Lawyers and fountain pens
While I’m certainly not a pen connoisseur, I have owned a few nice pens in my time. For whatever reason, I’ve tended to go through alternating spells when I might write with a fountain pen continually for a few weeks, followed by months of reverting to the ubiquitous biro – and usually a cheap and tacky one at that.
Fountain pens are often considered to be the reserve of the traditional professions as well as the more pretentious members of society. Lawyers, on the whole, tend to fall into both of those categories. Throughout my ‘vocational placements’ I’ve witnessed several lawyers using a traditional fountain pen, though, I admit, they are very much the exceptions to the norm.
That said, there are some very funky and modern looking pens out there which won’t break the bank either. Michael’s tip of the day: The Writing Desk stocks an excellent range of pens, paper and inks and I’ve dealt with them on and off over the past few years with excellent service every time.
During my LL.M I’ve witnessed a few students writing with fountain pens – more so than during my LL.B. I even saw a female student answer her competition law paper writing with one. I can’t say I’ve ever answered an exam with a fountain pen – save perhaps for my SATs in way back in year 6 – and I certainly wouldn’t fancy doing it at this level.
I have two fountain pens at present – neither of which has seen much use over the past year: a Faber Castell cheapy and a relatively expensive Sheaffer Legacy.
I don’t find fountain pens lend themselves to use for scrawling down lecture notes – though I’ve seen a few students this past year try to disprove that theory. It all depends on your writing style, I guess.
People write with a fountain pen for differing reasons. For me, it’s usually because I get fed up with biros. There is also something quite satisfying about writing with a good pen – particularly if you find a quirky coloured ink you like.
My favourite inks to date are a vibrantly rich turquoise/blue and deep green though I’ve experimented with quite a range. I also found that a bright orange makes for great, striking annotations.
I’d be very interested to hear from members of the blawgosphere who might use fountain pens and for those that don’t, why not? To those that do, have you ever dared answer an undergrad or postgrad exam with one?!