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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.

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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.

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Help for students and pupils

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

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Our vision

Find out what Wellbeing at the Bar aims to achieve.

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Policy & practice

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

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Media pack

Logos and banners to help you to promote wellbeing.

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Case studies

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

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Support for barristers

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

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Support for clerks and staff

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

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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.

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Assistance programme

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

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Excessive workload

"I can't cope with how much work I have to do now."

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There are a range of organisations which can help with specific issues. Click here for some advice on seeking help and for a list of organisations and their contact details. Support

Ways to deal with an excessive workload

  • Ask for help. Your clerks will assume that you always want more work. Sometimes more work is counter-productive and your clerks need to know this. If you are very junior and don’t feel able to ask for time out of court, you may need a more senior ally. Find a trusted colleague to help you with this.
  • Buy some time. Identify everything that has any possible room for movement. Remember that you are not the only person with an excessive workload, and that your opponents, your instructing solicitor, other advocates in your case and judges are probably struggling too. Even if they are not they will almost certainly understand the pressure you are under. Make contact with the other people involved in your cases and try to negotiate some latitude. Even when deadlines have passed this is worth doing.. People are more likely to respond sympathetically if you are upfront about your difficulties. Your practice is not going to collapse if you do this.

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  • Make a list. Uncertainty exacerbates panic so try to be as clear as possible about what you actually have to achieve. Write a chronology of your deadlines. Separately identify everything that is already overdue and by how long.
  • Ask for help, again. If making a list is too daunting, ask someone to act as a sounding board.
  • Be realistic. Refer to your list, establish what your irreducible minimum is for today and stick to it. Do not try to think about dealing with anything else unless and until you have finished it.
  • Ask for more help. Again. Some things cannot be delegated, other things can. It is counter-intuitive, but stop thinking that you have to do everything, and perfectly. Identify what support can properly be found in pupils, colleagues, your instructing solicitor and clerks.

“I think the most difficult issue for all practitioners is to admit they are struggling. There is probably an in-built resistance to seeking help from a medical professional and even if you take that step the last thing you want to do is then share your problems with your colleagues and clerks. Crazy really, if you broke your leg you would have no problem seeking medical help and talking to your clerks about your enforced absence from work”

Barrister, 25+ years’ Call

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The information and resource packs on this website are designed to help you and your colleagues to work as a community for better wellbeing and professional resilience. If you want to provide feedback on these resources, or to get involved in promoting wellbeing please get in touch.


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It can be difficult to make a living from law and it can be pressurised and demanding. Competition and an adversarial approach to everything can make collegiate relationships difficult. This website aims to provide you with the knowledge to manage these stressors, make emotionally informed, wise professional decisions and thrive in your chosen profession.

A simple expression that sums up wellbeing is ‘travelling well’

2 in 3 barristers feel that showing signs of stress equals weakness