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Panicked in court

"I'm petrified about my next hearing and I have no idea how I am going to get through it."

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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

If you feel panicked about court – a court hearing in particular, or court in general, gently ask yourself why?

  • Is it because you feel out of your depth? If so, confide in a trusted colleague and ascertain if that is in fact the case – if so, take early steps to return the case to someone with more relevant expertise.
  • If it is because you are unsure of what is expected of you and you need some advice or guidance – then again speak with a trusted colleague (whether within your Chambers or in your wider network) and obtain the necessary support.
  • If you feel that the time frame for preparing the case is too short – then either return the case as soon as possible or seek an adjournment of the hearing at court with reasons in support.
  • Ask for a short break and find a colleague to talk it over with. Or ask to deal with a specific issue after the lunch adjournment.



  • A lack of rest can cause panic – rest/sleep on it if you can
  • A lack of preparation can cause panic – prepare in as tranquil setting as you can
  • A conflict of schedules can cause panic – simplify your tasks if you can
  • Consider always what is the “irreducible minimum” and act accordingly

“When we’re told ‘the only thing you have is your reputation’ it becomes impossible to even think of any possibility of error”.

Barrister, 5+ years’ Call

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’

1 in 3 barristers find it difficult to control or stop worrying