In a sad indictment of career dissatisfaction at the junior bar, one ebay user and former pupil-barrister sold an Ede and Ravenscroft wig and gown on ebay recently with the following description;
“After 5 years hard slog and penury, I (i.e, Mastercard) purchased this wig, gown and collar for about £650 at Ede and R……. Reflecting the sorry state of my legal career, the wig was hardly worn, although a few hairs have been pulled out of place (as pictured), no doubt in frustration at the sorry state of life at the junior bar. As is tradition, the bag was given to me by my pupil master upon successful completion of pupillage and with special thanks for my efforts to conceal his rampant alcoholism from the rest of chambers. It was indeed, as he put it, ‘a remarkable achievement’. All funds from this sale to go towards student debt-repayment and career-counselling… 🙂
The sale includes an Ede and Ravenscroft horsehair barrister’s wig (some hairs displaced, see photo, but certainly wearable), black gown (47 inches, excellent condition), one ladies’ collar (wearable but with barely visible dis-colouring) and one blue robes bag. Items are not new but were bought within the last few years and have been barely used and hence smell clean and fresh (bag is older as belonged to my pupilmaster, but has recently been laundered).
I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have. These days I don’t even charge for my time.”
On 26-Jul-13 at 11:18:51 BST, seller added the following information:
“Unfortunately I am not able to advise on court etiquette but do vaguely recall that it may be an offence to imitate a barrister, and may also raise questions about your mental health. If you are not a real barrister and would like to try it out, the same can be achieved by running yourself about £35k into debt and arranging for someone to shout at you in public about cases you haven’t read because you only got about half the papers about 10 minutes ago. Cancel your social life and be sure to give your phone number to someone you don’t like, so that they can call you repeatedly throughout the day/evening and ask you where you are and why you are not in chambers. Pay them for this service, make sure they earn about three times what you do. To get the full effect, spend copious amounts of time on trains and buses with periodic crying into laptop.”
The wig and gown eventually sold for over £200.