I enjoyed this post by Ruthie on geeklawyer. The whole system of “taking silk” is typical of our legal system – elitist and archaic. What other job application requires payment of a £3000 fee? Come to that, what other application requires the payment of any fee? Not that I feel sorry for the applicants – they obviously have money to burn, and know that if they’re successful they’ll have the privilege of charging an enormous premium for doing the same work. However, the real reason for applying is not the money, but the chance to look extremely silly in public – their ‘ceremonial dress’ including black breeches and black stockings instead of trousers, patent leather Court shoes with buckles, the same black frock coat and waistcoat seen when in Court but with added lace trimmings, white cotton gloves, a wig with a black rosette and, of course, a silk gown.
Expensive fancy dress