Name: Emma Williams
Chambers: No5 Chambers
University: University of Bristol
Studied BPTC at: University of Law
Hobbies: Spending time with family and friends, exercise
How many rounds of applications did it take to get pupillage? 2
Number of interviews attended: A dozen
Why did you decide to train as a barrister?
In the second year of my undergraduate degree I completed a mini-pupillage and enjoyed it.
What was the toughest pupillage interview question you were asked (at any chambers) and how did you answer?
Sorry – I don’t recall, it seems a while ago! I do remember that the questions were far ranging and unexpected. It is impossible to fully prepare for any interview.
Tell us a bit about the type of work you’re doing at the moment…
I have a fairly general commercial and chancery practice with a good mix of court work and papers.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
There are so many. Successfully representing clients’ interests is, as you would probably imagine, especially enjoyable. There are other aspects, too, that are enjoyable such as being in control of my own time. That is the most rewarding part of being self-employed – it affords me a degree of freedom that I do not believe many other jobs would.
What aspect of the job have you found most difficult to get to grips with?
When you are on your feet you realise that an almost inevitable part of the job is delay. Courts block list many civil cases so there is often an element of arriving at court to find that your case will not be called on for a couple of hours. It’s very frustrating for clients who have emotionally prepared themselves to go into court so I advise clients that we may be delayed.
What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?
Waiting around so much (see above).
Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?
About this questionnaire!
What’s your best ‘in court’ anecdote so far?
Being sworn at and the judge having to explain that Miss Williams wasn’t at court to be sworn at! So far as anecdotes go – that’s as good as it gets.
Which member of chambers (barrister or otherwise) would you want to be on the run with in the event of a zombie apocalypse, and why?
Zombie apocalypse? I wouldn’t run – I’d fight.
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).
Oh, ok. I enjoy pony trekking around Wales. I enjoy creating water colour and oil pastel art pieces. I know all of the words to Mambo No5.
If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
Entirely putting aside prospects of success: rock star.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career as a barrister?
And finally, barristers tend to have a lot to say, so please feel free to add any extra words of wisdom here:
This is true. ‘No’ is a word that you will hear often; whether that’s a rejection in the search for pupillage or a stern judge pulling you away from a bad point. It is important to just keep going… and going.