This post started out of a perfectly amicable tweet from law lecturer extraordinaire Snigdha Nag, wishing everyone taking  exams good luck. That led some practitioners to reply that they were still having nightmares about law exams.  That then led to a series of emails that I have collated.  It turns out that we all have the occasional bad dreams…


Wait til you actually start in practice. The nightmare will transmogrify into – I’m due at Carlisle county court in 5 minutes, I’m still in London, I’m feeding toilet paper into the printer so I can print my skeleton, the judge has called my mum asking for me, my hair is pink etc

Every lawyer has 3 am thoughts. Something they have messed up. Fretting will get you nowhere. Best advice -There is nothing that can be done until the morning so lying in bed worrying is useless. Check it out in the morning 99.9% of the time there is no problem.

I avoid those by not going to bed until 4

Hence all the emails at 03:38 reminding his colleagues that if they had properly paid attention to his blog they would not be in the situation they are in. It is sometimes described as the first rule of seamanship -not to get into difficulties in the first place.

Well said, even after 35 years I still fret about cases.

This is my life.

Realising as I was standing in court that I was wearing one brown, and one black shoe…

Mine was reality!

After winning a very high profile case for claimant we were to return for decision on compensation the next day, I woke up drenched in cold sweat as I dreamt we had been awarded £10 and my legal career would be over before it had begun.

No doubt induced by criticism of my submissions from those ‘on my side’ that the robust level of compensation I was seeking would set back race relations’.

This is like those dreams where I’m back at university and somebody explains that it’s OK, I’m not in trouble, but there’s been a mixup and I have to sit all of my finals again, starting right now with microeconomics and wait where did my clothes go?

Any other barristers get the weird court-based anxiety dreams? This is mine…

I recently dreamt that I had been superglued by my finger tips to a bench in Lincoln’s Inn and was pleading with passing barristers to release me!


Have just awoken from anxiety dream about not making it to Court on time!

Can this also feature the complaint that it’s a day off and I’m awake before 8…

I’m just saying that 8am is now a lie in. Even on a weekend. Maybe that should be in the what they didn’t tell you at law school post.