Call to the Bar

Coming from Nirgua in Venezuela has its advantages. We appreciate nature, horses, coffee, people and if we are to drink, we drink rum, life is light and we smile (a lot). Of course being here in Gibraltar at Cruzlaw LLP I know we don’t have horses but we have the rest right?

So, you can imagine, when little me told my family that I was going to be called to the Bar… WHAT??? Now you drink pints Arcelia… My mama was not excited at all. Somehow, the reaction of my family was very similar to that of the very many people I encountered in the last 13 years. The disbelief and horror that I would (as a Nirguan) be so cheeky to even dream to have a profession in England (then) let alone entering such profession, “you will never become a Barrister Arcelia…”
Much more than drinking beer (which is not my drink of choice), my experience trying to get called has been full of ups and downs, fun times, and tears. But I have never lost hope, it took 13 years, 642 pupillage applications and one zoom call with Mr. Cruz (which was a little scary, I was very late for the meeting and he was not impressed) to comply with all requirements,  and here we are, with more wrinkles, less hair (which does not bother me as I will cover it with my super wig) and in paradise, Gibraltar, a place full of Llanitos con Corazón, people that welcomed me even before the Venezuelan storm arrived.

“Ability is nothing without opportunity” (Napoleon Bonaparte)

So, I want to say thank you, thanks to the skeptics, that made me resilient to their thoughts and beliefs. Thanks to all the Chambers that rejected me because they taught me that to succeed one must accept failure because only then one can build the base for its success, AND more importantly, thank you to the boss Mr. Cruz. I don’t know what possessed him during our zoom call that pushed him to offer me this opportunity and I am sure after 8 months he feels he needs to have an exorcism so he never makes such decisions again! Whatever his reasoning was then, I want to say a grateful thanks to Nick, my Principal. Thanks to his family, his team, thanks for his tough love technique, for the constantly challenging my viewsand most importantly for not letting me forget the attention to detail needed in our profession. Thanks to my ladies, Christine, Sally-Anne and KK (our desertora but forever loved), Thanks to our Mario. Thanks to every one of you, for every day making me feel part of the team, helping me and supporting me to get to this day.

*For the geographic light Nirgua is in northern Venezuela close to the Caribbean Sea (50 miles) and only 117 miles from Caracas with a population of 35,401 spread across 878 sq mi (10°09′09″N 68°33′59″W).