TARGETjobs black logo
Barrister’s clerks undertake the day-to-day business administration and running of a barrister’s chambers.

In Scotland barrister’s clerks (known as 'advocate's clerks') work for an 'advocates stable' and are employed by the Edinburgh based Faculty Services, part of the Faculty of Advocates.

What does a barristers’ clerk do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Barristers’ clerks work as administrators within barrister chambers. They keep chamber diaries up-to-date, calculate and negotiate fees for the work carried out and ensure every member is informed of their commitments.

Typical duties include:

  • negotiating and agreeing fees for cases
  • appropriately allocating cases to barristers, taking into account experience, availability, skills and specialisms
  • planning barristers’ workloads
  • negotiating and agreeing a timetable of required work
  • managing financial accounts
  • organising case fees collection
  • checking computerised diaries and court listings to avoid clashes in commitments
  • undertaking relevant research
  • carrying out administrative and business management activities
  • seeking work and marketing the chambers via events and seminars
  • keeping up-to-date with legal developments, particularly in specialist areas
  • liaising with solicitors and the Crown Prosecution Service
  • providing the client’s solicitor with information about progress or possible delays in cases
  • organising meetings between clients, barristers and instructing solicitors

By virtue of barristers’ busy schedules, the work of a barristers’ clerk can be demanding with long hours, heavy workloads and tight deadlines to match.

Vacancies can be found at the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks website, among others, and in local newspapers and publications.

Directories such as the TARGETjobs Pupillages Handbook and other professional publication provide useful contact information for networking and speculative applications.

Typical employers of barristers’ clerks

Barristers’ clerks work for barristers’ chambers, found mostly in London and other major cities, or practices clustered near regional law courts.

Qualifications and training required

Formal academic qualifications are not required for entry into the profession, although a degree in law may be advantageous.

Previous experience gained in a legal, business or court administration position is advantageous. Many chambers run work experience schemes that are usually heavily subscribed.

Once you have found a position, you can apply for membership with the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks, which awards networking and support benefits as well as access to discounted training seminars.

Barristers’ clerks usually start in a junior position, progressing in time to senior clerks, at which point they can expect a higher salary and greater responsibility within the chambers.

Key skills for barristers’ clerks

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both oral and written
  • Excellent organisational skills combined with good time and people management skills
  • A professional manner
  • Self-confidence, motivation and determination 
  • Good IT skills
  • Ability to handle high pressure, long hours and demanding deadlines

Next: search graduate jobs

Supported by

This describes editorially independent and objective content, written and edited by the GTI content team, with which the organisation would like to be associated and has provided some funding in order to be so. Any external contributors featuring in the article are independent from the supporter organisation and contributions are in line with our non-advertorial policy.

Advertising feature by

This describes content that has been written and edited in close collaboration with the organisation, who has funded the feature; it is advertising. We are committed to upholding our ethical values of transparency and honesty when dealing with students and feel that this is the best way not to deceive consumers of our content. The content will be written by GTI editors, but the organisation will have had input into the messaging, provided knowledge and contributors and approved the content.

In Partnership

This content has been written or sourced by AGCAS, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, and edited by TARGETjobs as part of a content partnership. AGCAS provides impartial information and guidance resources for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.

Did you know that members with full profiles are more likely to get direct messages from employers?

Don't miss this great opportunity. Register now