Charles Dickens begins work at law office of Ellis and Blackmore
The start of 1827 found Charles Dickens enrolled as a student at Wellington House Academy.
In May, through connections made by his mother, he obtained a position at the law firm of Ellis and Blackmore.
Dickens was a law clerk. His duties included keeping the petty cash fund, delivering documents, running errands and other sundry tasks.
In November of 1828 Dickens took a similar position for the law firm of Charles Molley. However Dickens remained with the firm for only a few months.
The law didn't appeal to him as a career. He found the work of a law clerk tedious. Actually becoming a lawyer didn't appeal to him either. So he left to find another way to make a living.
His next job was as a court stenographer. To qualify for that position Dickens had to learn the Gurney system of shorthand writing. It took most people about three years to master the system. Dickens, no doubt aided by his excellent memory, learned it in about three months. Consequently in 1829 he began work as a freelance court stenographer.
In 1831 he became a shorthand reporter with the Mirror of Parliament. The publication gave accounts of the activity in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Dickens became known for his quick and accurate courtroom reporting.
During this time he also considered becoming an actor. He was so serious about the matter that he arranged for an audition at the Lyceum Theater. However he was ill on the day of his audition and could not go. He did have acting skills as proven later by his readings and performances in benefit productions. His life might have been dramatically different if it weren't for his illness on that day.
In 1833 he began writing "sketches" or essays. His sketches continued to grow in popularity. They eventually led to the publication of the The Pickwick Papers in 1836.
"Vell," said Mr. Weller, "Now I s'pose he'll want to call some witnesses to speak to his character, or p'raps to prove a alleybi. I've been a turnin' the bis'ness over in my mind, and he may make his-self easy, Sammy. I've got some friends as'll do either for him, but my adwice 'ud be this here--never mind the character, and stick to the alleybi. Nothing like a alleybi, Sammy, nothing." - The Pickwick Papers
I have tamed that savage stenographic mystery. I make a respectable income by it. I am in high repute for my accomplishment in all pertaining to the art, and am joined with eleven others in reporting the debates in Parliament for a Morning Newspaper. Night after night, I record predictions that never come to pass, professions that are never fulfilled, explanations that are only meant to mystify. I wallow in words. Britannia, that unfortunate female, is always before me, like a trussed fowl: skewered through and through with office-pens, and bound hand and foot with red tape. I am sufficiently behind the scenes to know the worth of political life. I am quite an Infidel about it, and shall never be converted. - David Copperfield
In May 1827, Dickens began work in the law office of Ellis and Blackmore, attorneys, of Holborn Court, Gray's Inn, as a junior clerk. He remained there until November 1828. Then, having worked energetically in his spare time to acquire Gurneys system of shorthand, he left to become a freelance reporter. A distant relative, Thomas Charlton, was a freelance reporter at Doctors' Commons, and Dickens was able to share his box there in order to report the legal proceedings. Here in a court near St. Paul's he was to listen for nearly four years to rambling, involved cases. This education informed works such as Nicholas Nickleby, Dombey and Son, and especially Bleak House—whose vivid portrayal of the endless machinations, lethal manoeuvrings, and strangling bureaucracy of the legal system of mid-19th-century Britain did much to enlighten the general public, and was a vehicle for dissemination of Dickens's own views regarding, particularly, the injustice of chronic exploitation of the poor forced by circumstances to "go to Law".
In 1827 the Dickens were once again kicked out of their home for unpaid rent ,and Charles was forced to leave school. He then got a job as a clerk in the law firm of Ellis and Blackmore. He learned many different styles of writing and became a court reporter. Charles spent all of his spare time reading in library's, and studying acting.