- Potential barristers will normally have a degree
- There is a non-graduate entry route (Two year CPE)
- Normally the degree is LLB Law (A qualifying law degree)
- If the degree is non law then the must complete the GDL/CPE (7 core subjects: Crime, Tort, Contract).
- Once the student has a GDL/CPE/LLB then they must complete the Bar Vocational Course (Focuses on advocacy, negotiation)
- Must be a member of one of the four Inns of Court (Licoln's, Gray's, Middle Temple, Inner Temple)
- Must dine at the Inn 12 times before being called to the bar or else attend a residential weekend course.
- Called to the bar
- Now they have to do pupillage
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- After they've been called to the bar
- "on the job" training"
- The trainee becomes a pupil to an experienced barrister
- The trainee will shadow them for 1X12 months or 2X6 months (Two pupillages)
- Must take part in continuing education organised by the Bar Council.
- In their second six, they can conduct their own cases.
- Paid a small salary- usually about half that of trainee solicitors.
- Competition is fierce, many can't find pupillages.
- After pupillage, the barrister must find a tenancy in chambers (Again notoriously difficult, many have to squat)
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- 15,000 barristers in England and Wales, supervised by the Bar Council
- Most are self employed but share costs by working together in chambers
- Some are employed by businesses and some are sole practitioners
Advocacy (Speaking on someone's behalf):
- Representing clients in court, criminal and civil cases.
- Hold conferences with their client to discuss certain aspects of their case. Often on the day of the hearing (Also when many will meet their barrister for the first time).
- Write opinions on instruction of a solicitor.
- Give their views on strengths and weaknesses of a case, evidence, law etc.
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Cab rank rule:
- If they have the time and skills and are offered a reasonable fee, then they have to accpet the case.
- Barristers usually find a way out.
Instructing a barrister:
- From 1989 professions can instruct a barrister, not just a solicitor.
- Those seeking direct access need a licence. E.g. Engineering Council
- Members of the public can, since 2003 go directly to a barrister in a number of cases, rather than needing to instruct a solicitor first.
- Have to be qualified for 3 years and undergone a course before they can od public access work.
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- 3000 barristers are employed by organisations e.g. local government, advice centres etc.
- After 15 years
- Must pay £1800 and then £2,250 if successful
- Application system has changed to make it more representational
- Can wear silk gowns
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- Client cannot sue for breach of contract, but can sue for negligence
- Negotiation. Client may speak to their solicitor, who may try to resolve the issue (with the Head of Chambers)
- The Bar Council: Must be contacted within 6 months
- Bar Standards Board: If there was poor service, then the barrister can be ordered to pay.
- Senate of the Inns of Court: Can discipline barristers and in extreme cases can disbar barristers.
- Legal Services Ombudsman: investigates complaints about all legal professions. Bar Council usually resolves issues.
- The complaints process is overseen by an independent Lay Complaints Commissioner.
- Can sue for negligence (Saif Ali v Sydney Mitchell 1980)
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