July 23, 2024
how to become a barrister

How to Become a Barrister? – A Step-by-Step Guide

The barrister’s job description is a long one. From drafting legal documents to delivering speeches in court, barristers work in a wide range of areas. The law degrees they need to pursue practice are also diverse. One degree might be for local courts, while another would be for the country’s supreme court. But how does one become a barrister? And more importantly, what skills do barristers possess that make them stand out from the crowd? Read to find out all about it.

What is a Barrister?

What is a Barrister

A barrister in the United Kingdom is a legal professional who typically specializes in representing clients in court. Barristers are distinct from solicitors, who handle most of the legal work leading up to a case. In some jurisdictions, barristers are also allowed to provide legal advice without appearing in court.

The majority of cases in the UK are handled by solicitors, who will then instruct a barrister to represent their client in court if necessary. The barrister will then advocate on behalf of the client, using their legal knowledge and skills to try and persuade the judge or jury to reach a favourable verdict.

Barristers must be members of one of the four Inns of Court in London in order to practice law in England and Wales. They must also complete a rigorous academic program and pass demanding examinations before being called to the bar. Once they have been called, they are required to maintain high ethical standards and keep up with developments in their area of la aw.

What Skills are Necessary to be a Barrister?

What Skills are Necessary to be a Barrister

Excellent academic ability is required to become a barrister. You must have a degree in law or another relevant discipline and experience of working in a legal environment.

A university course or work experience can help you get into this role. The course will develop research, writing, advocacy, and public speaking skills.

Different pupillage placements entail different learning experiences, so it’s important to research pupillage options carefully and choose the one that best suits your interests and qualifications.

Good research skills and the ability to analyse information to create written and verbal arguments are necessary. You must also be comfortable speaking in court, which is essential for pupillage.

Pupillage places are advertised through Pupillage Gateway and can be scarce and highly sought after. If you’re interested in becoming a solicitor, consider completing additional law-related qualifications or work experience before applying for pupillage.

How to Become a Barrister in the UK?

How to Become a Barrister in the UK

There are three stages to becoming a barrister in the UK: completing an undergraduate law degree (or equivalent), undertaking the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and passing the ‘Bar exams’.

1. Law degree: To become a barrister, you must have completed an undergraduate law degree (or equivalent). This can be either a three-year Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree or a four-year Master of Laws (LLM) degree.

2. Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC): Once you have completed your law degree, you will need to undertake the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). This one-year, full-time course is designed to prepare you for life as a barrister.

3. Bar exams: After completing the BPTC, you must pass the ‘Bar exams’ to be called to the Bar. These exams are split into the ‘Written Examination’ and the ‘Practical Assessment’.

How Many Hours Do Barristers Work?

How Many Hours Do Barristers Work

The average barrister works between 8.30 am and 7 pm, with a one-hour lunch break. However, there are variations in hours worked depending on the type of law practised, the size of the firm, and whether the barrister is self-employed or not. For example, some barristers may start work at 9 am and finish at 5 pm, while others may start earlier or finish later. Some barristers may also work on Saturdays.

Salary and Benefits of Being a Barrister

Salary and Benefits of Being a Barrister

Although barristers technically earn more than £240000 a year, the reality is that many earn much less. In fact, 13% of barristers earn less than £30000 a year. This is because most of their earnings come from fees paid by clients, which can vary greatly. For example, a barrister who regularly appears in high-profile cases will command higher fees than one who only takes on smaller cases.

There are a number of other factors that can impact how much a barrister earns. For instance, those who work in London tend to earn more than those based in other parts of the UK. And self-employed barristers usually earn more than those who work for firms or chambers.

Despite the fact that some barristers don’t earn as much as others, the job still offers a lot of benefits. For instance, it’s an intellectually stimulating role that allows you to help people through difficult times in their lives. It’s also very flexible, so you can often dictate your hours and work from home if needed.

Types of Cases Handled by Barristers

Types of Cases Handled by Barristers

1. Chancery law: This type of law deals with matters of equity, trusts, and wills. A barrister specializing in this area of law will often deal with complex legal issues and disputes.

2. Commercial law: This type of law deals with the sale of goods, contracts, and other business transactions. A barrister specializing in commercial law will have a good understanding of business law and be able to advise clients on various legal matters.

3. Common law: This is the UK’s most common type of law and deals with civil disputes between individuals or businesses. A barrister specializing in common law will understand the contract, tort, and property law well.

4. Criminal law: This type of law deals with crime and punishment. A barrister specializing in criminal law will have a good understanding of the criminal justice system and be able to represent clients in court.

5. Entertainment law: This type of lawyer specializes in the legal aspects of the entertainment industry. They may represent artists, musicians, actors, or other celebrities in contractual disputes or lawsuits.

6. Environmental law: This area of law focuses on environmental protection and regulation. A barrister specializing in environmental law will have a good understanding of environmental regulations and be able to advise clients on various legal matters.

7. Sports law: This area of law deals with the legal issues surrounding sports. A barrister specializing in sports law will understand the contract, tort, antitrust, and professional sports law.


Becoming a barrister is a long and challenging process, but it can be incredibly rewarding. With dedication and hard work, you can achieve the qualifications needed to become successful in this profession. Following our step-by-step guide will help you make sure you know what steps need to be taken so that you have the best chance of becoming a qualified barrister. We wish you every success on your journey to becoming a barrister.

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