Pursuing a career at the Bar

Pursuing a career at the Bar

During my Law degree, I found the vast majority of advice and guidance on pursuing a legal career was aimed at those students who wanted to become Solicitors.

This is understandable, as those of us who want to make a career out of wearing a funny wig and arguing tend to be few and far between—but we do exist!

This step-by-step guide gives you the insider on the steps needed to join the Bar to become a Barrister.

Three main stages to joining the Bar

There are three stages on the route to the Bar that you need to complete before you become a fully-fledged ‘Baby Barrister’ with a Tenancy in Chambers or employed in-house.

1 - The Educational Stage

This stage involves obtaining at minimum a 2:2 in a qualifying Law degree, or a non-law degree and a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).

Though this is an expensive and time-consuming stage, it is essential. Ensure you take full advantage of the resources and activities you are offered at this early stage! Get involved in moots, negotiation competitions, societies, sports teams…anything you have time for. These will be invaluable experiences you can draw on in interviews (Moots especially).

Other good things to do during this stage that will help you stand out from the crowd later-on are Mini-Pupillages and Marshalling. A one to three day Mini-Pupillage with any chambers gives excellent insight into the life of a Barrister and Marshalling. A judge in court shows you what life is like on the other side of the bench, and a great opportunity to see some advocacy in action—not to mention you can make great contacts.

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