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Barrister's clerk

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Barristers' clerks deal with the admin in barristers' offices and organise the barristers' workload.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,000 to £60,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent, including maths and English
  • experience in administration, legal secretarial work, accounts or management

Many firms will also look for A levels or a degree, although these don't necessarily have to be in law. 

Paid or unpaid work experience in barristers' offices (chambers) may give you an advantage when applying for jobs.

Doing a college course in legal studies could also help you to prepare for this job.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent written and spoken communication skills
  • the ability to pay close attention to detail
  • tact and respect for confidential information
  • the ability to work under pressure and to deadlines
  • excellent negotiation and financial skills, for senior jobs

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • preparing papers and taking books, documents and robes to and from court
  • messenger work (collecting and delivering documents by hand)
  • photocopying, filing and dealing with letters, emails and phone calls
  • handling accounts, invoices and petty cash
  • collecting fees
  • organising the law library
  • managing each barrister’s daily diary and keeping their case information up-to-date
    dealing with solicitors, clients and their barristers
  • reorganising barristers' schedules when necessary

With experience, you might become a senior barristers' clerk (chambers director or practice manager). In this role, your day-to-day duties could include:

  • recruiting, training and supervising junior clerks
  • bringing business into chambers
  • allocating cases to barristers
  • negotiating fees
  • financial management of the chambers

4. Salary

Starter: £15,000 to £20,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: Up to £60,000 (senior clerk)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work standard office hours Monday to Friday. You may need to work longer if your barristers are working on a complex case.

You’ll be based in an office in chambers, but spend some of your time visiting court, solicitors and other chambers.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to senior clerk.

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Last updated: 18 April 2018