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Working in a barristers’ chambers involves a busy and paper-filled environment. Barristers’ clerks perform a vital role in the successful and organised running of a chambers. Their role is mainly administrative, acting as a secretary or assistant to the barristers, but they also require specialist knowledge in legal practices.
Barristers’ clerks will organise the workload of all the barristers in a particular chambers. This can involve a variety of administrative daily tasks, such as:
Barristers’ clerks will usually start off in a junior role, learning the skills on the job by shadowing a senior barristers’ clerk. Senior clerks have advanced knowledge of particular chambers’ barristers and specialities, and so have more important roles such as allocating cases to barristers and hiring and training new staff.
Barristers’ clerks will often work for around three years as a junior before being promoted to a senior role. There is a high level of familiarity with court etiquette required, as well as a necessary knowledge of legal practices. Barristers’ clerks will usually work normal office hours, but if a case is complex or a barrister’s diary is particularly busy, they may be required to work longer hours.