Gwen Gets to Work

The Lawyer

May 25, 2020 Gwen Rose Season 1 Episode 7
Gwen Gets to Work
The Lawyer
Chapters
Gwen Gets to Work
The Lawyer
May 25, 2020 Season 1 Episode 7
Gwen Rose

What is one of The Barrister's favourite things about her job? And why does she say she works 'at the bar'?

Gwen and the Barrister play a game of Objection or Sustained and chat about the kind of things the Barrister has to do every day (and evening Zzz!) at work.

I am a 7yr old. My name is Gwen Rose. I wanted to do this podcast so all the girls, boys and me could learn about what adults do all day. Visit our website for past episodes and to find out what's coming soon: https://gwengetstowork.com/

Produced by Enigma Records: https://enigmarecords.co.uk/

Support the show (https://www.gofundme.com/f/gwen-gets-to-work/)

Show Notes Transcript

What is one of The Barrister's favourite things about her job? And why does she say she works 'at the bar'?

Gwen and the Barrister play a game of Objection or Sustained and chat about the kind of things the Barrister has to do every day (and evening Zzz!) at work.

I am a 7yr old. My name is Gwen Rose. I wanted to do this podcast so all the girls, boys and me could learn about what adults do all day. Visit our website for past episodes and to find out what's coming soon: https://gwengetstowork.com/

Produced by Enigma Records: https://enigmarecords.co.uk/

Support the show (https://www.gofundme.com/f/gwen-gets-to-work/)

Gwen :

Have you ever been asked? What do you want to be when you grow up?

Gwen's Mum :

Gwen Gets To Work

Gwen :

I like talking to people. And they like talking back to me. Well, that's what I think. One day I asked my mum, what, how do I know what I want to be when I grow up? My mum said, if I interview people about, like their jobs and things like that well, I will find out and like, all the people who are listening. Um, you will find out too, if you don't know. Let's get to work! This is my Auntie and I went to visit her work building in the City of London. It was very old fashioned and amazing, and looked a bit like Harry Potter. Deep in the legal chambers of London, one Barrister is fighting the good fight with immigration law and employment tribunals. This is her story. Hello.

Jessica :

Hello Gwendoline, how are you?

Gwen :

Good.

Jessica :

What have you been up to today?

Gwen :

I've been...in bed, haha

Jessica :

Nice, what a great way to spend the day!

Gwen :

Well I FaceTimed my nanny.

Jessica :

Lovely.

Gwen :

Umm, I know you have to be very smart and think quickly when you are a lawyer or barrister, so I thought it would be fun to play a game of true or false with you. Would you like to do it?

Jessica :

Yes, please.

Gwen :

So if you think it is true, say sustained. And if you think it is false, say objection. Here we go! Only bad people go to jail?

Jessica :

Objection

Gwen :

Being a kid is better than being grown up

Jessica :

Sustained

Gwen :

An Ex-Pat is the same as an immigrant

Jessica :

Sustained

Gwen :

Summer is nicer than winter

Jessica :

Sustained

Gwen :

Only women stay at home

Jessica :

Objection

Gwen :

Boys eat more than girls

Jessica :

Sustained

Gwen :

All judges have grey hair

Jessica :

Objection

Gwen :

Lawyers love to argue

Jessica :

Sustained

Gwen :

The truth will set you free

Jessica :

Objection

Gwen :

I have also got lots of questions to ask you. So let's get to work. When you were a child, what did you think you wanted to be when you were a grown up?

Jessica :

I thought I wanted to be an actress or an author.

Gwen :

What is your job?

Jessica :

My job is a Barrister, which is a type of Lawyer. And my job is to act for people or companies when they have legal problems.

Gwen :

Are you happy became a Barrister?

Jessica :

Yes, most of the time.

Gwen :

When are you not happy?

Jessica :

Sometimes you have to work very last minute, you are under a lot of pressure in this job which I like. Sometimes it's very difficult to juggle that with things that you have to do at home at the same time. Or sometimes people have unreasonable expectations about what you can do in certain timeframes. And then, then it's not always fun to be a Barrister. But most of the time, it's good.

Gwen :

You said you liked acting. So is it a bit like being an actress?

Jessica :

Some parts of it are a bit like being an actress. Because when you're in court, you have to pretend really to be somebody else. But it's quite different to being an actress because you can't rehearse everything in advance. So you have to be able to respond to what other people say. And think on your feet in a way that maybe actors don't do quite as much.

Gwen :

All right. What was your favourite subject when you're at school?

Jessica :

Oh, my favourite subject at school. I don't know if I had a favourite subject at school actually. I didn't have one favourite subject. I liked doing lots of different things. So I liked English and I like Music and Drama and French. I didn't like Maths very much and I didn't like Science or Geography very much.

Gwen :

How many times do you get to smash the big hammer and say "Silence!"?

Jessica :

You don't get to do that as a Barrister. In some countries, you do that as a Judge, but even in the United Kingdom, you don't do that very often. And in fact, the game we played earlier, the true or false game, where we used sustained and objection, even if you're a Judge, you don't use those words in the United Kingdom. Those are from America. When you see courts on television, you quite often see Judges saying sustained or you might see Lawyers in America saying objection, but we don't do that in the United Kingdom.

Gwen :

Okay. Do you ever have to work with people who have done crimes?

Clip :

[...]

