Barristers’ clerks deal with the admin in barristers’ offices and organise the barristers’ workload.
Salary range: £15,000 to £60,000
How to become a barristers’ clerk
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
Some employers may expect you to have a university degree. A course in law or a related subject can be useful but is not always essential.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
Many firms will look for A level or equivalent qualifications.
Doing a college course like a Level 3 Diploma in Providing Legal Services could help you to prepare for this job.
You may need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You could get into this job through an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in legal services or business administration.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You could start as an admin assistant in a legal office and take further training on the job to work your way up. You’ll usually need:
- 4 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent, including maths and English
- experience in administration, legal secretarial work, accounts or management
Paid or unpaid work experience in barristers’ offices, called chambers, may give you an advantage when applying for jobs.
You can find out more about working as a clerk in a barristers’ office from the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- excellent verbal communication skills
- excellent written communication skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- knowledge of English language
- administration skills
- the ability to work well with others
- legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
What you’ll do
In this role you could be:
- preparing papers and taking books, documents and robes to and from court
- messenger work (collecting and delivering documents by hand)
- photocopying, filing and dealing with letters, emails and phone calls
- handling accounts, invoices and petty cash
- collecting fees
- organising the law library
- managing each barrister’s daily diary and keeping their case information up-to-date
- dealing with solicitors, clients and their barristers
- reorganising barristers’ schedules when necessary
You could work at chambers, in an office or in a court.
Career path and progression
With experience, you might become a senior barristers’ clerk, chambers director or practice manager. In this role, you’ll spend time:
- recruiting, training and supervising junior clerks
- bringing business into chambers
- allocating cases to barristers
- negotiating fees
You’ll also be responsible for the financial management of the chambers.