Barristers are regulated specialist legal advisors, known for representing people in court making their case for them. Barristers have a degree in law or have taken an extra course to convert their non-law degree to a law one (known as the conversion course or Post Graduate Diploma in Law (PGDL)). They must pass the Bar Professional Training Course and the Bar Aptitude Test, be a member of an Inn of Court, attending training provided by them. They have completed a one year pupillage (working with and assisting a qualified barrister who will sign off on their competency.  What do Barristers do? The Bar Standards Board describes their role as follows: ‘Barristers are regulated specialist legal advisors and court room advocates. They can provide a range of services, including:

  • representing people in court making their case for them;
  • advising their clients on the strengths and weaknesses of their case; and
  • starting a legal proceeding in a court on behalf of their client (providing they are specially authorised by us to do so).  

There are strict rules about what a barrister must do for the court and their client and they way they must behave. Barristers are also able to be mediators and be involved in all non-court processes.   Queen’s Counsel or QCs are the most senior barristers.