Barrister Salary UK – How to Become a Barrister in the UK
Barristers are important members of the legal field within the UK. They are advocates for clients who are involved in court cases. Barristers also provide their clients with legal advice. The material presented here will explain what it takes to work in this profession. It will also describe what this job is like and its benefits.
What does a Barrister do within the legal field?
Most barristers that work within the UK primarily perform this service in England and Scotland. They also work in Wales and Northern Island. These provide advocacy in courtrooms for legal clients. They typically work with or work for a solicitor to perform this service. By the way, a solicitor typically employs a barrister when they need legal representation within a specialised area of the law. Just so you know, a solicitor is a general litigator within the court of law.
Sometimes, people will get confused about the roles of a solicitor and a barrister. However, we’ll briefly explain the difference. A solicitor typically provides legal work outside of the courtroom. They’ll handle duties such as preparing cases, gathering evidence and information, and/or putting together an argument.
A barrister typically performs most of their duties within the courtroom. When a person must hire a lawyer, they’ll generally contact a solicitor. However, if a client must go to court, the solicitor will usually hire a barrister for this job. Keep in mind that some solicitors do represent their clients in court. However, they normally use the services of a barrister to perform this job. You should also know that some barristers perform these duties as well.
What are the job duties of a Barrister?
Barristers provide advocacy services within the court. They usually take the findings of a solicitor (if hired by this professional) and create persuasive legal arguments for their clients. They also advise clients about the law and the strength of their case. Barristers also negotiate settlements with the opposing side within a case. These legal specialists can also cross-examine witnesses, present evidence, advise solicitors on court matters, undertake legal research, and provide other advocacy services related to the court.
Many other legal duties are also performed by barristers. Barristers can legally represent individuals, groups, agencies, or organizations. Their clients come from different areas of society. Some barristers will only work with select clients within specialised areas of the law. Then there are some barristers that will work with multiple clients representing different areas of law.
A barrister can also be hired directly (without a solicitor) to build a case or to prepare a defense. Don’t forget that barristers are expected to wear a traditional robe and wig in court. This is a tradition that has been carried over for years within this profession. However, many barristers skip this requirement today. Still, at some point within their career, they must wear the traditional garb associated with this profession.
Why do Barristers wear wigs in court?
The garb of a barrister is something that has been in place since the 1600s. King Charles of England declared that wigs were to be worn by the polite members of society. Those who practiced law in those days had to adhere to this custom. Once again, not all barristers wear their wigs in court cases. However, they are frowned upon by members of the court and the legal field when they don’t adhere to this requirement.
In some situations, wearing the wig and robe of a barrister might not be necessary. Just keep in mind that this is an old, honored tradition that is associated with the courts. Barristers had undergone many changes to their clothing throughout the years in England. The barrister wardrobe of today remains relevant to the court room process.
Where do Barristers work?
Most barristers work in offices known as chambers. Many of them are self-employed. Only a few barristers work in firms, government offices, agencies, or for organizations. Barristers can also work with each other as well. Here is something interesting about barristers you might not have known. Barristers generally work with each other on a case. However, they can also be good friends while working on opposing sides of a legal situation. Most barristers accept this part of the job, and it helps them to be very competitive.
Don’t forget that barristers work in the higher levels of courts. They typically deal with extremely complex and high-profile. They also handle legal issues where clients are disputing a great deal of money or if a doctor is being sued for malpractice. Solicitors can work within these cases, but many of them allow barristers to handle these suits.
Barristers Specialise within Certain Areas of the Law
There are many different areas of the law for barristers to work. They include commercial law, common law, chancery law, entertainment law, environment law, criminal law, and sports law. They also specialize in other areas of the law as well. Barristers can also provide services for minor court matters.
Case Loads and Barristers
Don’t forget that caseloads can be hard as well. Some barristers will have heavy caseloads that can be time consuming. The more complex the legal situation, the harder it can be for a barrister to get more work. Barristers must be careful about the type of cases they take and the number of cases they work. A barrister will have to learn how to balance these two aspects of their career. If not, they could easily burn out or do poorly in their work.
