A picture of a white man wearing a tabard and a wig and holding a book and a diploma

Taking a law degree opens so many doors when it comes to choosing what career path to take, it allows you to learn a multitude of key transferrable skills which can be used in lots of different areas of work.

Legal careers include; Solicitor, Barrister, Solicitor Advocate, Paralegal and others! These can be with Inns of Court, law firms and in house legal teams.

This series of blogs is going to break down the different routes you can take to achieve one of these careers, as well as reminding you of the opportunities and events provided by Essex Law School.

For more information on all of the different career paths you can take with your law degree, check out the ‘Careers Deevelopment’ page on Moodle!

As well as the Career Hub which is a great place to find out more and arrange meetings with Ann Ord to discuss career paths.

How to become a barrister?

A Barrister is an exciting career to take, as they are the people who stand up in court and represent clients. They are advised by solicitors on the case, and then present the case in front of a judge (and sometimes jury).

It is worth mentioning that barristers are self-employed – and they get given cases from their Chambers.

In order to become a barrister you must become a member of an Inns of Court; as well as completing you degree; a pupillage and the BVS/ BPC/ BPT in order to fully qualify as a barrister in the UK (these are the three components needed to qualify).

There are currently 4 Inns in England and Wales which are; Gray’s Inn, Inner Temple, Middle Temple and Lincoln’s Inn (you can only join one, and the deadline is 31st May)

The Vocational Component

The vocational component covers a range of subjects to ensure that you acquire the specialist skills, knowledge of procedure and evidence, attitudes, and competence to prepare you for becoming a barrister. Here is a list of some of of the routes:

• BVS = Bar Vocational Course

• BTC = Bar Training Course

• BPC = Bar Practice Course

• Or you can undergo an apprenticeship.

The Work-based Component

The work-based learning component of qualification is a recognised period of training commonly known as "pupillage" and consists of your gaining practical training under the supervision of an experienced barrister. Work-based learning (pupillage) is divided into two parts: a non-practising period, usually of six months, and a practising period, usually of six months.

• Essentially it is an apprenticeship, in which you work with experienced barristers.

• You would complete this after passing your Bar exams • You can also complete mini-pupillages which are similar to a full pupillage, but it is for a shorter amount of time, and it consists of just shadowing barristers.

This website provides a lot of good information on the different routes in which to become a barrister! Also: Have a look at the ‘Careers Development’ page on Moodle and have a look at the ‘how to become a barrister’ and ‘mini-pupilla’ pages for more information on this career path.