How to Become a Barrister: the Ultimate Guide

Today, I’m here to reveal the hidden path to becoming a barrister, a legal profession that requires dedication and expertise. Have you ever considered the fascinating world of law and advocacy?

Did you know that barristers can earn substantial income between $135,678 and $173,949, with potential for growth and success in the legal field? ๐Ÿ’ผ

Barristers play a critical role in the justice system, representing clients in court and providing legal counsel. Their responsibilities extend from advocacy to research and the application of legal expertise.

I’ve had the privilege of knowing many accomplished barristers, and they’ve made significant contributions to the legal profession.

Whether you aspire to stand in courtrooms or provide expert legal advice, I’ve got you covered. ๐Ÿ‘‡โš–๏ธ

Questions you should ask yourself before deciding to start your career as a barrister

Are you aware of the hurdles you will face in the journey of becoming a barrister? Do you think you are mentally prepared to choose a career as a barrister and flourish in it? 

I have jotted down a few questions below that will help you make a wise decision in choosing your career. 

  1. Do you love studying law and legal matters? Do you have a passion for upholding justice?
  2. Do you possess strong analytical skills to work on strong, complex legal issues?
  3. Are you willing to pursue a high educational degree in law or other similar programs required to become a barrister?
  4. The career often demands a workload associated with legal practice. Do you think you can work for longer hours and manage stress accordingly?
  5. Do you have long-term objectives of becoming a barrister, and are you open to continuous learning and staying updated on legal developments?

If you honestly answered the above questions and think that you are capable of showing your commitment toward the field. Here is every detail you need to know to become a barrister.ย 

Who is a barrister?

A barrister is a qualified legal professional in England who holds a legal degree. They are highly experienced lawyers who specialize in specific areas of law, providing expert legal assistance. 

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for barristers has been projected to grow by 8% by the year 2032. 

Most barristers are self-employed and operate from chambers, collaborating with other barristers to share resources and expenses. Additionally, they may be hired as in-house advisers by banks, businesses, companies, and law firms. โš–๏ธ

Barristers excel in courtroom advocacy, offering expert legal counsel, representing clients in court, and providing written guidance. Unlike regular lawyers, barristers have limited direct contact with their clients, as solicitors typically instruct them on behalf of their clients. ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿ’ผ

Scope of barristers in the future

Barristers play an important role in backing the law and criminal justice in a country. Nonetheless, there is a high demand for barristers, and about 39,100 job openings are posted every year for the role of a barrister. 

The United States holds the largest share of global legal services in the market. All around the globe, barristers hold 45% of the legal services market share. 

If you are looking to work as a barrister in the United States, you may expect potential opportunities in the future. However, barristers also have doors open for them in globally recognized countries due to their high demand.ย 

Expert skills required to become a barrister

  • Deep understanding of legal statutes, principles, and case law
  • Proficiency in level research methods
  • Strong oral advocacy and presenting skills
  • Proficiency in drafting legal documents, pleadings, and opinions
  • Ability to analyze and assess legal issues
  • Adherence to high ethical standards 
  • Ability to respond in unexpected situationsย 

How much can a barrister earn?

As of June 26, 2023, the average salary for Barristers in the United States is $155,695. However, salaries can vary significantly, typically ranging between $135,678 and $173,949. 

Several essential factors influence these salary ranges, such as educational qualifications, certifications, additional skills, and years of professional experience.

For accurate and up-to-date compensation data, provides a comprehensive online platform to help individuals determine their precise pay target. ๐Ÿ’ธ

I have listed below the ways to become a barrister.

Acquire a legal qualification

  • Earning a bachelor’s degree in law is the initial stride toward a career as a barrister. This course cultivates vital skills in advocacy, ethics, research, and negotiation. 
  • The degree typically spans three to four years, depending on your study schedule. 
  • A high Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) enhances your employability. 
  • Alternatively, if your ATAR is not ideal or you possess an undergraduate degree in another field, you can pursue a two-year Juris Doctor degree instead of an undergraduate law program.๐Ÿ“

