Other careers

Employed Bar

  • Some commercial barristers work in salaried employment rather than in self-employed independent practice. Essentially, instead of supplying legal services to a range of potential clients, employed barristers only do so to a single entity, their employer.  They are subject to most of the same regulatory supervision and oversight as self-employed barristers. Around 20% of all barristers are at the Employed Bar although it is fair to say that in the commercial sphere the percentage is lower.
  • Some organisations such as the Government Legal Service offer pupillages to prospective employed barristers, although it is more common for barristers to transfer to the employed bar after qualification. Other organisations employing barristers include charities, solicitors’ firms and the Bank of England.


  • Barristers’ clerks offer support services to self-employed barristers such as managing diaries, liaising with court staff, negotiating fees and collecting payment on the barristers’ behalf. Barristers and clerks work closely together, including in relation to development of an individual barrister’s practice. Clerks also often help with administration and decision making within chambers.
  • Some clerks enter the clerking profession straight from school and start in junior roles undertaking office support roles as well as helping transport barristers’ papers to and from court. An increasing number of clerks are recruited as graduates or from other professions.
  • Introductory training is available in the form of BTEC qualification designed specifically for barristers’ clerks. Further information, including a list of job vacancies can be found on the website of the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks at www.ibc.org.uk. Jobs are also available through legal recruitment agencies or advertised on chambers’ websites.