Updated: Nov 21, 2019
"The Bar is an eminently competitive world in which the hours can be punishing and the work arduous, but the mix of high-octane excitement, advocacy opportunity and prestige is unique." - Chambers Student UK
We had the pleasure of chatting with Finn Hill - a final year Law student and Hi-R Mentor - about his work experience at the Bar. Here are his insights and tips for students considering a career as a Barrister.
How many mini-pupillages* have you done so far?
*Mini-pupillages are the internship equivalent at the Bar.
2 - Francis Taylor Building and 5 King's Bench Walk
How many pending?
2 Bedford Row, commencing 7th Jan 2019
Which sectors of law were your mini-pupillages in?
FTB is a public law set which focuses on planning and environmental issues, while 5KBW and 2BR are general crime sets. As many chambers have a wide breadth of experience, they will usually make an effort to tailor what you see during the mini-pupillage to your application. In the FTB application I mentioned that I was looking to experience some environmental law in practice, and the mini-pupillage involved exposure to a diverse range of environmental law practice. For 5KBW I mentioned a particular barrister whose work I found intriguing and the clerks made an effort to enable me to meet her, though she was working out of city.
What makes you want to go down the bar route as opposed to the solicitor route?
I was originally attracted to the independence of life at the bar - to the prospect of being self-employed. I believe that everyone is fundamentally accountable to themselves, and I believe that as a barrister your effort is most clearly and directly reflected in career progression. My understanding is that self-employment is possible as a solicitor (equity partner), but would take a long time/is unlikely. I also have enjoyed the theatrics of working at the bar and eccentricity of many of the barristers, and therefore believe I would enjoy the work-social life more.
I am also more attracted to the nature of the work as