Undertake practical experience

  • Upon completing your undergraduate degree, you have the option to engage in supervised workplace training or practical legal training. 
  • This training, conducted by approved providers, typically spans several months to a year. 
  • It builds on the theoretical knowledge gained during your degree and equips you with hands-on legal skills. 
  • Additionally, it offers exposure to specific areas of practice, such as family, criminal, environmental, or consumer law. 
  • Some programs may provide the opportunity for moot court or mock trial experience, with barristers and judges mentoring you on courtroom procedures.๐Ÿ’ฏ

Seek admission to the bar

  • After completing your training, you can apply for admission to practice law in the state or territory where you intend to work. 
  • Submit the necessary documentation and adhere to the specified deadline for filing your application. 
  • Upon approval by the board, you will receive a notice of hearing, where you can officially enroll as a solicitor and barrister of the court by signing the Roll of Practitioners. 
  • The board will also issue you a practicing certificate, validating your eligibility to practice law in your jurisdiction.โœ…

Pass the bar examination

  • After being admitted, you can apply for membership in the bar, granting you the authority to practice as a barrister in your state or territory. 
  • State or territory admission automatically includes membership in the Australian Bar Association, allowing you to appear before any Australian court upon passing the Bar Reader’s Entrance Exam.๐Ÿ“‹ 
  • This exam evaluates your knowledge in areas such as civil and criminal procedure, ethics, and evidence. 
  • A minimum passing grade of 75% is required, and you can take the exam multiple times until successful.

Complete the Bar Readers’ Course and mentorship

  • Following bar admission, undertake the Bar Readers’ Course to gain practical insights into the barrister profession. 
  • This course equips you with the necessary skills to manage, market, and establish your own practice. 
  • It may also involve a mentoring period with an experienced barrister in your chosen field. 
  • After completion, you can work as a self-employed barrister, securing office space or chambers alongside other barristers.๐ŸŒŸ

Attain King’s or Senior Counsel status

  • Once you have amassed experience and demonstrated exceptional abilities or achievements, you can attain the prestigious titles of King’s Counsel or Senior Counsel, commonly known as silk. 
  • Both titles involve working on complex or unusual court cases. Appointments to these positions can only be made by a Supreme Court. 
  • With further experience, you can progress to become a magistrate or judge. 
  • Depending on your expertise and interests, you may transition from state and territory courts to the High Court, Federal Court, or Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.โœ…

Responsibilities of a barrister

Barristers, too, engage in a diverse range of legal endeavors beyond courtroom trials. Apart from representing clients in court, their daily duties may include legal research, case preparation, and consultations with solicitors. 

They might also handle paperwork, attend meetings, and provide legal guidance throughout the entire legal process. Here are some of the routine responsibilities of a barrister โคต๏ธ

Advocating for clients in court

  • One of the most important duties of a lawyer is defending clients in court. 
  • During hearings and trials, you will represent the interests of your clients, make legal arguments, and offer knowledgeable counsel. 
  • To achieve successful outcomes for your clients, you will need to be able to articulately explain and maneuver the courts.๐Ÿ‘จโ€โš–๏ธ

Preparing legal documents

  • Barristers are essential in the process as well. 
  • Their proficiency in clear and compelling writing assures the accuracy and impact of these critical documents, from drafting contracts and agreements to pleadings, submissions, and legal opinions. 
  • The success of their customers’ lawsuits and legal processes depends on their ability to comprehend complicated legal issues and translate them into thorough textual form.๐Ÿ“

The ability to manage and master legal briefs (cases)

  • The mastery and management of legal briefs or cases is a specialty of barristers. 
  • To create a compelling case strategy, they carefully examine the facts, legislation, and legal precedents. 
  • They deliver strong cases in court by organizing and synthesizing difficult facts. 
  • They must be able to manage several cases at once while keeping abreast of changing legal doctrines to give clients excellent representation and get favorable results in a variety of legal situations.๐Ÿ“‹

Negotiations for agreements

  • Barristers need to be adept in settlement negotiations. To find amicable solutions outside of court, they converse with the opposing parties. 
  • Barristers strive to safeguard the interests of their clients and settle legal issues in a way that is beneficial to all parties through skillful communication and calculated persuasion. 
  • To efficiently resolve matters and save time and money while obtaining the best results for their clients, they can negotiate difficult conversations with tact and expertise.๐Ÿ‘€

Presenting arguments in court

  • One of a barrister’s primary responsibilities is to present arguments in court. 
  • They persuasively present evidence and legal arguments to support their clients’ claims before judges and juries. 
  • Barristers fiercely defend the rights and interests of their clients in court by acting confidently and speaking persuasively. 
  • Their efficiency in obtaining favorable outcomes for their clients is a result of their capacity to act quickly, respond to opposing counsel, and adjust to changing courtroom circumstances.๐Ÿ‘จโ€โš–๏ธ

Tips to improve your barristering career

Starting a career as a barrister demands continuous growth and improvement. Embrace the opportunity to hone your legal skills, make a lasting impact, and pave the path to a successful and fulfilling journey in the legal world. 