Education and Skills Needed to Become a Barrister
Barristers typically take 5 years to complete their training and education. Anyone who wants to join this profession are required to complete three areas of education and training. These areas include academic, vocational, and pupillage which is work-based learning. A barrister’s journey begins in uni. You must complete a 2:2 degree in law. However, you can use your degree from another field. If you do, you must take a law conversion course. If you take a conversion course your certification could take 6 years.
Once you have this credential, your next step is to take Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT). You must pass this test before you can start your vocational training. You will then need to join one of the 4 Inns of Court. The Inns of Court are institutions that validates barristers and other members of the legal field.
Furthermore, you will need to complete more education courses to finish your vocational training. Then, there is the pupilage part of barrister training. This aspect of barrister development requires 2 phases. The first phase will consist of non-practicing work for 6 months and then practicing work for 6 months. Once you are done with this part of the training you can now prepare for the Bar.
The training and education that you will receive will help you to develop skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills, develop a solid understanding of the law, patience (the training and education take many years to complete), attention to detail, discipline, and many other mental and academic skills that will be needed to perform this work.
Keep in mind that shadowing is also a way for students to become barristers. People can shadow through the process of marshaling (working with a judge for up to a week), voluntary pro bono work with Citizens Advice and Free Representation Units, debating and public speaking, and paid law work experience. The final steps you will need to take before becoming a barrister will include applying to become a jr. barrister within chambers once you complete the pupillage. This will provide you with some basic experience in this line of work while completing bar training. You should also know that most universities charge about £20,000 per annum for this profession. Students should be prepared to pay a great sum of money to complete their training. Scholarships, awards, and loans can help to pay to cover costs.
What you Must Know about Pupillage
Pupillage is an extremely important part of the hiring process for barristers. If a person doesn’t get accepted by a pupillage, it will severely restrict their chances of working within this field. Don’t forget that the competition is extremely tough. If you’re not prepared or can’t handle this aspect of pupillage, you won’t go very far in this career. Most people don’t receive pupillage on their first try. Only the best of the best will obtain this status their first go around.
This is why all student barristers must have a backup plan for their training and education if they can’t realistically obtain a pupillage. The alternative to obtaining a pupillage includes jobs such as court advocate, litigation paralegal, research assistant, barrister clerk, and judicial assistant.
A person could also work within different areas of society (business, industry, est.) providing legal counsel relevant to a particular field. The bottom line is that barrister students must be at the top of their game in terms of grades, work skills, and intelligence. Remember, if any student receives the opportunity to work in a pupillage, they should make the most of it. If not, they can quickly be removed and someone else can take their place.
Some Final Things you Must Know about this Profession
The work of a barrister is extremely challenging, and it requires long hours. Also, there is a lot of competition within this field. Anyone that wants to work within this field must strive to be at the top of the field. The average pay for this field is about £16,000 – £18,000 per annum starting off. After 5 years their salary could increase between £50,000 to £200,000. For barristers that work in this field for 10 or more years, they can earn about £65,000 to £1,000,000. The average salary for all barristers across the board is £50,000.
You should also know that you’re going to need a lot of money to fund your career. Even if you are able to obtain pupillage and go on to complete the bar, you still must have money to fund your career. It is not an easy career to build. You will have to pay many fees and cover costs for various issues that arise within this field. No one has to be rich to work in this field but having the money to cover the expense associated with this profession is necessary.
All barristers should know the law and the rules associated with this field. Barristers should also be ethical and know how to conduct themselves professionally. These two points are very important. Any barrister that doesn’t do their job ethically and in a professional manner, will compromise themselves and the legal field. One of the reasons why the bar exists is to ensure that lawyers are doing their part in maintaining the profession. The legal field should not be discredited because of a barrister’s bad conduct or incompetency.
Protect your reputation and your client’s privacy and rights. A barrister’s reputation is extremely important. It is necessary for a barrister to be a respected member of their field. A barrister with a bad reputation won’t last in this field. You should also be mindful of your client’s privacy and their rights. Sometimes, a barrister will encounter court cases where people are exposing a lot of questionable or bad information about themselves. You must be mindful about how you’re processing and dealing with this information.
Barristers that work in large cities (such as London) will usually make more than barristers that work in smaller cities. Barristers should develop a good reputation. They should make sure that they are representing their clients in a professional manner. They should also work hard to win cases and to provide their clients the best services possible. A barrister career is very rewarding, but it will take dedication, hard work, and a life-long commitment to excel within this field.