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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, pupils, clerks and chambers’ staff.

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Lack of sleep

Over 30% of the British population experience sleep issues including insomnia and sleep apnoea.

Consistently poor sleepers are at much higher risk of early death than those who sleep well. Lack of this vital wellbeing ingredient leads to higher incidence of cardiovascular problems and raised risk of diabetes and obesity.

For confidential help, call

On calling, you will be asked to identify whether you are a self-employed Barrister, or a member of the IBC* or LPMA*

0800 169 2040

*See member area of IBC/LPMA websites for member access code.

Sleep appears to have some key physiological and psychological purposes.

Lack of sleep is also likely to result in you performing at a significantly reduced level because of poor quality, shortened sleep cycles. Whilst occasional bouts of bad sleep are part of a busy working life, we should all take steps to prevent this becoming the norm.

Primarily, sleep allows our bodies and minds recovery time. It also strengthens neural connections in the brain that form memories and process thinking.


Conversely, connections that no longer serve a purpose for us are pruned. Increasing evidence suggests that the brain also clears itself of protein and lipid waste when we sleep and this may indicate that sleep protects us from early cognitive decline (such as dementia related conditions).

Enhancing our health, wellbeing and performance through good quality sleep can be achieved through a number of practical steps.

Why do we sleep?

Scientists still don’t fully understand the purpose of sleep however we do know that it holds several vital keys to optimal functioning. We may admire business leaders and politicians who claim to survive on very little sleep, but in reality lack of sleep can have an impact as detrimental to our performance as alcohol impairment.

Tips for improved sleep

Stop smoking – smokers can take up to twice as long to fall asleep as non-smokers. This is quickly remedied after giving up smoking. A Pennsylvania State University study showed that the time taken to fall asleep was reduced by a third within only 2 days of giving up smoking.

Pre-sleep stretch / yoga – avoid cardiovascular exercise for up to 3hrs before bed.

No TV or smart devices in the bedroom – avoid using devices for at least 30mins before bed as the light from these devices interrupts the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol – avoid after midday. Although Alcohol promotes GABA (a neurotransmitter involved in managing stress and anxiety), it only achieves this for a very short period before it then starts depleting, causing sleep problems, anxiety and nervousness.

Nutrients – eat foods rich in tryptophan which converts to serotonin, the raw material for the sleep hormone melatonin. Oatcakes with tuna, chicken or turkey. Banana protein smoothie. Sunflower seeds or almonds or a small pot of natural yogurt with sunflower seeds and a banana.

Regular routine – quiet, dark bedroom at cool temperature, take a warm bath.

Dealing with ruminating thoughts – find a method that works for you. This may be a talking therapy, a meditation podcast or writing out your worries on paper.

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.

Get in touch Policy & practice

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