A barrister’s clerk works as an administrator in barrister’s office. Duties include making certain that all documents, paperwork, robes, and books are transported to and from the court in an orderly manner, collecting paperwork and other data and ensuring that they are delivered properly, managing all paperwork and making certain that a barrister’s case file is accurate, keeping accurate records and entries in the barrister’s daily diary, making certain that the barrister’s schedules are well organised and making appropriate schedule changes as needed, keeping the law library in order, dealing with invoices, collecting fees and keeping accounts in order, acting as a go between clients and the barristers that represent them, and solicitors.
Barrister’s offices are also known as chambers. There are typically between three and five barrister’s clerks for every twenty barristers within one chamber. Promotion is possible, though it might be necessary to transfer to several chambers to gain enough experience to be promoted. When promoted, a barrister’s clerk will gain the title of practice manager or chamber director, commonly referred to as a senior barrister’s clerk. A senior barrister’s clerk has additional responsibilities including securing additional business for the chamber, managing the finances of the chamber and working out various fee structures, determining case loads and assigning barristers, and managing junior clerks, such as training, recruiting, and being in a supervisory positions.
Those considering a career, as a barrister’s clerk should ensure that they have advanced written and verbal communication skills, and a good sense of management as well as organisation, they must be confident and have the ability to work independently as well as part of a team. Being able to remain calm under pressure will also ensure that you can handle deadlines in a calm and professional manner. You’ll also need to make certain that you will not disclose any information as you will be dealing with subject matter that is confidential and personal.
To become a barrister’s clerk, you should first obtain at least four GSCEs with many A grades. Those with experience as a legal secretary, court administration, or management will find the entry process to be easier. You might be able to find a chamber that is willing to train you and provide work experience. This can be greatly beneficial and help you secure future positions. To begin, you would start as a junior clerk and receive on the job training from senior clerks. With experience, you will then obtain your BTEC advanced award in chambers. A newly trained barrister’s clerk earns between £15,000 and £18,000 per year. With experience and by obtaining a senior barrister’s clerk position, this can increase to anywhere between £22,000 and £100,000.