A career at the Bar is a challenge, but we are here to help

We provide support to all those wishing to become barristers; and we can also involve you in related activities.


Self-employed barristers are generally instructed by solicitors, however direct access is becoming more widely available and members of the public may instruct certain barristers directly. Self-employed barristers join chambers to which they pay rent for their office space and other administrative services. Employed or in-house barrister work for government departments or agencies such as the Crown Prosecution Service, law firms and other large companies.


The rules of the Bar training and qualifying as a barrister are continuously changing.  Find out more here.  In the same way the rules of pupillage training are changing. Read more here.



Knowledge underemphasised 


Note: Knowledge is underemphasised during your journey of becoming a barrister. Knowledge of the law, cannot qualify as knowledge because law is primarily written rules that are constantly changing and are endless of them. You need to gain knowledge in other areas of life, and particularly in those most relevant, such as Psychology and Genetics (read more here…).

Routes to becoming a practising barrister


  1. A qualifying law degree + Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) + joining an Inn of Court + 12 compulsory dinning sessions + pupillage; or
  2. A qualifying degree (any) + Graduate Diploma in Law + BPTC + joining an Inn of Court + 12 compulsory dinning sessions + pupillage
You will be Called to the Bar by the Inn of Court you join (generally on commencement of the BPTC). On completion of pupillage, you will need to secure a place in Chambers. For detailed report on how to join a leading set of chambers, click here .

Which Inn of Court?


Inns of court have some differences which are best explored by visiting the Inns of Court and doing some general research. These differences, however, may not make much difference in relation to qualifying as a barrister, unless special circumstances apply. Click Inns of Court Compared for more information. Qualification



Cross-qualifying / Qualifying from Overseas


Cross-qualifying form overseas is possible depending on where you are qualified. The route, price etc. depend on your circumstances.  Click here for more information.



Joining chambers as a Foreign Lawyer


You can also join a set of chambers as a foreign lawyer. Requirement are insurance and the Head of Chambers need to notify the BSB also confirming undertaking by foreign lawyer to conform with BSB regulations. Barrister Job Sites



Further selected information on Careers



  • Legal Apprenticeships programmes ⇒ If you are a young person with good GCSEs or A Levels, legal apprenticeship schemes may offer an alternative to studying law at university, for more info see: eg. http://lexlaw.co.uk/careers/legal-apprentices/
  • Social Mobility Foundation ⇒ Aims to make a practical improvement in social mobility for young people from low-income backgrounds: http://www.socialmobility.org.uk/


Undergraduate – work experience and internships

  • Grad dairy ⇒ Features the largest database of graduate jobs in the UK for sectors including banking, accounting, law, consultancy and finance. They offer a completely free online resource helping students apply for graduate jobs: http://www.graddiary.com/
  • Law firm websites ⇒ first year insight schemes, vacation schemes and training contracts
  • Barrister Chambers websites ⇒ mini pupillages/pupillages


Paralegal Job Sites

  • Institute of Paralegals ⇒ Their role as the representative body for paralegals is not to sell expensive training, but instead to help people who want to become professional paralegals with a serious legal career. They identify, verify and certify professional paralegals so that their experience and expertise will be recognised by clients, employers, other legal professionals and government: http://www.theiop.org/
  • National Association of Licenced Paralegals ⇒ ALP is a non-profit Membership Body as well as being the only Paralegal body that is recognised as an awarding organisation by Ofqual (the regulator of qualifications in England & Wales). Through its training arm, NALP Training, accredited recognised professional paralegal qualifications are offered for a career as a paralegal professional: http://www.nationalparalegals.co.uk/
  • Paralegal vacancies are generally not well advertised so a good approach is to submit your CV to firms or organisations which you are interested in working for