It is two years, almost to the day when I laid down my pen, reboxed my wig and sheaved my pen for the last time and ceased being a lawyer.
I don’t miss it at all but, with the benefit of hindsight I realise that you can take the boy out of the law but it isn’t so easy to take the law out of the boy.
Here, in no particular order, and accepting a number apply to other career choices too, are thirteen ways in which I will never completely shake off that particular virus.
- I find I still say ‘whence’ and ‘hitherto’ and ‘wherefor’ when talking to my family
- I cannot avoid defining things as in ‘When you say you’ll be late, what do you mean exactly?’
- If I buy something that has a set of terms and conditions I look at them from a distance, sigh and mumble ‘I’m sure they’ll be fine’.
- Then I make someone else sign the contract
- When I write a shopping list it has a list of exclusions on the back
- I insist on things being in writing: so if there’s chocolate in the fridge with no name on it, I think it’s fair to claim squatters rights since it obviously doesn’t belong to anyone.
- I can bullshit for longer and with greater fluency than all my friends save those who are also lawyers.
- I enjoy dressing up in gowns
- In any family discussion I am inclined to say, ‘But you said on the 27th March….’ and have a contemporaneous note of the conversation in my journal.
- I am happy using expressions like ‘contemporaneous note’ and don’t feel a dick when I do.
- I keep a note of how long things take to do though my attempts to introduce time sheets into our daily routine have thus far floundered.
- I am aghast when, having cited a clearly binding Authority, the precedent is ignored: as in ‘but I always watch the rugby/cricket/football/golf on Saturdays’.
- I feel more confortable if I’m allowed to include a simple errors, omissions and indemnity clause on the back of wedding presents, birthday cards and invites to dinner parties. It’s like checking the tyre pressures before a long journey.
I expect everyone will laugh at this; after all most people do these things anyway, don’t they? I mean, I’m not that odd.