A Day in the Life of Junior member, Catrin Howells

A Day in the Life of Junior member, Catrin Howells

I’m Catrin, and I joined 42BR Barristers as a tenant in October 2022, after completing my pupillage in chambers. I’ve been on my feet for around 9 months and the purpose of this post is to give a taste of what life is like as a junior tenant in chambers.

Today, my workday starts with a telephone conference with my client for this afternoon’s hearing, assisted by an interpreter. This afternoon’s hearing is a dispute resolution appointment in private law children proceedings. As my partner and I share an office, I make my daily morning submissions as to why I should have exclusive use of the office for the first part of the morning. Confidentiality prevails, and I have my telephone conference in peace.

After my conference, my partner has an interview to conduct so I’m turfed out into the kitchen. I make my coffee and sit down to prepare my two-day final hearing which starts on Monday. The hearing is another private children matter, and I’m representing the mother. I spend a few hours reading the papers, and preparing a position statement, cross-examination, and closing submissions. I come across an issue whilst reading the papers, and hurriedly try to find an answer through some legal research. Conscious of the short timescale to solve the issue, I give someone in chambers a quick ring to chat things through. She helps me confirm my instinct and plan of action, and I thank her profusely! I also give my instructing solicitor a call to discuss the case and check whether there have been any updates. I naturally spend at least part of the morning fielding emails in relation to past and future cases.

I then get ready for my hearing this afternoon. Luckily, this afternoon’s hearing is a court local to me and will only take about half an hour. I pick up lunch and eat on my way to court – I start to think how perhaps one of my New Years resolutions should have been to stop eating solely whilst in transit.

I arrive at court and meet my client outside the courtroom. We have a quick chat before I go to speak to the other party, who is appearing as a litigant in person. We go before the judge for the hearing, and following the hearing I chat things through with my client to ensure she understood everything that has happened.

I make my way home and pick up some coffee on the way. I also send my solicitor a quick email to let her know how the hearing went, and give the clerks a ring to let them know I’m out of court. Once home, I draft the order and a note for my solicitor and send these off. I finish all this just in time to join the chambers employment group meeting, which is taking place hybrid.

After this, I’m off to meet a friend for dinner. She’s also a barrister and we exchange stories about far flung courts and seek advice on issues we’ve got coming up. We discuss how I’ve been asked to write 'a day in the life' post, and joke that she’s going to feature.

I hope that this insight has been useful into life as a junior tenant at a mixed set. No two days are ever the same, so I hope that the rest of this series can help provide a flavour of life at 42BR.

Catrin Howells

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Catrin Howells

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