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14th October 2019 Emma Rowland (2018, Jurisprudence)

Law student Emma Rowland reports on mini pupillage with Queen’s Counsel

Exeter student Emma Rowland (2018, Jurisprudence) reports on an opportunity she had over the summer to shadow Exeter alumnus Adam Solomon QC during an employment tribunal. The mini pupillage was arranged with the support of Exeter College's Development and Alumni Relations team.

A rising second-year law student at Exeter, this summer I had the opportunity, thanks to Exeter College’s alumni network, to take up a mini pupillage with Mr Adam Solomon QC (1989, English), an employment barrister, a Queen’s Counsel and an alumnus of the College.

While I am hoping to become a barrister after finishing my studies, I am currently unsure of what area of law I would like to practice. Knowing that I needed more exposure to, and experience of, the different areas of law that I could practice in, I was keen to take up this opportunity.

To kick-off the week of my mini pupillage, Mr Solomon first gave me a tour of his chambers, Littleton Chambers, before we travelled to East Croydon for an employment tribunal case. Although Mr Solomon is a senior barrister, he was working on a case more typical of a junior employment barrister. I joined the case half-way through; fortunately, I was thus able to see Mr Solomon cross-examine the defendant. Having read Mr Solomon’s skeleton argument before attending court, I was able to watch how he approached questioning the defendant, and how his crafted questions were designed to build a narrative for his case.

The parties decided to settle on the second day of my mini pupillage. On one hand, this was disappointing, as I was looking forward to hearing the closing submissions from both sides. On the other, I realised that this is the reality of employment tribunals in practice. By observing the process of negotiating a settlement and drafting the terms of an agreement, I was able to see more of the reality of the life of a junior barrister and the work I could expect to do.

I am grateful to Mr Solomon QC for letting me shadow him for a few days over the summer, and I would encourage Exeter students to take advantage of the opportunities that the College’s alumni can afford us.

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