I Sentence You To A Year Of Awkwardness

, , , , , | Legal | April 3, 2020

At the start of my final year of high school, the school makes us all undertake a week of work experience. As I want to study law at university, I go to a local criminal solicitors’ firm. On my last day, one of the solicitors suggests I might be interested in going to a sentencing with him. On the way to the court, he tells me the client’s name and that they’re being sentenced for mugging someone. He parks the car, and we get out and start to head up the steps outside the court.

Solicitor: “Ah, that’s the family on the steps. Come on, we’d better go say hello. It’s polite and, you know, we’ll have to lend a bit of emotional support. I’ll also check they’re okay with you shadowing.”

Me: “Got it.”

I obediently follow him to a huddled group. As we approach, they fan out and say hello. I glance at them and then frown because one woman seems weirdly familiar. The woman is staring at me, as well.

Solicitor: “Hi, all. I just thought I’d come over and–”

Woman: “Don’t you go to my school?”

Everyone pauses and looks at me.

Me: *Very meekly* “Hi, Mrs. [Woman].”

It turned out that the client was the nephew of a teacher at my school. I hadn’t had any classes with her, so the surname hadn’t really rung a bell. Her family was incredibly lovely about me being there, saying it was at least nice that one of the teacher’s students could get some good out of it, but the teacher didn’t come into the courtroom — I think because I was there. For the remainder of the year, whenever we passed each other in the corridor, we couldn’t quite look each other in the eye.

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