Wannabe barrister scales Trafalgar Square plinth

Some aspiring barristers will go to extreme lengths to secure a pupillage and College of Law student Melanie Smith is no exception after spending an hour on the fourth plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square.

The Bar Vocational Course student took to the plinth on 6 October to raise awareness about the importance of public speaking and, perhaps more importantly, to bolster her CV.

The 23-year-old, who dreams of becoming a criminal barrister, said: “I thought this would be a good way to make me stand out from the crowd and get me noticed. It was very high up but people were shouting words of encouragement and taking pictures.”

The former Northampton University student spent her time on the plinth reciting speeches from famous public speakers including Cherie Booth, Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela.

She also recited the defence’s closing argument in the court case from the classic novel To Kill a Mocking Bird.

“Being a barrister is all I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl and I believe if you really want it and have the academic ability you’ll get there,” she added.

The fourth plinth is being occupied 24 hours a day by members of the public for 100 days as part of an art project called One And Other, created by artist Antony Gormley, commissioned by the Mayor of London and produced by Artichoke in partnership with Sky Arts.

The initiative has had over 34,000 applicants with only 2,400 places available.