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TR: Solo in LONDON for ten days on unfinished business ...

TR: Solo in LONDON for ten days on unfinished business ...

Old Jul 14th, 2014, 05:33 PM
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Just back from 2 days in London. Thanks for your report.
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Old Jul 14th, 2014, 06:38 PM
  #162  
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Hi again EUROPEANNOVICE,

Thanks for your kind words. I expect to follow along and enjoy your trip report when you return. Because I am not into shopping, fine dining, or photography - I have time for these other pursuits. LOL

ANNHIG,

"Strangely, though you refer to the pub walk through Inner and Middle Temple, there are no pubs as such within their grounds."

I should have said that the pubs were in the neighborhood of the Inner and Middle Temples. As I mentioned above, the first pub we went to was the EDGAR WALLACE, not far from the Temples.
Then, of course, we went to the OLD CHESHIRE CHEESE on Fleet Street frequented by Dr. Johnson. Not sure about the Clachan.

In any case it was a lovely evening with a lively group and a good guide. LONDONWALKS does tours which focus on these judicial enclaves without the pub visits. Maybe another time...

DELADEB,

You were nice to chime in. I appreciate your interest. What did you enjoy in your two days in London?
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Old Jul 14th, 2014, 10:37 PM
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>>but from where? I can't see him as PM, can you? <<

No indeed, but then I've reached the age where Cameron looks like he's doing it for Bob-a-Job Week.
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Old Jul 15th, 2014, 04:11 AM
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Let me ask a question--all barristers throughout the UK must belong to one of these 4 Inns of Court? Or is it only those practicing in London? Just curious.>>

lateday - it's all of them. After doing a law degree [or a one year conversion course if you're done a different undergraduate degree] if you decide to read for the Bar, you join one of the 4 Inns of Court. [it's pretty random which one people choose.] If you want to practice, you have to enrol at the Inns of Court Law school in Gray's Inn to do a one year post grad course. You can then be "called to the Bar" by your Inn and call your self a barrister, though you can't practice. To do that, you have to do a year's pupillage, where you are attached to a pupil supervisor [a more senior barrister] but after 6 months you are allowed to start taking your own cases, and charging fees. This is called "being on your feet".

You also have to eat dinners in Hall - in my day you had to eat 36 of them altogether, but you were allowed to do 12 after you were called. I don't know what the rules are now. the food is pretty lousy but the wine is usually good. This is a hang-over from the days when there was no compulsory course to become a barrister and pupils used to learn by watching cases and listening to their seniors telling stories over dinner. The education of barristers has been formalised for many years, you'll be relieved to read, but the tradition of dining lingers on.
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Old Jul 15th, 2014, 04:52 AM
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Amazing, annhig, about barrister requirements.

Brava, latedaytrav. Enjoyable TR. Thank YOU for the Courtault recco--it truly was one of my favorites. I want to call it "sweet" but that doesn't imply the overall quality of the collection.

Where to next?
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Old Jul 15th, 2014, 04:56 AM
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annhig,

What an interesting post, thanks for filling in gaps for me.

Not sure if it's still the case but I believe Vermont was the last remaining state in the U.S. where you could read law with a firm (instead of an accredited law school) prior to taking the bar exam.
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Old Jul 15th, 2014, 05:05 AM
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ANNHIG,

Thank you for answering the complicated question. You said, "After doing a law degree..." Do you mean an undergraduate degree? There must be a cost associated with joining one of the four inns, right?

Sounds like a good idea to get so much real experience before "being on your feet."

I like the part about the dinners and wine. Is going through one of these four inns the ONLY way to become a barrister in Britain?

In the States one goes to LAW SCHOOL for three years after graduating from college (BS or BA). Very expensive. Actually, enrollment in our law schools has gone down dramatically in the last few years. Of course, after law school one has to "pass the bar," a very rigorous exam administered by individual states. At least I think that's how it goes.

What about preparation for solicitors???
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Old Jul 15th, 2014, 06:13 AM
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TD, Cath, glad that you find our somewhat arcane practises interesting.

<<You said, "After doing a law degree..." Do you mean an undergraduate degree? There must be a cost associated with joining one of the four inns, right?>>

yep, law is an undergraduate degree here, like english, or history or...more or less anything else. it costs about £9K pa in fees to do any undergraduate degree now in the UK, so that's £27K plus accommodation, food, books, etc. etc.

There is a cost to join one of the Inns, [currently it's £100 to join Inner Temple] but the biggest cost is the post-grad Bar exam course at the Inns of Court. Then you have to support yourself through pupillage, though most chambers give a grant of some description. and joining an Inn, eating dinners, doing the Bar exams at the end of the post grad course in London and then 12 months pupillage is indeed the ONLY way to become a barrister in England and Wales. [those Scots have their own system].

