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Behind-the-scenes job to keep legal eagles soaring; Careers as ... barristers' clerk Claire Reid finds out more about working in barristers' chambers.

What does a career as a barristers' clerk involve? As a barristers' clerk you would be responsible for dealing with the admin in a barristers' chambers and organising their workloads.

Your daily work would include general oce admin - photocopying, ling, dealing with letters and emails - as well as collecting fees; organising the law library; managing the barristers' diaries and making sure all case information is up to date; dealing with invoices; handling petty cash; liaising between solicitors, barristers and clients; preparing papers and taking documents and robes to and from court.

You would mainly be oce based but you will spend some of your time visiting court, solicitors oces and other chambers.

Hours will typically be standard oce hours, however, you may be required to work longer hours if a barrister is working on a complex case against a pressing deadline. Smart dress is required. What skills are needed? An interest in law as well as good communication skills, both written and spoken, are essential.

You will need to be organised and have good time management and time keeping skills; it will be your role to book diary appointments and make any schedule changes if necessary.

You should have a exible attitude towards your working hours as long and unsociable hours are sometimes part of the job; as is working under pressure and to strict deadlines. You will need a condent and professional manner, as well and tact and respect for condential information.

You should be able to work as a part of a team and have a good eye for detail.

Previous experience of working in a legal or oce setting may be advantageous. Some chambers oer work experience, which may help give you an edge over other applicants, particularly if you don't have any other relevant experience.

What training do you need? Most employers will expect you to have at least four GCSEs at A-C, including maths and English. However, some chambers may look for employees with A Levels or degrees (these don't have to be law related).

Usually you would start as junior clerk and learn on the job from more senior clerks. It's likely you will work towards a BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Chambers Administration for Barristers' Clerks. 'is is aimed at clerks with up to ve years' experience and takes around a year to complete. You will study four units that cover the English legal system, working practices, communication skills and a portfolio of your practical work. 'is is mainly done online and at small workshops.

What are the opportunities for career progression? With experience you may become a senior barristers' clerk, also known as chambers director, this role carries a lot more responsibilty. What is the salary? (Guideline only) Junior barristers' clerks can earn between PS15,000 and PS18,000 a year. With relevant experience, this can rise between to PS20,000 and PS35,000. some senior clerks to earn more than PS60,000.


A barristers' clerk ensures the smooth running .of life in chambers

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 26, 2015
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