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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

Someone suggested that I should write this because the fact that I am about to enter my sixth decade is an interesting one! Really? I must admit that of all the adjectives available to describe this ‘event’ I would not have chosen the word ‘interesting’. It doesn’t even make my shortlist! I find it far more interesting that the newly-appointed Judges seem to be getting increasingly younger, as do the newly-qualified solicitors. I can’t even remember what I was doing when I was 23! I hope I can be forgiven for that, after nearly 4 decades of being involved in the law – I started my working life as a Police Constable.

It is difficult to know what to write, about my legal career, that is even remotely interesting. ‘A day in the life of……’ seems hackneyed and clichéd, as ‘no 2 days are ever the same’. Told you! Also repeating the age-old mantra about going into the law to ‘make a difference’ only works if you are giving career talks to younger teenagers. I mean what lawyers have actually ever ‘made a difference’ apart from Ghandi, and Mandela, and Abraham Lincoln and Barrack Obama!  Being Black History Month, it would of course be remiss of me not to mention Thurgood Marshall (1908 – 1993), who became the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, in the USA. That was a deserved, although ‘political’ appointment.

Actually politics has been a favoured second career for scores of lawyers, who have actually made a difference. After all,  the court room is not too different to the soap-box. Also there are thousands of lawyers who have made a difference by defending those who do not have the intellectual resources to defend themselves, speaking for those who do not have a voice, and fighting worthy causes for those who are too weak to do so themselves. Having spent all of my career in family law and criminal litigation, I identify more than a little bit with those sentiments.

I wish I could identify a dramatic and eventful start to my legal career. I can’t! I was ‘older’ (26) when I started my law degree at the City of London Polytechnic, and I was so completely under-whelmed when I graduated that I didn’t even attend my own  graduation ceremony! However, a few years later when all Polytechnics automatically became Universities, I did take a kind of perverse pride in refusing the offer to exchange my Polytechnic degree certificate, for a University one. It’s kind of exciting to be different!

I was excited when I passed my Law Society Finals at Bristol Polytechnic however, as it meant I could start my ‘articles’ (training contract) with Franklins Solicitors in Central Milton Keynes. I must have liked it because I stayed there for nearly 20 years, ending up as an Equity Partner. I also became one of the very first Solicitor Advocates, in the country, my claim to fame being that I was one of the first handful of Solicitors who came to personally represent  the same client at the police station, and then advocate for him at the Magistrates Court, the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal. I did that several times actually. Even to this very day, I puff my chest out at that one!

Starting my own law firm 12 years ago was a proud moment as well. Bastian Lloyd Morris Solicitor Advocates has become  an integral part of the business, court and local community. I really do enjoy passing on my ‘tips of the trade’ to the more junior lawyers, Also the practice of law, really is a worthy calling and it is a great privilege and honour to be entrusted with dealing with those aspects of people’s lives where I really can make a difference. Would I do it all again? Of course I would! No 2 days are ever the same! And most weeks have  an interesting, if not  dramatic, beginning or end! Even in my sixth decade of being in this world I can truthfully attest to that!

 

Happy Birthday to me!

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