You’ve been served: Janaé Called to the Bar
She was already familiar with working behind a drinks bar and now a young woman is making her mark at the legal Bar.
Janaé Nesbitt was admitted to practise law last week in a courtroom filled with family, friends and colleagues.
The 28-year-old, who works at the Attorney-General’s Chambers, said she was “overwhelmed and excited” as she was Called to the Bar in a ceremony at the Supreme Court before Chief Justice Narinder Hargun.
She added: “I’ve worked for this since 2009 so it has been a while, it feels great. I’m looking forward to the future.”
Ms Nesbitt, from Pembroke, was a pupil at the Berkeley Institute in 2009 before she studied at London Metropolitan University and the University of West London in England.
Her pupil master Lauren Sadler-Best, a Crown counsel at the Attorney-General’s Chambers, told the court: “Janaé has told me that she wanted to study law for as long as she can remember.
“This is not necessarily unusual to hear from those who decided to pursue law, but I have seen from her very impressive résumé that it has never been far from her mind.”
She listed a string of student, training and work experience placements held by Ms Nesbitt during her university years and afterwards.
Ms Sadler-Best added that her pupil also worked as a bar tender and bar operations manager during her studies.
She said: “I only raise it to demonstrate her versatility and inability to remain idle.”
Ms Sadler-Best added: “Indeed, at one of her bartending jobs, she found herself serving none other than the Deputy Solicitor-General Mrs Shakira Dill-Francois.
“‘I know you’, Janaé says, after which she tells Mrs Dill-Francois that she really wants to work at the Attorney-General’s Chambers.”
Ms Sadler-Best said the Deputy Solicitor-General had told her “it was good to see a young lady who knew what she wanted” and “worked hard even with all her other jobs”.
She explained that Ms Nesbitt studied at BPP University in London before she started her pupillage last year.
Ms Sadler-Best revealed that colleagues said Ms Nesbitt was keen, strong-willed, always willing to work and tenacious.
Larry Mussenden, the Director of Public Prosecutions, told the court he grew up with Ms Nesbitt’s family and was “very proud” of what she had accomplished with the department.
He added: “She will make a positive contribution to the Bar.”
Juan Wolffe, the senior magistrate, said: “When she first came into court in the Magistrates’ Court, I have to say that she was a bit rough around the edges but very quickly, within the space of weeks if not days, those rough edges were smoothed out.
“It was clear to me that she was a person who loved to learn, loved the law.
“She took on more constructive criticism, she applied it, didn’t take it personally even though at times I might have been hard on her or difficult with her. She took it in great stride and I think that’s the makings of a person who’s going to do very well at this Bar.”
He told Ms Nesbitt: “It’s good to see that you are able to work at two bars, the ability to mix drinks puts you in good stead, because you’re going to need it in this profession.”
Ms Nesbitt told the court she was reminded of a motto of her father Craig Nesbitt who “did not raise his children to be quitters”.
She added: “Without a doubt, I believe that I have stood by those words throughout this entire journey, having been faced with one obstacle after the other. But I refused to quit.”
Ms Nesbitt thanked those who had offered encouragement, including her “wonderful parents who have continued to sacrifice everything for me”.
She added: “I have been looking forward to this day for ever and I am officially the first Nesbitt Called to the Bermuda Bar.
“I take this honour with great pride and I’m beyond excited to see what my future has in store for me in this prestigious legal fraternity.”