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A Career at the Bar

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Barrister: Job description. Barristers (in England and Wales) are specialists in advocacy and represent individuals or organisations in court.

Barrister: Job description

They are independent sources of legal advice and can advise clients on their case. Generally, they are hired by solicitors to represent a case in court and only become involved once advocacy before a court is needed. They plead the case on behalf of the client and the client's solicitor. Members of the public can also go directly to a barrister to ask for advice and representation in court. Barristers usually specialise in particular areas of law such as: criminal law; chancery law (estates and trusts); commercial law; entertainment law; sports law; common law (includes family, housing and personal injury law).

Most barristers work on a self-employed basis, while others work in government departments or agencies such as the Crown Prosecution Service and the Government Legal Service. Typical work activities. Barrister Job Information. Page Content Barrister Hours37-40+ per weekStarting salary£12,000 + per year Barristers give specialist legal advice to solicitors and other professional clients.

Barrister Job Information

They also give advice to non-professional clients, including the public. Pupillages, mini-pupillages and graduate jobs in law. Becoming a barrister. Where do barristers fit in?

Becoming a barrister

Barristers usually receive instructions from a solicitor - which means that clients wishing to engage a barrister must first approach a solicitor. What do barristers do? If a solicitor is unable to sort out of legal problem but they will engage a barrister on their client's behalf to provide expert legal opinion and advocacy services. As things currently stand, it is primarily barristers who have rights of audience in the higher courts and are able to present a case before a judge and jury. In comparison, many solicitors will routinely work hand-in-hand with their counterparts in other firms towards completion of an agreed goal such as a financial transaction, house purchase or pension arrangement for a large company. Consequently, the work experience of a barrister would be very different from that of most solicitors.

Whilst such autonomy may sound appealing, it can also present challenges. Frequently asked questions. 1.

Frequently asked questions

What is a barrister? There are around 15,500 barristers practising in England and Wales. Visit to Lincolns Inn June 2014. How to become a barrister. The steps typically taken to become a barrister involve three main stages of training: Academic Stage: an undergraduate degree in law (LLB), or an undergraduate degree in any other subject followed by the conversion course Vocational Stage: the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), which entails one year of full time study or two years' part time studyPupillage: one year spent as a pupil in barristers' chambers or in another organisation approved by the Bar Standards Board as a Pupillage Training Organisation (PTO) .

How to become a barrister

University of Leeds Careers Centre Blog. Fancy yourself as the next Atticus Finch?

University of Leeds Careers Centre Blog

Career Consultant Steve Carter shares his top advice for aspiring barristers. All of the below is taken from talks given by both junior and senior barristers as well as serving judges. What do Barristers do? In essence a barrister ‘crafts legal arguments to persuade a jury/judge of the efficacy of their case. Barristers have to be practical; can the problem be solved any other way? Away from self-employment there are government barristers working for the Government Legal Service. There are also other public bodies such as the police and local government. In the private sector large organisations such as banks will have their own in-house legal team which will usually be headed up by a barrister. The work is varied depending on the area of law practiced. The call to the Bar.

Advice for applications. Becoming a barrister is fiercely competitive.

Advice for applications

In 2010, between 1 in 5 and 1 in 6 of those who successfully complete the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) were successful in obtaining pupillage. You need to be realistic about your skills, abilities and academic record, but if you are determined to succeed and you have the qualities the Bar is looking for then there is no reason why you cannot build a successful career as a barrister. Bar Professional Training Course. Those chasing a career at the Bar face the prospect of being well trained and highly qualified, but with little more than a £15k-sized hole in their pockets to show for it.

Bar Professional Training Course

Why? Because every year approximately four times as many students enrol on the BPTC as there are pupillages available with sets and other employers. The disparity between the legions of BPTC graduates and the miserly amount of available pupillages has led the Bar Standards Board to put out a 'health warning' to prospective barristers. Lady Deech, chair of the BSB, stated in 2011: "There are too many people on the [BPTC] who shouldn’t be there. We need to give a signal to those who aren’t up to it that they’re wasting their money. " According to the Bar Barometer 2014, in 2011/12 there were 1,732 students enrolled on the BPTC (after 3,017 applied) and 1,260 individuals successfully completed and passed the course. Students wishing to enrol on the BPTC must first pass the Bar Course Aptitude Test or BCAT. Cost Location. Statistics. Annual data refers to the situation in December of that year.


Bi-annual data is taken over the course of the legal year (1 October - 30 September) Barristers' practice areas. By saying 'I am a lawyer' you can mean many different things.

Barristers' practice areas

As a barrister, you probably work for yourself in a set of chambers, but you could work for a government body or even for a company. And even within those categories, the work you do can vary widely. In reality, few cases lend themselves to rigid categorisation or fit neatly into traditional categories. What at first appears to be a company law problem could raise issues pertaining to banking, insolvency or insurance law. Accordingly, the majority of chambers undertake varied work.

Each discipline has its own demands relating to knowledge, temperament, working practices and remuneration. Law.