A barrister specialises in advocating and representing a client or an organisation in court. These professionals are considered an independent source of legal advice that advises their clients on their specific cases. A solicitor will hire a barrister to represent his/her case in court. In fact, a barrister will only become involved when advocacy before a court of law is required. A barrister will plead the case on behalf of a solicitor and his client. On the other hand, a client can directly approach a barrister for legal advice and representation in a court of law. You can read about the process of approaching barristers directly as a client here. Becoming a barrister requires a set of academic and other important skills. Here are some of the top skills required by an individual to become a barrister.
A barrister has many responsibilities depending on his or her area of practice. Here are some of the tasks that should be handled by a successful barrister:
. Understanding and interpretation of the law
. Appearing on behalf of solicitors and clients
. Managing legal briefs
. Presenting arguments in court
. Representing clients in court
. Holding client conferences and preparing legal arguments
. Writing opinions – advising solicitors
. Performing legal research into specific points of law
. Examining and cross-examining witnesses in court
. Negotiating settlements and drafting legal documents
The barrister should have a wide array of qualifications and skills to fulfil his/her duty properly. You can begin a career as a barrister if you are a graduate in any subject. But if you are a non-law graduate, you should complete a law conversion program before you train as a barrister. You should complete the Bar Professional Training program – which is one year full-time or two years on a part-time basis. The pupillage training is essential to becoming qualified as a fully-fledged barrister. You need at least a year of practical training at an authorised pupillage training institute that operates under an experienced barrister. Here are some of the other skills that you need to have in order to qualify as a fully-fledged barrister.
. Academic ability and extensive research skills
. Interpersonal and advocacy skills
. Legal and commercial awareness
. Oral and written communication skills
. IT skills
. Self-discipline and self-motivation
. Time management skills
. The ability to stay calm under pressure
. Integrity and responsibility
Are you planning to qualify as a barrister? If so, there are many essential skills that you need to develop. The above article provides information on the top skills of a barrister.