<<What about preparation for solicitors???>>

you used to be able to qualify by doing 5 years of "articles" alone, [in fact one of our local judges was one of the last solicitors to qualify that way] but most people now do an law degree [see above] then a one year post grad course which can be done at a number of centres round the country, then a training contract with a solicitor's firm for 2 years, at the end of which they become a fully qualified solicitor. There are a few variations on this theme but this is the norm, as I understand it. The solicitor's post grad course is also vey expensive but if you get a training contract, you are at least working and being paid.

The disadvantage of becoming a solicitor is that if you do the exams but don't find a training contract or don't complete it, you can't call yourself a solicitor, whereas once you have passed the Bar exams and been "called", you can call yourself a barrister, even if you never practice or turn out to be a complete duffer on your feet. Not fair? I agree but I don't make the rules!
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Old Jul 15th, 2014, 08:16 AM
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Of course, a barrister was a gentleman but being a solicitor counted as trade.
My daughter is a solicitor and when she instructed a barrister friend for the first time, she asked, "What's that little fold thing at the back of your gown?" It turned out to be a pocket where the solicitor in the past would slip the fee. Barristers were too posh to acknowledge that sordid money was involved.
Of course, nowadays the clerk deals with all that.
The bar has all sorts of strange traditions.
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Old Jul 15th, 2014, 08:58 AM
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>>I believe Vermont was the last remaining state in the U.S. where you could read law with a firm (instead of an accredited law school) prior to taking the bar exam.<<

It's common to a great many professions in the UK that the professional qualification depends on a period of supervised practice on the job, on top of a first degree (or equivalent), which need not always be directly in that subject but is usually something relevant (quite tough to convert from some subjects, less so from others). It's rare nowadays for people to qualify directly through work-related training only, but equally it usually isn't expected that a university or college will do it all.
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Old Jul 15th, 2014, 09:45 AM
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I did the Legal London walk with London walks last March and had a great tutorial in how the legal system works. The tour takes in all of the Inns of Court and it is a really nice walk through these areas. The walk even stops by the shop where they make the wigs and robes, very interesting! If you have any interest at all it is a great tour.

Thank you Latedaytraveler for your lovely trip report.
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Old Jul 15th, 2014, 09:53 AM
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I just came across your fine TR, latedaytraveler, and enjoyed it thoroughly. I've visited many of the places you mentioned and have wanted to visit many other of them, so your TR will serve as a nice guide and reminder for my next trip to London.

On my most recent visit in early May, I discovered London Walks for the first time and took several tours with them, including a quiet enjoyable walk through Holland Park and Notting Hill with the "notorious" Richard III. He was quite an interesting guide, and he didn't display any of the characteristics noted on your Hampstead tour, so perhaps he had had an off-night. Another London Walk tour was Westminster Abbey, which we took mainly to avoid the huge queues to enter. Even though I had been to the Abbey a number of times before, I thought it was quite worthwhile and very interesting. I'll certainly want to do more tours with London Walks on future visits.

As for Boris, in preparation for this trip I read his delightful and informative "Johnson's Life of London", a brief history of London in a series of mini-biographies from Boudicca to Keith Richard. Well worth reading!
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Old Jul 15th, 2014, 10:49 AM
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latedaytraveler,
We were in London at the same time and did cover some of the same activities.
It was our first time at The Bank of England Museum and my DH did lift that gold bar.

Great weather! I don't remember ever having such wonderful weather in London. Of course I'd packed for cool, grey, drizzle, whatever but luckily had thrown in a lot more than I thought I'd need of warm weather attire.

I don't know if you've been to the Old Operating Theatre but we loved the talk we attended there in April.
http://www.thegarret.org.uk/

We stayed in Portman Square, just around the corner from the Wallace collection so visited twice briefly and did have lunch in the courtyard (with the sun it got rather warm towards the end of our long leisurely lunch!).

We also visited the Courtauld Gallery. A bargain on Mondays when the entry cost is just 3 quid! And ended up spending half the day looking around Somerset House and the many exhibitions on there.

We spent much of our time meeting up with friends and visiting universities as my daughter hopes to study in London next year. I'm putting that down as my excuse for covering much less ground than you both on and off the beaten track
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Old Jul 15th, 2014, 11:21 AM
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Hi to ALL,

Wow, what a response and wealth of good info on Britain's unique legal system.

PATRICK LONDON,

"... but then I've reached the age where Cameron looks like he's doing it for Bob-a-Job Week." LOL. Again the luster fades over time... especially with that Coulson mess - also read that Cameron sacked some of his cabinet...

ANNHIG,

Again, thanks for the info. Do most barristers continue to "drop in" to the Inns for a meal and wine as their careers progress? Are they expected to contribute to the support of these institutions?

