News reaches Obiter of some Mothering Sunday comfort for any barristers who had to wake their child up to claim the traditional card and flowers: the Bar Council of England and Wales was at hand to salute achievements.
‘Mother’s Day – celebrating mothers at the bar’, ran the headline of an item on the council website. ‘Although rewarding,’ the representative body for barristers continued, ‘life at the bar can sometimes be challenging for barrister mums, with unpredictable work and earnings, travel commitments, stress and varying levels of support.’
Nice then to have a message from Sam Mercer, head of policy, equality & diversity and CSR at the Bar Council: ‘To all the mums out there packing swimming bags and following up on play dates at the door to the court, the Bar Council is trying to help.’
A little off pitch perfect, Obiter notes from the online response (women barristers at least seemed to have decent ‘me time’ on Twitter yesterday). ‘Patronising, much?’ ran one.
Or as another put it: ‘If only I had help to not wear these trunks on my head into this trial…’ And: ‘Translation: “Women barristers with kids are distracted by swimming kit & playdates at the door to court”.’
‘Women barristers are distracted by the Bar Council sending it silly and patronising emails,’ another corrected.
Recognising that ‘it genuinely reads like a piss take… or Daily Mash’, attempts were made to rewrite it – replacing ‘play date’ with ‘settlement negotiations’ and substituting ‘barristers’ for ‘barrister mums’. But it was generally deemed unsavable.
Still, we round off with one barrister’s practical observation: ‘Who sorts out play dates at the door of the court?’
Barrister dads will have to wait for Sunday 18 June for their message. Obiter would love to hear your ideas.