Contrary to popular belief, the term ‘barrister’ is not one that can be used interchangeably with ‘lawyer’ or ‘attorney’ – although it is on regular occasions. A barrister is a professional that deals with court litigation primarily, and criminal barristers specialize in the ‘white collar’ area of the law. Of course, this does not mean the barrister deals with specific clients exclusively and barristers will handle a full spectrum of offences for different authorities. This article will provide information on criminal barristers, criminal law, and how the barristers practise in this arena.

What Is It Like To Be A Criminal Barrister?

Nowadays, criminal legal practice tends to be on the road most of the time and barristers spend little time in their chambers. Armed with laptops, iPads and smartphones, barristers do not need to spend time in chambers except to make a telephone call and keep abreast of their next court appearance.

While the job may seem insular from the introduction above, the position of a criminal barrister is highly varied. In this position you will travel to different courts throughout the country, but this means you work longer hours than the typical ‘nine to five’ office worker. To primary attraction for any barrister is to enter Crown Court trials, but to reach this stage several hours of preparation with case analysis is required. It is time-consuming and you will work unsocial hours, but the experience of winning or losing cases can be exhilarating and worthwhile.

Is Criminal Law Recession-Proof?

When opting to enter the criminal legal field, there will be various rewards when you are successful; however, you need to reflect on the drawbacks that come with this career. Senior judges have described the situation of losing cases as being cut to the bone when there are already scars on the bone. If you choose to become a criminal barrister, particularly during a time of financial instability, this will affect your career dramatically.

One way to overcome any financial constraints placed on you is via discipline and commitment to the field. Remember that regardless of the pressures placed upon you, choosing a career that brings happiness will always be rewarding on an intellectual and social scale.

What Do Pupils Do In Criminal Law?

During the first six months as a student in criminal law, you will receive a supervisor to monitor progress and development. As an ‘intern’ you can learn from other criminal barristers and attend various types of court proceedings. This is the ideal opportunity to learn about advocacy and discover what works and what does not work. It is important to observe and retain this information because the next six months will have you conducting cases of your own. Remember that one day, you could be a successful QC like Michael Wolkind, if you put in the hard work now.

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