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It has truly been an honour

Two years ago, I started life as a pupil barrister at the Government Legal Department. I was a young, naïve, recently-called barrister who was excited to start pupillage. From the very beginning, I suffered with imposter-syndrome and doubted whether I could ever be good enough to succeed in this profession. I felt that somehow, I’d managed to fool the Government Legal Department into offering me a pupillage. I thought that it would only be a matter of time before I would be found out.

As time went on, those feeling continued. I would beat myself up with thoughts that I was failing to make progress fast enough. I doubted whether I belonged. But, I should have reminded myself that pupillage is about learning. To be a pupil literally means to be a student. Even after pupillage, barristers are continually learning. Barristers learn from their colleagues, clients, opponents, judges and from everyday life.

During the past two years, my colleagues at the GLD have been the prime source of my learning. They have given me the support, space and responsibility that I have needed to develop as a barrister. They have done so while being kind, insightful and encouraging. I have accepted that imposter syndrome may not ever disappear completely, but deep down, I now know that I belong at the Bar.

Thank you to all of my colleagues at the Government Legal Department for helping me to believe in myself. It has truly been an honour to have worked with each of you. While it is saddening to be ending this chapter of my professional career, I am thoroughly excited to commence my next challenge at the self-employed bar in the coming weeks. I intend to share my exciting news with you all soon.

Mass Ndow-Njie


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