What didn’t you expect?

It’s Friday, and so I’m posting something a bit lighter than my usual casenotes for a change.

The other day, Nikki, who blogs at My Life to Our Life, put up a post comparing what she’s working at now to what she planned to do when she was a child.  This sort of thing has quite a bit of meaning for me given my four year employment farrago prior to coming back to the law, in which the previous installment looked like this –


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Anyway, this got me to thinking about things in your job you didn’t expect when you went into it (or in my case, came back to it).  Something I didn’t expect on returning to the law was how often I’d find myself drinking cold tea and coffee.

I should explain.

I love what I do, and because of that, I get a bit focussed on it, especially if it’s a challenging file.  I also drink a lot of tea through the day.  This is a poor combination.  At least once a morning and a couple of times each afternoon I go and make myself a mug of extra-strong Tetley and then come back to my desk.  As soon as I do I find myself caught up by the current legal problem that I need to unpick.  Meanwhile, my mug sits there thus…

BP 25.10.18B
A mug of tea in its natural habitat

By the time I remember it, the tea is feeling unloved and (like any things that feel unloved) it’s having trouble staying excited about its job, which is to be hot and bracing.

I’m sure this isn’t a rare problem.  My friend Allie, for instance, at Living My Full Life, recently posted about how much she’s enjoying a line of seasonal teas.  She has a newborn baby, and I’m guessing from experience that she drinks a lot of it fairly lukewarm.  Anyway, it seemed to me that my experience now contrasts radically with my not-too-distant work as a factory hand or gardener or labourer when the tea break/smoko was close to sacred and was rarely-if-ever disturbed.  I suppose it’s because the five minutes of peace and quiet for a hot cup of tea or coffee made a welcome break from sun and dust and power tools and physical labour.

What do you find about your current work that you didn’t expect?

Inside the Supreme Court Library

Because it’s Friday, it’s time for a heart-lifting post.

One of the many perks of being a lawyer is getting to work in some of the most beautiful buildings every constructed.  I wanted to stretch my legs this lunchtime and I took some pictures I’d like to share of the heart of the library of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

scvic
Image from here

The Supreme Court building itself is beautifully ornate sandstone on the outside.  When you get inside it, though, it gets even better.  At the very heart of the library is a gorgeously sculpted lamp over a reading desk.  I suppose the lamp must have been gas-powered originally.

The part of the building around this area consists of two roughly levels which contain the leading Australian and British law reports and law journals (the Commonwealth Law Reports, the Victorian Reports, the Appeals Cases, the Law Institute Journal and so on).  Other series of reports (American, Canadian and so on are elsewhere in the library)

Each of the sections of the floor is lavishly decorated.

A highlight for me are the stained-glass windows at the top of the dome.  They contain the small detail of Britain’s lion and unicorn crest and Australia’s kangaroo and emu.  I like the notion of showing the place where English law began and where it has now taken root.

The flora in this image seems to be the English rose.
The flora here seems to be stylised wattle leaves

I’m as much of a fan of electronic access to information as the next lawyer.  Certainly my work would be a great deal harder if I needed to go to the Court every time I wanted to read a case, rather than simply flipping open Austlii.  But I think it’s a good thing for any lawyer to head into a library like this one and remind themselves of the proud tradition – and honourable profession – they are part of.