How to become a Barrister



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What do they do?

Are you a huge fan of TV legal dramas? Are you interested in pursuing law as a career? Then becoming a Barrister could be the perfect career choice for you.
Barristers are typically hired by Solicitors to represent organisations or individuals in court. However, members of the public can also approach them directly.

Barristers can be self-employed or work for the Crown Prosecution Service and the Government Legal Service, and they often specialise in a particular area, such as criminal law. As a Barrister, your job would be to plead each case on behalf of the client and their Solicitor.

Day-to-day tasks will vary, but a Barrister will usually:

  • Receive instructions from new clients
  • Manage legal briefs on their behalf
  • Research past cases to find precedents that may prove useful
  • Prepare cases for court and advise clients on the likely outcome
  • Represent clients in court and question witnesses when necessary
  • Negotiate settlements

Is it right for me?

If you hate public speaking and never win an argument, then you might not be cut out to be a Barrister.

However, if you’re confident, fascinated by the justice system and remain calm under pressure, then this may be the career for you.

A good Barrister will be:

    • Excellent at conveying complex subjects in a manner that’s easy to understand
    • Persuasive
    • Able to deal with people from all walks of life
    • Good at research
    • Highly organised
    • Punctual
    • Self-motivated

What's it really like?

My favourite aspect of being a Barrister is all the research. It's great to look into previous cases and spot a clue that could help me in my current brief - I feel like a detective. Going into court and being part of a justice system dating back hundreds of years is another big plus point. Although it can be tough and very hard work, it's good to know I'm making a real difference to my clients.

Get qualified

You’ll need a degree to become a Barrister and, although it doesn’t have to be law-related, you may have to do a law conversion course before starting professional training if this is the case. Afterwards, you’ll need to complete a Graduate Diploma in Law, followed by the Bar Professional Training Course (one year, full-time) and pupillage, which is a year of practical training under the supervision of an experienced Barrister.

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