I&N Blog: Emma

 My path to the bar was not a typical one. I always loved languages at school and went on to study French and German at Durham University. Following that I lived in Frankfurt before returning to London to work as a headhunter . In 2016 I decided to study the law conversion course part time, alongside working full time.

Towards the beginning of the GDL I took part in a university mooting competition. This was my first experience of what a barrister does, and I loved it; that is when I turned my focus on  the bar. I changed roles to a paralegal position in criminal law and started the bar course part time at the University of Law.

Alongside work and study, I also fit in mini pupillages, marshalling, qualifying sessions, moots, competitions, networking, advocacy and pupillage applications. As my experience in the law grew, so too did my desire and motivation to qualify as a barrister and I eventually secured pupillage with a criminal chambers to start in the autumn of 2021. This made all the hard work and nights in front of my books worth it.

Although I have come to the law later in life and as a second career, I do not see this as a disadvantage at all, quite the opposite. I have gained confidence in my working life and I feel equipped to take charge of my own career. I have had to combine work and study for the past four years which means that the busy and stressful life of a barrister will not be alien to me. Most importantly, with everything that I have sacrificed for the bar, I know with absolute certainty that this is the  career that I want to pursue.

Now that I have come out of the other side, I hope that my experience will inspire others who may be considering a career at the bar, to make that change and begin that journey to a career that they love. I am particularly grateful for the support and mentorship that I have had along the way, in particular from some amazing women.

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