Our fantastic Pupil, Lyana Grace Chan, will be getting on her feet shortly and we thought what better way to round up her six-month pupillage than with a Q & A! Lyana is a great asset to the Unit Chambers team and with so much experience already under her belt, we know Lyana is going to be a very successful barrister (highlighted by the fact that her diary is already full!). Read on to find out about Lyana’s pupillage and her aspirations for the future.

Q: What have you learned during your Pupillage? What challenges have you overcome?

I have really enjoyed my pupillage! I am excited by each new week as every day is different and I have learnt something new from each case I have had the privilege to observe. I have practised developing my written advocacy skills by drafting skeleton arguments, position statements and advice as well as trying to refine my short-hand vocabulary when taking attendance notes of hearings and conferences, a much-needed skill when judges, advocates and clients speak quickly!

Since January, things have stepped up several gears – I have been participating in regular advocacy sessions with my fellow pupil, Amjad and our CEO and Senior Consultant Barrister, Lisa. We use a recent brief and have focused on calling a witness, cross examination and making submissions. I find these sessions to be invaluable in preparing me for 2nd III but they are also enjoyable and a great way to develop relations with my team. I have also been involved with the pupil education sessions, which run fortnightly and focus on key areas of practice. The beauty of these sessions is that they benefit not just the pupils but also the established practitioners and we are all encouraged to get involved.

As for the challenges I have overcome, when I started pupillage, I was a little anxious as to how I would be able to fit everything in around my family, especially as my two children are only 3 years and 9 years old.  I am pleased to say that I am managing to strike a good balance, which I will hopefully be able to maintain going forward with my new career.  The team at Unit Chambers have been very supportive of me and they are welcoming to my need for flexibility so that precious time with my family is not compromised

Q: Are you looking forward to getting on your feet now your Pupillage is coming to an end? 

I have a mixture of feelings about getting on my feet…mostly excitement, some trepidation and a little self-doubt thrown in for good measure!  The sooner I get my head around the fact that this job is a continuing journey of learning and development, I’ll be better for it. As a transferring solicitor with 15 years post qualifying experience, I can be quite tough on myself thinking that I should know more than I do, when in reality we are always learning and striving to improve ourselves!

I am looking forward to being able to accept my own briefs, meeting and advising a range of clients and taking on the challenges of helping them navigate the stressful and often complicated litigation process as well as being able to develop and hone my skills as an advocate.

Q: How’s your first week looking after you finish your Pupillage, what have you got on?

I am pleased to say my diary is filling up fast…I start a four day trial – public law care proceedings on day two on my feet! This is followed by another multi-day trial towards the end of March, followed by a lengthy finding of fact trial in mid-April and no doubt some hearings in-between! I am going to be a busy bee can can’t wait!

Q: What are you hoping to achieve as a Consultant Barrister looking towards the future?

My hope is that I will be able to develop a strong and busy practice going forward, and in doing so, I hope to challenge my own capabilities and develop a sound reputation for being a dedicated barrister who will always strive to achieve the best outcome for the client.

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