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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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Mistake at work

"I think I made a mistake that may cost me my tenancy!"

The early years of practice are your most vulnerable, and it is common for pupils to make some mistakes while finding their feet.  What is critical is the way you respond.

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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

Here are some tips when dealing with a possible mistake

  • Rationalise – There is a major difference between real errors (negligence) and poor judgments on tactical issues.
  • Take a step back – Some (most) barristers are ruminators and perfectionists, and as a result, are masters at replaying events and wishing they had done something else. Take a step back, pause, and try not to obsess over a situation that you cannot change.
  • Analyse the situation – ask yourself whether this was a negligent error or a poor judgment call?
  • Take control – after evaluating the situation, take ownership of your actions. Whatever you think can be done to remedy the situation, take steps to do so.

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  • Speak up – If you made an error and could face disciplinary action or a professional complaint as a result, the best thing would be to share with your Pupil Supervisor or employer. There is nothing worse, for magnifying the scale of the problem, than internalising.
  • Ask a colleague – Seek the views of others in chambers, a mentor or another barrister friend for their view of the issue.

“I now accept that as a human being first and foremost, one makes mistakes, however as long as we learn from them then that’s ok.  It’s a much more forgiving and a humane perspective on not just work, but life in general”.

Barrister, 5+ years’ Call

Where can I find out more?

Contact Bar Council’s Ethical Enquiries Service

Tel: 020 7611 1307 (Monday – Friday 09:15 – 17:15)

Email: Ethics@BarCouncil.org.uk

Pupillage Helpline: 020 7611 1323

(09:15-17:15 Monday-Friday)

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If you would find it easier to read this content as a document, please download it here.

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The information and resource packs above are designed to help you during a very specific period in your training to become a barrister. If you want to provide feedback on these resources, or to get involved in promoting wellbeing amongst those in a similar position to yourself please get in touch.


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Training to become a barrister is pressured and demanding. Intensive competition for limited pupillages (and when in pupillage for tenancy or employment) can make collegiate relationships difficult. This website aims to provide you with the knowledge to manage those stressors, make emotionally informed, wise decisions and hopefully 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