one horrible, but mercifully one-off multiple choice exam (the exam script looks a little bit like a giant lottery ticket where the candidate fills in the blanks with a pencil), an interview with the Bar Association in the State that you wish to join, and you’re in.

 Not so your benighted counterpart in the British Isles. In addition to an upper second in an LLB (or post-grad equivalent), the poor Devils – no pun intended, I wouldn’t dream of it –  must sweat in hell for up to two years before finally being allowed to practice without supervision. Its the time when you have all the legal responsibility for your ethical conduct, but during which your supervisors have total, utter, control over your future.


Heaven (let’s not mention Heaven too loudly, the Walls have Ears) help you then if your supervisor is less than ethical. Your traineeship (as a Solicitor) or pupillage ( as Barrister) ideally should be a Luke Skywalker/Obi Won Kenobi relationship, where Old Obi teaches you how to “Use the Force” without succumbing to the “Dark Side”.


But what if your Pupil Master – or Devil Master – is a Sith?


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