Jessica :

I do sometimes. So I don't practice what's called Criminal Law anymore. I practice Immigration Law and Employment Law, but I used to be what's called a Criminal Defence Barrister. So that would be where the people that I would represent were accused of having committed a crime. And I don't do that anymore. But I still sometimes represent people who have committed a crime in immigration cases. So that might be someone who has lived in the United Kingdom for a long time. And they've committed a crime, but they were born somewhere else. And so the government says because you've committed a crime, we don't want you to live here anymore. We think you should go and live in the country where you were born. And in those situations, I'd be trying to argue that they can stay in the UK.

Gwen :

How big is your office?

Jessica :

It's very, very small. So my office is probably smaller than your bedroom...

Gwen :

Whaaat?

Jessica :

And I share it with two other people

Clip :

[...]

Unknown Speaker :

A female Barrister who practices similar law to me. And a male Barrister who practices a different type of law. He practices what's called Public Law. And because all of us work mainly out of court, we are not in our office very often. So we don't really need a big space. We just need somewhere where we can keep papers and where we can be if we need to have a day in in the office. Our offices are called chambers.

Gwen :

Is your job always very serious?

Jessica :

The job itself is quite serious, but you meet lots and lots of people every day, and those people aren't always serious. So there's lots of opportunity to have interesting conversations about non-serious things at the same time.

Gwen :

Do you drive to work or do you get a taxi or bus?

Jessica :

I very rarely drive to work. I either walk or I get the bus or the train. Sometimes I get a taxi. But mostly I get public transport and I have to take the train quite a lot, to lots of different places in the country. So I might one day be in London and the next day I might be in Birmingham. And the day after that, I might be in Manchester, so I tend to go wherever the court is and wherever the case is.

Gwen :

is it tiring?

Jessica :

It is tiring, but I like that it's not the same every day. No day is the same. And that's one of the things I like the most about it.

Gwen :

Are you always tired?

Jessica :

While I have, as you know, two little children. One who's three and one who's two. And neither of them sleep very well. Unlike you.

Clip :

[...]

Jessica :

So basically now, yes, I am always tired because if I'm not working then I'm at home with them.

Gwen :

Do the people at your work who don't have kids go home at the same time as people who have to pick up their kids from school?

Jessica :

No, not usually. So most people at the bar, which is what we call it, if you're a Barrister we say that you work at the bar...

Clip :

[...]

Jessica :

...which sounds a bit funny, but it's not the sort of bar when you buy alcohol. Most people at the bar work very long hours. So in chambers, which is my office, there's often people still in chambers, very late at night after 9pm or after 10pm. But if you have children and you have to pick them up from school or you have to be home for their bedtime, then you tend, people tend, to leave and then when the children are asleep, they start work again in the evening, which is what I do.

Gwen :

Sound horrible.

Jessica :

There are parts of it that are horrible, but it's nice because it means that you have a day that's not boring. It's not the same every day. The hours are different. You're always busy. If you're not working, you're doing something else. And then once you've finished doing whatever you're doing at home, you work again, and as long as the work is interesting, and you want to do it then it means that your mind is always busy and I like having a busy mind.

Gwen :

What do you wear?

Clip :

[...]

Jessica :

I wear a black or dark blue suit. So either a suit jacket and a dress or trousers and a smart top with a jacket.

Gwen :

Do you have to wear a wig?

Jessica :

I only have to wear a wig for certain cases. If you are a Criminal Barrister, then you have to wear a wig and a gown for most of your cases. But if you're an Immigration or Employment Barrister, most of the time, you don't wear a wig and gown, you only wear a wig and gown for certain hearings in certain courts. So you would always wear them for example, in what's called the Court of Appeal, which is a senior court which you go to if you lost in the first court, but we don't have to go there all the time. So most days I just wear a suit.

Gwen :

It's your wig heavy when you wear it?

Jessica :

It's not heavy, but it's very hot.

Gwen :

Are people ever mean to you?

Clip :

[...]

Jessica :

Quite a lot of the time people are mean yes, it's very...it's a very stressful environment for people that are dealing with problems which have often taken over their entire life for a long time. And if you tell them something that they don't want to hear that can be very difficult for them.

Clip :

[...]

Jessica :

Or you might get a grumpy judge one day...

Clip :

[...]

Jessica :

...who is annoyed with what you're saying. And sometimes they mean, but you have to understand that all of those people are working in a very high pressured environment. And so they don't necessarily mean to be mean. It's just that that's the way it sounds.

Gwen :

Do you go out for lunch a lot?

Jessica :

No. I buy lunch every day, because I'm not organised enough to make it at home. But I never really go out for lunch in restaurants or cafes.

Clip :

[...]

Jessica :

I usually eat my lunch either in a room in court, or in my room in chambers.

Gwen :

Do you ever hide in the toilet?

Clip :

[...]

Jessica :

Haha, I have hidden in the toilet before, when I've not wanted to spend time with certain people, or if I need a minute to myself to try and collect my thoughts, but I haven't had to do that too much.

Gwen :

Thank you. Now I know my Auntie does so day at work.

Jessica :

Good! Maybe one day you'll be a Lawyer, Gwen.

Gwen :

Yeah?

Jessica :

You like a good argument.

Gwen :

Yeah, ha ha, sort of. Um, I'll let you go for your walk now.

Jessica :

Okay. It was nice to speak to you Gwen.

Gwen :

You too

Jessica :

Lots of love.

Gwen :

Bye. In next week's episode I'm so excited to tell you who this is. I am interviewing The President of Trinidad and it's a lady. She is called Paula-Mae Weekes and she is the Head of State of Trinidad and Tobago and the Commander In Chief of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, which is basically the army. The last lady to be Head of State there was our Queen. Maybe I should interview her, too. Anyway, that is a very special guest to be interviewed on my podcast.

Gwen's Mum :

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