How to become a barrister

Represent, advocate, and defend your clients in courtrooms and tribunals.

Pathways to this career

  1. Complete an undergraduate law degree and earn a practising certificate in your state or territory.
  2. Pass the examination set by the Australian Bar Association (ABA), applicable to your state or territory; this will allow you to register for the Reader course.
  3. Complete the theoretical and practical aspects of the Reader course, including workshops, lectures and discussions combined with work experience under experienced and approved barristers.
  4. Become a member of the ABA as a practising barrister, for representation and continued professional development.

What does a barrister do?

Barristers are legal professionals who represent clients in court. They also conduct research, provide expert legal advice, confer with clients and witnesses, and act as mediators, arbitrators, referees or conciliators.

Duties and tasks

  • Cross-examine witnesses, study the evidence and draw conclusions.
  • Negotiate settlements between the client and other parties and draw up settlement documents.
  • Provide representation to clients in court.
  • Provide specialist legal advice and written views to solicitors, other legal professionals and clients.
  • Receive written briefs and verbal directives regarding cases from solicitors and clients.
  • Research and prepare cases.
  • Write up legal documents such as affidavits and pleadings.

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