By applying the suggestions and guidance in this article, let’s take a look! โคต๏ธ

Attention to detail

  • Paying close attention to detail is an essential skill in the legal profession and crucial to your career’s success. 
  • Even a single misplaced word can alter the meaning of a clause or contract, while errors in emails, letters, or documents can create a negative impression and cost your firm valuable business.โœจ
  • When seeking job opportunities or training contracts, employers scrutinize applications for spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. 
  • A well-crafted cover letter reflects professionalism and can positively influence a potential client’s perception of your legal expertise.

Effective communication

  • Effective communication is a vital aspect of a successful legal career, and lacking these skills can hinder your performance as a solicitor. 
  • Strong oral and written communication skills are essential for building relationships with clients and instilling confidence. 
  • Confidently presenting arguments in court, negotiating settlements, and explaining intricate legal matters to clients require persuasive, clear, and concise language. As a barrister, public speaking is a necessary skill. 
  • To improve these abilities during university, consider volunteering as a spokesperson in group activities or participating in debate teams.๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿ’ผ


  • Teamwork plays a pivotal role in achieving success in legal matters. 
  • Solicitors must cooperate with colleagues, partners, and clients, while barristers work closely with clerks and often collaborate with other barristers on high-profile cases. 
  • Possessing the ability to function effectively as a team member is a crucial skill in the legal profession. 
  • This skill entails interacting with individuals at all levels of the legal hierarchy, from trainees and pupils to members of the judiciary.๐ŸŒŸ

Information analysis and research

  • Information analysis and research are integral aspects of the legal profession. 
  • The ability to comprehend extensive information, process data and statistics, and condense it into manageable insights is essential. 
  • It is crucial to identify relevant details from a vast amount of information and communicate them clearly and succinctly to clients. 
  • Practicing this skill can be done by extracting the most important themes from lengthy documents or news articles and creating concise, bulleted lists. ๐Ÿ“

Top barristering courses in the United States

Aspiring barristers, if you aim to excel in your legal career, consider exploring the finest law degrees accessible to you. We’ll explore top law programs offered by esteemed universities and colleges in the United States. 

These prestigious courses, ranging from renowned law schools to established university programs, provide comprehensive training, expert guidance, and a platform for burgeoning legal talents to flourish. โคต๏ธ

Master of Laws

  • The Master of Laws (LLM) degree is a one-year (full-time) or two-year (part-time) program designed for students with a prior law degree. 
  • The program offers various specialized curricula based on the chosen area of expertise. 
  • Examples of these curricula include American law, international law, the legal systems of the United States and Canada, and comparative law. 

Master of Legal Studies

  • The Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree is intended for individuals seeking a comprehensive understanding of the law without the intention of practicing as lawyers. 
  • It appeals to candidates regularly dealing with legal matters and procedures in various fields such as law enforcement, human resources, regulatory agencies, or business. 
  • Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree and may need to submit letters of recommendation, a personal statement, resume and attend a personal interview. 

Master of Dispute Resolution

  • The Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) degree is designed for individuals seeking to work in organizations equipped with resolution and negotiation skills to handle challenging situations. 
  • This program typically spans up to two years, covering topics like dispute resolution, mediation, negotiation, arbitration practice, workplace issue identification, and conflict management. 
  • Applicants are required to hold a bachelor’s degree and submit letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement.

