The cautionary tale of a failed legal career, Part 3

A Rake's Progress: III - The Orgy* (Public Domain)

Part 3: Looking up

I left Firm #1 in the summer of 1982 and headed north to Chester, where I had enrolled at the College of Law. I moved into a draughty cottage in the countryside, with a fellow student, Sean.

Sean and I hit it off straightaway. This was something of a first for me, as I wasn't really friendly with any fellow law students at uni - all of my friends there studied other subjects. Whether anything should be read into this, I've no idea.

I have fond memories of my year at Chester, despite the workload being heavy, as it always was for the law finals course. Apart from the social life, there were two reasons for this.

Firstly, a benefit from my delaying going to law college. That year (or perhaps it was the year before) the syllabus had changed from being mostly theory to being highly practical. You were actually taught how to do things when practising as a lawyer, rather than (as at uni) a lot of stuff you would probably never use in your entire career. This was much more interesting to me.

The other reason was that I found much of the course relatively easy. This was not due to being any cleverer than my fellow students, but simply because, having worked in a solicitor's office for two years, I actually knew how many things were done. I had drafted wills, I had seen a land/charge certificate (i.e. property deeds) and completed the odd sale and purchase, and I had even conducted a few court hearings, including the intimidating experience of appearing before a Master in the Chancery Division, an ordeal that still gives me nightmares to this day.

One thing I didn't have any experience of though was family law. 

Family law was an optional topic at law college. Why I chose it, I don't know - maybe because it was considered an 'easy option' (I've always been attracted by the easy option). My only recollection of studying it was the copious revision notes I prepared for the final exam, notes that I was to consult on many occasions whilst practising during the following years.

Anyway, the final exams when they came did not seem too difficult. The only hiccup occurred one morning when Sean and I were leaving home for the exams - we each took the exams at different locations - and my old car decided it didn't want to start. Sean was already heading off down the driveway. Luckily, I had the presence of mind to run after him, rather than continue my efforts to start the car. Sean heard, came back, and gave me a push-start.

If I had missed that exam, things might have been very different, but as it was I passed all heads at the first sitting.

Things were looking up.

*Sadly, I missed this.