I met a junior barrister outside the main entrance of Two Oak Court. He was in his early thirties, tall, upper class and friendly. He wore a wig and gown and we hurriedly made our way to the High Court. I walked beside him and took in everything he explained about the court application he was about to make. I tried to come across as extra keen. We entered the imposing entrance to the High Court and went through the tall, cathedral-like building. We spent the day in a packed court room and I struggled to understand what was going on.
Later in the day, I went to see Jeremy. At the top of the stone steps, I turned left and walked along the gloomily-lit corridor to my fate. I knocked on his door nervously.
“Come in,” he welcomed in a cheery tone. “So, what was it like in court?”
“It was a really interesting day. I’m not sure I understood it all, but I’ll get there.”
“Sit down over here. Yes, just move the papers off the chair. Take a look at this case.”
Thud. A bundle of papers hit the table. No more talking as I sat down and looked unseeingly at the new set of papers. I couldn’t concentrate. Had he read my assessment? Did he like it? Had I fucked it up? Thoughts were zipping around my head as Jeremy busily wrote at his desk, not giving anything away. Uncapping a fountain pen, he signed a letter and rolled a blotter over it. I’d never seen that before. It was all a bit Nineteenth Century. After a while, I managed to control my breathing. He coughed to break the silence.
“I’ve read your assessment and…” He was on his feet. I wasn’t sure what to do. “… will you work with me?”
I couldn’t believe it. He stood there holding his right hand out. I got up and grabbed it for a firm handshake.
“Yes,” I replied, smiling.
“Well, enjoy the rest of your summer and expect a letter in a few days. I’ll see you in September.”
“Thank you. Thank you so much. Goodbye.”
I walked away and heard a jovial “Pip, Pip,” from Jeremy as I left his room. I realised that I was about to experience a completely different world from what I’d ever known before. I ran down the worn stone steps two at a time. My footsteps echoed in the stairwell. I hit the pavement and was in a daze walking toward Chancery Lane tube station. The only other person who ever thought I could do this was my girlfriend, Michelle. My determination was full on, but I never knew if it was enough. I had put in a massive effort to land an offer.