Chancery. Better yet, commercial chancery. A significant aspect of law that a quick Google search doesn’t show aspiring lawyers that want to specialise in a specific field. That’s why it’s extremely difficult to wholly rely on the internet as a source of information when you’re unaware yourself as to what needs to be searched or even what questions need to be answered, and that’s why this placement was a huge eye opener.

Commercial chancery allowed me to understand that the cases are very distinct from one another, and that it’s very rare to even come across a case that was similar to the previous one. That in itself may seem scary at first, but eventually, it becomes thrilling as cases are not repetitive duplicates of one another, and therefore allowing for an intellectually stimulating challenge for my abilities.

I learnt that a notion is a three-way agreement, where a previous contract ended with A+B, but a new contract began between A+C based on the formation of a three-way consent. You don’t realise that these definitions that you may come across on a daily basis have such specific legal terminology. That further engages me in the legal sphere as it’s literally the embodiment of the past, present and the future. Humans aspire to reach the goal of self-actualisation and, as a result, we are always seeking to be a better person than we were yesterday, and commercial chancery is a catalyst for this development as there’s no explicit answer found in the law to the disputes emerging between properties, allowing for the expression of innovative and outside-of-the-box thinking that forms and cements one’s personal identity and flair.

No one really understands or is even aware of what they would like to gain out of work experience. Of course, there are major questions that arise, but the most important thing are the minor aspects of a barrister’s/pupil’s day-to-day activity and what their conversations entail. Because when you look at it in reality, that’s going to be you some day. You get to revel in these little intimate moments, which are special and very rare to come across, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating the difficulty of having an in-person placement.

Now using trains and travelling to new areas are not things I am confident with at all. Despite that, this opportunity enabled me to step out of my comfort zone and become more independent, which essentially is what adulthood requires of you. The nerves of standing before the towering and daunting chambers definitely didn’t help. I am a year 12 student that is ‘trespassing’ on sacred ground for a barrister. Now looking back at the fact that I was lost, I now perceive it as an opportunity because I was forced to speak to a stranger, who was also on this same placement, about where to find my chambers. She then took me to her supervisor, and he helped accompany me to my chambers. It was really heart-warming, not only because of the support I received, but because they knew the chambers and the person supervising me. That was very touching, as it showed how interconnected they were, despite being self-employed, inspiring me to be in a community like that when I am a successful barrister.

At a young age, many peers tend to argue that work experience placements tend to be purposeless, but this was something different. You get to acknowledge the situation you are in, and for me it was very motivating. By this, I’m pointing to the diversity in the chambers. Meeting a few women who spoke to me about obtaining success was truly inspiring and encouraged me further to become a Muslim Pakistani woman in the Bar.

I wouldn’t be able to aspire to this dream if it wasn’t for the chambers I was assigned to, as they provided me with a head start in legal knowledge about back tracking and investments funds. This was extremely insightful and prepared me to contemplate what I would like to specialise in. Prior to this scheme, I anticipated becoming a criminal barrister due to the Hollywood representation of the exciting and exhilarating lifestyle. But after being faced with reality, I realised I would have to delve in deeper to acknowledge the kind of lawyer I would like to be. This placement has prepared me for future endeavours with each path clearly outlined, preparing me for this strenuous yet phenomenal journey.

Imaan Kamran Malik