Learn all about becoming a barrister and the different components of Bar training including information for transferring lawyers. Members of the public can now instruct barristers who are qualified under the Direct Access scheme. Several thousand barristers are now qualified to work directly with clients in this way, which could cost less than going through a solicitor. Challenges to career development for self-employed barristers at this stage may include limited finances, long hours required to cover cases and managing your own workload. Because of this, career development and financial stability is very much dependent on your cases, your approach to work and your ability to successfully build up a practice and reputation. Law graduates wishing to practise as a barrister in Northern Ireland should apply for the one-year barrister-of-law course at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies.
It is, however, possible to hold the qualification of both barrister and solicitor at the same time. In the Republic of Ireland, admission to the Bar by the Chief Justice of Ireland is restricted to those on whom a Barrister-at-Law degree has first been conferred. The Honorable Society of King’s Inns is the only educational establishment which runs vocational courses for barristers in the Republic and degrees of Barrister-at-Law can only be conferred by King’s Inns. King’s Inns are also the only body with the capacity to call individuals to the bar and to disbar them. In contrast, solicitors and attorneys work directly with the clients and are responsible for engaging a barrister with the appropriate expertise for the case. Barristers generally have little or no direct contact with their “lay clients”, particularly without the presence or involvement of the solicitor.
What Does A Barrister Do?
Many 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 Profession. If you are representing yourself in court as a Litigant in Person, find out what to expect from the barristers representing the other side, on our Information for people representing themselves in court page. As the regulator of barristers, it is our job to make sure that this is the case.
- If you prefer working as part of a team, you may be more suited to becoming a solicitor; while if you prefer to work independently, you may be more suited to becoming a barrister.
- Under section 17 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, solicitors with appropriate advocacy experience are entitled to acquire higher “rights of audience”, enabling them to appear in the superior courts.
- You could start your career by working in a law firm or the law department of an organisation.
- Barristers sole (i.e. barristers who are not employed by another barrister) who are not Queen’s Counsel are never referred to as junior barristers.
If you are thinking about pursuing a career as a barrister, the work experience you should consider undertaking is different compared with the work experience you would consider if you were thinking about pursuing a career as a solicitor. After this, fledgling barristers will do a 1-yearpupillage, which usually takes place in chambers. Pupillage involves shadowing a barrister before getting involved in the practical work of chambers.
What Is A Solicitor? What Does A Solicitor Do?
Historically, the superior courts were based in London, the capital city. To dispense justice throughout the country, a judge and court personnel would periodically travel a regional circuit to deal with cases that had arisen there. Some would go “on circuit” with the court to act on behalf of those requiring representation. By contrast, solicitors were essentially local to one place, whether London or a provincial town.
Pupillages are usually undertaken with a set at chambers, but can also be done in-house or with the Government Legal Service or Crown Prosecution Service. Sets may have anywhere between one and five pupils, though two is fairly usual. It’s important to tailor your application to each individual barristers’ chambers – explain what attracts you to pupillage at that set. Our Chambers Reports and the Chambers UK directory can help with this.