Julian was studying, but 'eating ones dinners' was (and still is) a pre-requisite of becoming a barrister. A barrister (in British law) has to be a member of 'chambers' - a set of rooms that is the HQ for a 'company' of barristers. Becoming a member depends on eating a number of formal dinners.
There's a bit of background (but not much) here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chambers_(law)
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