These must be difficult times for trainees and pupils.  One of the things you learn (often the hard way) is what, and what not, to take to court.  Trips to court now far less frequent and these essential skills may not be being learnt. This is a good time to remind people of earlier posts on “What to take to Court” and “What do you put in your bag”. These contain dozens of pieces of advice from the nice lawyers of Twitter, there is a bit of an emphasis on food.  Here are ten for starters…


Snigdha, Girly Swot, Esquire

Pens, snack/s, extra layer of clothing (scarf/cardi), umbrella, emergency charger and cable, notebook. Have a great first day! Congratulations!

Tape measure (no really!!), calculator, the names of every usher in each court you visit and for the junior advocate the Bar Council ethics hotline number

Can’t believe no one has yet said A pen. And A spare pen. And then A third pen for when the first two run out or your opponent borrowed one!

1. Low GI snacks / fruit 2. Hand gel 3. Battery pack for your phone 4. Many, many pens 5. A non work book 6. Deodorant / aftershave / hair care products 7. A silk or senior junior who knows all the answers or means of contacting them. 8. A scarf 9. Spare shoelaces 10. A Sherpa

Change, for parking and for the coffee run, cigarettes always go down well with lay clients, spare tights/stockings, more post-its of various sizes (flags and notes), tissues (court loos are grim and also, tears), phone chargers.

Apart from the obvious: cash, proper snack bars, spare tights, hand gel, compact mirror, deodorant (if it doesn’t get confiscated!) battery charger for iPhone & big battery pack for old laptop.

After first experience in the RCJ as a trainee, always advise compact overnight kit just in case, half day application turned into full 2 days & I was woefully unprepared, cue late night scramble for essentials post post-hearing con. Now never travel without spare makeup!

Painkillers for headaches, hair pins, hair brush, mini hair straighteners (the wigs play havoc with your hair!), spare notebook, black red and green spare pens, flat shoes if I’m going to be walking far, snacks/sweets/mints, make up bag, nail glue, spare cash, perfume, tissues

FOOD. At the minimum some nuts and dried fruit. You will think you’ll have time to run out for lunch but you won’t. Also water, as that is in short supply in courts these days.

I now force protein flapjacks on my poor roommate when he’s in court. He always protests and is then relieved

Doughnuts for the ushers. They may get shared………