If you are anything like Obiter, then your happy place of calm in all the unpleasantness of the past year has been professional networks website LinkedIn. This is where Obiter noticed barrister Mark Robinson had shared a little of his background and life, as part of the ‘This Is What A Lawyer Looks Like’ campaign. Asked to write a longer piece for the Gazette’s online readers, Mark obliged and the response put its readership figures high in the charts.
And small wonder, as Mark related an extraordinary personal story. For readers who missed it, what he ‘looks like’ is just part of it. The Great James Street Chambers barrister was raised in local authority care from three months old and had hung around with gangs before becoming a DJ. ‘I diverted my attention away from the streets towards my passion for music,’ he recalls.
It was a malicious allegation of assault, a case where he successfully defended himself, that put him on to a career in the law. Once a solicitor, he acquired higher rights of audience in criminal advocacy before transferring to the bar.
Mark also reflects on the way he speaks: ‘A strong “east London urban” accent, although I do refine my speech when addressing the court.’
And he sees no conflict in loving both his robes and branded sportswear. ‘I love wearing my wig and gown and also wearing a sharp suit, but I equally love my Adidas tracksuits.’
Obiter is sure Mark is not alone in having had an extraordinary journey to the legal profession, and hopes other readers will get in touch to share their own story. And sartorial tips.