Barrister

Alternative titles for this job include Advocate

Barristers give specialist legal advice, advising solicitors and representing people in court, at tribunals and in public inquiries.

Average salary (a year)

£12,000 Starter

to

£250,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

36 to 38 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends

How to become a barrister

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • working towards this role

University

You could:

  • do a law degree
  • do a non-law degree followed by the Graduate Diploma in Law

You would then complete a period of professional training which includes:

  • the one-year Bar Professional Training Course
  • a follow-on year of practical training, called a pupillage

To get into some universities you'll need to pass the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT).

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information

Work

You could start your career by working in a law firm or the law department of an organisation.

With support from your employer, you could complete a qualification like the Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law through the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.

Solicitors can apply to become barristers by approval of the Bar Standards Board and sitting a Bar Transfer Test.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join The Bar Council, for professional development, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a barrister from The Bar Council and All About Law.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • knowledge of English language
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to read English
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • you will be expected to know how to use a computer and tools to benefit this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • having meetings with clients and taking on cases (briefs)
  • researching the law relating to previous similar cases
  • reading witness statements and reports
  • offering advice and providing written legal opinion
  • negotiating settlements out of court
  • preparing legal arguments and getting briefs ready for court
  • cross-examining witnesses and presenting the case to the judge and jury
  • summing up the case

Working environment

You could work in a court, at chambers or in an office.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear a wig and gown.

Career path and progression

With experience you could find employment with firms supplying legal services in commerce, finance or industry. You could lead a team or move into general management.

You could also apply to become a Queen's Counsel (QC), a judge or an ombudsman.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a barrister right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Legal Secretary Diploma with City & Guilds CILEx Level 2

  • Provider: Pitman Training London
  • Start date: 01 October 2019
  • Location: LONDON

CILEx Level 6 Land Law

  • Provider: Chichester College Group
  • Start date: 18 September 2019
  • Location: Chichester

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