“In England and Wales, the legal profession is split into two main groups: barristers and solicitors, with legal executives making an increasingly important contribution. There are over 16,000 practising barristers, but over 136,000 solicitors.
Although most barristers are self-employed, they don’t work in isolation, but tend to group together in offices known as ‘chambers’, to which they pay ‘rent’ to cover the cost of the building and its staff.
Traditionally, barristers had to be instructed by solicitors, and most of the Bar’s work still comes from this source, although since 2004, members of the public have been able to instruct barristers directly through the Public Access Scheme.
There are three main components involved in becoming a barrister: an academic component, comprising an undergraduate degree in law or an undergraduate degree in a non-law subject with the Graduate Diploma in Law; a vocational component, comprising study for the vocational qualification; and a work-based component, consisting of work-based learning/pupillage.
Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT) is the entry point to become a Barrister .
The BSB is the independent regulatory body established by the General Council of the Bar for the regulation of legal services by barristers and BSB authorised entities in England & Wales. The BSB’s powers arise from various statutes and regulations including the Legal Services Act 2007 (“the Act”).
If you want to train to become a barrister, the Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA) offers a new two-stage approach to Bar Training.
Many barristers choose to apply to become judges later in their career; in fact, the majority of higher court judges are former barristers. Many barristers also sit as parttime judges (for example, as recorders, Deputy District Judges or Tribunal Chairs)
whilst still practising at the Bar.
The BSB Handbook contains the rules about how barristers must behave and work. It also contains the Code of Conduct for barristers. The Bar Standards Board is a specialist regulator focussing primarily on the regulation of advocacy, litigation and legal advisory services. These legal services have a close relationship to access to justice and the rule of law.The BSB is responsible for setting the educational and training requirements for becoming a barrister, continuing training requirements and codes of conduct for barristers, monitoring the services provided by the Bar, handling complaints against barristers and taking disciplinary actions against them
A New Bar Qualification Rules came into force in April 2019
The Bar Qualification Rules require the BSB to set out a number of minimum requirements in relation to the activities of the Inns of Court.
The Bar Council is the lead professional body for all practising barristers in England and Wales. In order to practise, all barristers must be registered with the Bar Council and prove every year that they have developed professionally through training and other learning opportunities. The Bar Council is the approved regulator of the Bar, but it discharges these functions through the independent Bar Standards Board (BSB).
The Council of the Inns of Court is a Company Limited by Guarantee; Company No. 8804708.
An individual must be admitted as student member of an Inn in order to complete compulsory aspects of training before Call to the Bar and to facilitate the fit and proper person checks that are required as part of that process. Once a student is a member of an Inn, and before they are Called to the Bar, their conduct will be overseen, and any concerns managed, by their Inn to ensure that only those who are fit and proper to practise as a barrister can be Called to the Bar.
Have a knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and principles of public and private law. They will have a good understanding of the general principles of law underpinning the legal system of England and Wales, including the implications of EU law, and be able to apply this as necessary.
a)Be able to recall and comprehend and accurately apply to factual situations the principles of law and rules of procedure and practice specified by the Bar Standards Board.
b) Be able to keep up to date with significant changes to these principles and rules. The above Competence incorporates the need for prospective barristers to have covered the “seven foundations of legal knowledge” subjects: Criminal Law, Equity and Trusts, Law of the European Union1 , Obligations 1 (Contract), Obligations 2 (Tort), Property/Land Law, Public Law (Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Human Rights Law).
A prospective barrister must commence the vocational component of training for the Bar within five years of completion of the academic component of training.
See the full Manual
Source: Bar Council of UK
Lincoln’s Inn (www.lincolnsinn.org.uk)
Inner Temple (www.innertemple.org.uk)
Middle Temple (www.middletemple.org.uk)
Gray’s Inn (www.graysinn.org.uk)