Skip to content

I need help

Help for barristers

Barristers inherently face very specific challenges on a daily basis. If you need some help click on support to find contact details and advice on seeking support.

Get help

Help for clerks and staff

The professional lives of clerks and chambers’ staff include many potential stressors. If you don’t know how to broach an issue, want advice on your options.

Get help

Help for students and pupils

These resources have been designed specifically for those who have completed their BPTC and for pupils up to tenancy.

Get help

Resources

Our vision

Find out what Wellbeing at the Bar aims to achieve.

Read more

Policy & practice

Guidance on how to introduce wellbeing policies and initiatives and on tackling a wellbeing issue in chambers.

Read more

Media pack

Logos and banners to help you to promote wellbeing.

Read more

Case studies

Examples of successful wellbeing initiatives adopted by chambers, Specialist Bar Associations and the Inns of Court.

Read more

Support

Support for barristers

Who to talk to, how to get help in coping with the pressures and demands of life at the Bar.

Get support

Support for clerks and staff

Who to talk to and how to get help, resources are for clerks and staff themselves.

Get support

Support for students and pupils

Who to talk to and how to get help for those who have completed their BPTC and for pupils up to tenancy.

Get support

Assistance programme

The confidential 24/7 helpline with access to counselling for barristers, pupils, clerks and chambers’ staff.

Get support

Close

Search

Message from the Chair of Wellbeing at the Bar

I have thought a lot about what to say in this message, how to even begin to address the enormity of what has been happening. At the time of writing, two of my dear friends have lost their mothers. Neither of them was able to be there at the end.

 

In the context of such universal loss, I worry that it seems self-absorbed to be thinking about work. The issues that are particularly close to home at the moment are cases coming out of the diary at the rate of knots, the uncertainty about whether the next day’s hearing is going ahead, the demands of remote hearings, not just technologically, but also the fact that they are physically very tiring and seem to require much more concentration than usual, that clerks and members of staff are being furloughed and you feel that somehow you have let them down, even though it makes financial sense.

 

A great source of comfort in these times is the camaraderie at the Bar: the fact that we choose to remain connected with each other by email, WhatsApp, Twitter and Zoom, a reminder that we are all in the same boat and not struggling with this on our own.

 

On 2 April I chaired a Wellbeing Working Group meeting attended by representatives from all areas of the Bar, including the Inns of Court, the Employed Bar and the Young Barristers’ Committee, together with representatives from the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks. It was reassuring to see everyone working so hard to try to make this horrible situation better for their colleagues. We all shared our concerns and experiences to date, and agreed to remain in touch about emerging issues. We are regularly exchanging resources which may be useful for all of us in these times, so please keep an eye on the Wellbeing at the Bar website for updates: https://www.wellbeingatthebar.org.uk.

 

If you are able to do so, please promote and take part in mentoring schemes, to help provide encouragement and support to those who would really welcome it right now. Also remember that the free and confidential Assistance Programme is available to anyone at the Bar who would benefit from some counselling: https://www.wellbeingatthebar.org.uk/assistance-programme/.

 

Please stay safe and well and keep in touch. I am thinking of you all.

 

Vicki Wilson

15 April 2020