Monday, April 4, 2011
Here's the notice that appears on the U.K.'s Middle Temple Inn of Court website under the heading "Health Warning:"
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THOSE WISHING TO STUDY FOR THE BAR OF ENGLAND AND WALES
Is it right for you?
We are very glad that you are seriously thinking of pursuing a career at the Bar. However, you must think carefully about whether you have the potential to make a successful career as a barrister. A career at the Bar is very demanding, requiring high standards.
The Bar can offer an extremely rewarding career if you
• have a high level of intellectual ability;
• are highly articulate in written and spoken English;
• can think and communicate under pressure; and
• have determination and stamina and are emotionally robust.
Once you have satisfied yourself you have these qualities, and the potential to develop your knowledge and skills further, you should also consider some of the ‘facts and figures’ concerning a career at the Bar before you commit yourself.
. . . .
So, to make a realistic assessment of whether you are suited to a career as a barrister you should:
• Seek guidance from your university law tutors and careers advisers
• Go to the Inns and speak to their Education staff (they organise open days for university students)
• Find out more about the profession and look at the statistical information
• Try to gain relevant experience such as working for a law firm, doing a mini pupillage or marshalling for a judge
• Try to talk to people who have studied for the Bar, for example to a recently qualified barrister.
If you have faith in yourself, your capabilities and your potential to succeed after hard work and effort this should not discourage you. For good candidates, from whatever background, financial support (for example scholarships from the Inns of Court, or loans) is frequently available, and the final rewards - both in terms of job satisfaction and financial remuneration - can make it a very worthwhile career
Hat tip to Professor Larry Kreiger.