Mini Biography – Ben Graff

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Ben Graff

I consider myself very fortunate to be embarking upon a career at the Bar as it is a world that could have very easily passed me by.

Growing up, I didn’t know that such a job existed. I went to a comprehensive school and there were no lawyers in my family. As an undergraduate, I studied philosophy at the University of Manchester and on the odd occasion when friends and I would discuss the dreaded subject of getting a job, the Bar was not on any of our horizons.

My first job out of university was as a teacher. There were many aspects of teaching that I enjoyed, but ultimately I decided it wasn’t the right fit for me in the long-term. It was only at that stage, when I began researching a wide range of alternative careers, that I happened upon the idea of becoming a barrister.

As I began my conversion to law, I felt instantly behind many of my peers who seemed to have always known that they wanted to be lawyers. The only decision I had made up to that point was that I wanted to be a barrister. I hadn’t decided on an area of law or which sets to apply to, nor had I obtained any relevant experience. It seemed to me that I was the only one who didn’t know exactly where I was headed and exactly how I was going to get there.

In addition to this, I hadn’t readied myself for the rejection that is part and parcel of applying for pupillage. Each unsuccessful application felt like confirmation that I had made a huge mistake in chasing a career that was clearly not for me. But then the offer from Keating came and with it the opportunity to pursue a career that appealed to me more than any other. So far it has not disappointed.