Book: Baby Barista Files: Law and DisorderLaw and Disorder: Confessions of a Pupil Barrister
and Law and PeaceLaw and Peace
Author: Tim Kevan
As I am sure every law student is fully aware: law is NO easy ride. The prospects of being catapulted into the legal world are daunting to say the least. No matter how many text books we read, or how well we try to prepare ourselves, the fierce competition that greets us on arrival will undoubtedly be a tremendous shock to the system.
No longer pacified by university comforts, the high stakes and intense nature of the crawl up the ladder to the legal profession may leave some students throwing toys out of their pram. This is certainly the case in Kevan's hilarious `Baby Barista Files', which follows the journey of `Baby Barista' from his first day as a pupil to his subsequent year of tenancy. Both books provide a riotous account of the backhanded tricks; unscrupulous efforts; and down right outrageous strategies employed by pupils such as ourselves. And so, the frantic attempts of those trying to embark from the nest of academia, into the role of a high flying legal eagle prove to be highly amusing. In Baby Barista's case it is evidently not a smooth transition. For all those students considering a career at the Bar I would suggest these books to be an essential summer read.
Although the files are purely fictional, the author Tim Kevan has experienced his fair share of `law and disorder' in his previous career, as an ex-barrister. He initially wrote the first book as a `humorous blog', which was later snapped up by Bloomsbury publishers, and released in 2009. Since its publication it has gained mass support. The Times praised the works referring to them as: ` A cross between the talented Mr Ripley, Rumpole and Bridget Jones diary'. Such a commendation draws attention to the witty nature of the books as they take an alternative and refreshing outlook on the journey many of us students will soon embark upon.
Using the recognizable stereotypes of characters such as `Busy Body' and `Old Smoothie', the interactions that ensue could be accorded to that of a school playground. The Chambers are symptomatically laced with the scandal and gossip of `who has been caught sneaking behind the bike shed', and the calculated manipulation of classroom bullies. Faced with financial pressures, Baby Barista plunges directly into the heart of such school boy tricks, and will not let anything stand in his way. The ensuing chaos of juggling mischievous tactics whilst gleaning a squeaky clean façade stimulates much enjoyment. The innocent professional failings in court are also highly engaging and humorous. Highlights include an overzealous sneeze causing his wig to fall off and fly into the judge's lap, not to mention a brief brush with the law himself. These are merely a snippet of the ludicrous situations this pupil finds himself in. Such pandemonium seems out of this world! Pure comic genius!
Moreover the sequel which is to be published on 3rd May follows `Baby Barista' into his professional career of first tenancy. It is packed with comical situations including corruption in litigation, revenge from previous competition and the quest for a prestigious red bag. The web of lies and tricks has certainly not been locked away and is once again causing conflict. As well as career desires Baby Barista also tries to woo the affections of a fellow pupil, but his dedication to his work may be set to jeopardise his chances. With tales of `Batman boxer shorts, liquid lunches, drunken court hearings, and brushes with the Bar Standards Board' it is clear that Law and Peace provides an equally entertaining tale.
Both books are captivating and once you start them, they are hard to put down. This is mainly due to Tim Kevan's lively, contemporary writing style, which keeps you on your toes through its `laugh out loud' nature. With legal speeches parodying that of Catherine Tate's `Bovvered' sketch, along with references to Little Britain, and various unconventional comparisons, there is certainly never a dull moment. This sense of humour is arguably missing and much needed in the legal world. I would certainly recommend this book as a light-hearted, post exams cathartic wind down, and perhaps even preparation for commencing your pupillages!
After reviewing all the evidence I am pleased to conclude that the `Baby Barista Files' are to be `found guilty', of being an extremely entertaining, inspiring, and creative account of the legal profession. It shows lawyers at their best and most importantly, their worst. I think law students will truly be able to appreciate the humour of these books and so my verdict here would be:
A MUST READ!
No objections here your honour...
Sophie Taylor 2nd Year LLB University of Manchester