TDUDETTE,

Glad you enjoyed the COURTAULD GALLERY, one of my favorites. No plans at this point, what about yourself?

MISSPRISM,

Funny story about "the fold in the back of the gown." Some things never change, eh?

LAVERENDRYVE,

Thanks for following along. Yes, I guess that Richard III had a bad night on our Hampstead adventure. But, as I said, he did apologize and the LONDONWALKS were quite solicitous. Case closed.

Yes, I did read Johnson's LIFE OF LONDON. Enjoyed it before my trip last year. What a vocabulary Boris has - had to look up many words - “chivvied,” “feoffee,” and “tivate” to name a few from my 2013 trip report.

OLYMPICGAYM,

"The walk even stops by the shop where they make the wigs and robes, very interesting!" Sounds like a fun part of your LONDONWALKS of the Inns of Court. Thanks for tagging along to all.
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Old Jul 15th, 2014, 11:52 AM
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The bar has all sorts of strange traditions.>>

no need to be personal, MissPrism! seriously, when I started, it was very infra dig to talk about money, and it was indeed all left to the clerk, the theory being that anyone who could afford to come to the Bar didn't actually need to work! Nowadays, we talk of little else, though the negotiation and collection of fees is still left to our hard-working and long-suffering clerks, who also book our work [and move it round at what would seem to clients, if they knew about it, at very short notice!]

Lateday - when I practised in the Temple [singular, you notice] we would often go to Middle Temple for lunch, as the food was better than at Inner, which happens to be my Inn, though my chambers were in Middle. [doesn't matter at all- most chambers have members of all Inns]. since I moved out to practice in the sticks, I have probably been back less than 1/2 a dozen times in 17 years. I certainly don't contribute to them - they probably owe ME money.
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Old Jul 15th, 2014, 03:10 PM
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Thanks Annhig--It was actually my question (not Lateday's) that you answered in great detail and we all appreciate the thorough response.

Here in the states most lawyer's majored in history or liberal arts degrees in their undergradutate years and then like Lateday says go on to a three year program at a law school after receiving their undergraduate degree. After law school they study and have to take the bar exam. There is a post graduate course called an LLM which is a masters in law degree that not all pursue.
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Old Jul 15th, 2014, 03:44 PM
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latedaytraveler: We were able to enjoy Westminster Abbey, Churchill War Rooms, ride down the Thames, seeing the London Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral, visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum, walking over the Milennium bridge, viewing Big Ben, Parliament, and the Globe theater. We got rerouted thru Hyde Park and walked by Kensington Palace when we were avoiding walking thru the rally/demonstration in front of the Israeli Embassy last Friday afternoon.
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Old Jul 15th, 2014, 05:53 PM
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Hi SASSY_CAT,

Yes, wasn't the weather in London grand at the end of June? Glad you went to the WALLACE COLLECTION twice. It remains one of my favorite venues in London. Sorry that I did not make it back there this time. Love the COURTAULD GALLERY too - they are both so doable.

You were brave the go to the OLD OPERATING THEATER - was this before or after the use of anesthesia? I am not too good in a medical setting, but it sounds very interesting - so many small museums to explore.

Really enjoyed the BANK OF ENGLAND MUSEUM - free and so interesting.

Where and what is your daughter studying in London? What a great reason to visit, eh? Thanks for your input...

ANNHIG,

Regarding being an Inner Temple alum - "I have probably been back less than 1/2 a dozen times in 17 years. I certainly don't contribute to them - they probably owe ME money." LOL In the States you would be haunted for fund drives, believe me.

DELADEB,

You folks certainly covered a great deal of the "must do/must sees" in London It took me a few times to branch out to these other venues.

You wrote: "We got rerouted thru Hyde Park and walked by Kensington Palace when we were avoiding walking thru the rally/demonstration in front of the Israeli Embassy last Friday afternoon." That's too bad. I read that there were demonstrations in Paris too.

CATHINJOETOWN,

Good to have you aboard.

THANKS TO ALL
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 02:02 AM
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en - apologies. interesting point about US lawyers having done non-law undergrad degrees. That happens here to, but instead of having to do another 3 year course, they can do a one year "conversion" course, and then proceed to train as a solicitor or a barrister. I have a colleague who did exactly that, but his first degree was in Maths which stands him in very good stead when trying to work out divorce settlements.

it's still quite expensive to do it that way, but nothing like as much as having to do another 3 years.

Lateday - the weather here is STILL pretty good - we actually appear to be having a summer this year. Thank y
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 02:03 AM
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oops - it posted itself. I meant to post a thank you for your TR - if ever I do get up to London, i must try and do some of the things you did!
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