Thursday, June 21, 2007

Article on Barristers' Clerks

My research on barristers' clerks is picking up. Counsel magazine has asked me to write an article on clerks. They want 1400 words by July 2. Why not? I think. Then the reality sinks in: this means there have to be all these words looking reasonably coherent on paper in about a week's time.

I have been promising myself that I would say no to requests, but I don't. I'm realising that there is a similarity between me and barristers. According to the clerks barristers are always anxious about where the next bit of work will come from and when. It doesn't seem to matter how eminent they are, they're nervous.

I'm the same about writing. If no one asks me then I'm lost in the wilderness, forgotten, adrift, never to publish again. It's stupid and so when I get asked for a chapter or an article for about a millisecond I will consider saying no, then I switch into normal mode and say, of course, yes.


Informed¦Insider said...

Sounds like you need a clerk?

John Flood said...

Why didn't I think of that?

Martin George said...

I'm the same, except for different reasons - I'm still at the start of my academic career, so every time I get offered something I think it may be the one that interview panels will pick up on in the next few years.

It's impossible to know what to turn down, so inevitably I end up accepting all of it.


John Flood said...

And the problem is, Martin, I don't think it actually gets any better as you go on. Saying "no" has such finality about it that it induces guilt and remorse. You wonder why has the other person put me in such a position to have to say "no"? John

Julian W said...

I agree John! I sometimes think there must be an underlying intellectual insecurity that drives us (well me at least) to say 'yes' when the smart bit of my brain is screaming "say no!" Maybe its that fear of getting found out - so long as they're still asking me, my cover (as an intellectual fraud, lightweight, whatever) hasn't been blown! Jules.
PS: thanks for linking to my blog!