Top barristering Schools in the World

A career as a barrister might be destined for you if you possess qualities like eloquence, empathy, or a strategic mind. But being a barrister is more than just speaking in courtrooms. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ 

We understand where you should begin, as it takes years of dedication and hard work to master the legal craft. Here’s a list of the world’s top 5 law schools to kickstart your legal education. โคต๏ธ

Harvard University- Harvard Law School

  • Harvard University, the oldest institution in the USA, offers an LLB curriculum at its Law School to enhance students’ intellectual abilities. 
  • This program encompasses fundamental concepts, theories, and practical skills related to legal practice, establishing a strong groundwork for basic legal reasoning. 
  • The course covers various subjects, including civil procedure, constitutional law, criminal law, legislation, regulation, and torts. 
  • By studying these disciplines, students gain a comprehensive understanding of the US legal tradition, governing structures, and the overall legal system.

Stanford University (Stanford Law School)

  • Stanford University, a private research institution established in 1885 in the USA, offers an LLB program tailored for students both from the US and abroad, regardless of prior legal training. 
  • This program aims to provide interdisciplinary research opportunities and a profound understanding of the theoretical foundations of the legal system. 
  • Throughout the academic year, students undergo a comprehensive legal education, exploring the intersection of law with various fields. 
  • Pursuing this degree course offers a diverse and enriching learning experience.

New York University (NYU School of Law)

  • New York University (NYU School of Law) provides the LLB program, alternatively offered as the JD (Juris Doctor) program. 
  • This comprehensive course prepares students to delve into various legal aspects, including corporate law, criminal law, constitutional law, international law, environmental law, and legal philosophy. 
  • With dedicated academics and experienced administration, students receive full support in achieving academic and professional success.

Columbia University (Columbia Law School)

  • Columbia University, specifically Columbia Law School, offers a Dual Joint Degree program in LLB, enabling students to shape their intellectual curiosity and career aspirations. 
  • The course allows students to explore ten dual degree programs within Columbia University and offers a Joint degree program with the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. 
  • Throughout the academic journey, students will interact with knowledgeable law faculty who bridge theory and real-world applications in the classroom. 

University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley School of Law)

  • The University of California, Berkeley (UCB) is a renowned public research university. The LLB course provides flexibility based on student interests while delivering a strong grounding in the fundamentals of US law. 
  • The program encompasses Berkeley Law’s challenging curriculum and esteemed faculty. 
  • Students will have the opportunity to learn from top academics and exceptional educators, gaining essential knowledge about various areas of law in the US and other countries.

Where to find barristering opportunities online?

In today’s digital age, the internet has become a powerful tool for barristers to explore a diverse array of legal roles and connect with professionals worldwide. 

This guide will assist you in navigating the online landscape and identifying ideal legal opportunities that align with your goals and ambitions, whether you’re just starting or aiming to enhance your legal portfolio. โคต๏ธ

National Association for Law Placement

  • The National Association for Law Placement (NALP) is an organization comprising legal professionals dedicated to supporting law school graduates and practicing attorneys by promoting a just and ethical hiring process. 
  • NALP offers a job board, which necessitates site registration for application.

  •, an early pioneer in online job websites, offers an extensive selection of job opportunities. 
  • Their advanced search features enable users to search by job title or employer name while also allowing filters for location, posting date, and job type (full-time or part-time).

  •, another prominent job search platform, provides legal placement opportunities alongside its primary job search feature. 
  • Beyond job listings, CareerBuilder offers valuable resources such as interview tips and salary data to assist job seekers in their career endeavors.

  • is a distinct job search platform tailored specifically for practicing attorneys and in-house counsel. 
  • Noteworthy for its extensive search options, users can explore opportunities not only through keywords or location but also by practice area or job type. 
  • This specialized website caters to the specific needs of legal professionals seeking career advancement.


  • LawCrossing, as one of the pioneering job websites catering exclusively to the legal industry, ensures applicants find relevant opportunities aligned with their interests. 
  • Although the website offers a smaller volume of job listings compared to larger platforms, this focused approach allows applicants to avoid unrelated search results and concentrate on legal-specific opportunities that best suit their career goals.

Key takeaways

Jumping on a career as a barrister may seem daunting, but with determination and dedication, you can achieve great heights. 

In my opinion, give your best, work diligently, seize various opportunities, and success will be within reach. You have the potential to excel in the legal world! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘จโ€โš–๏ธ

However, if you still have any doubts and need additional tips to accomplish as a barrister. Feel free to drop a comment in the comment section below, and we will get you covered. All the best! 

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