There exists a wide array of professions that offer good salaries. However, many job aspirants do not just want money but also want prestige that comes from being part of a glorified profession. Take for example, the legal profession, specifically being a barrister. A barrister is distinct from a lawyer, although both have the same legal education. Barristers do not directly deal with individuals seeking legal help. Instead, they work with solicitors who act as the point of contact for general public.
Progressing to the role of barrister is possible only after doing hard work as a lawyer or attorney for several years, sometimes even decades. In these years, the aspiring barrister gains in-depth knowledge of the legal systems, administrative proceedings of courts of law, and the nitty-gritty of jurisprudence. These skill sets are mandatory requirements for becoming a barrister, often coupled with a minimum number of years spent as a practicing lawyer.
Barristers are much more adept at oration skills, debating skills, analytical skills, and reading between the lines. These skills ensure that barristers are fully prepared to represent their clients – solicitors in matters of debate during actual court sessions presided over by a jury. It may appear simplistic; however, being under the eye of court scrutiny can unsettle most lawyers. Barristers typically gain proficiency in doing so through years of painstaking practice.
Barristers cannot independently handle a client’s case. They require assistance from other legal professionals such as drafting clerks, solicitors etc. to prepare for the actual courtroom day. If it were not for these professionals, barristers would not win a single court case for their clients.
Barristers specialize in specific categories of law. The simplest distinction can be made between barristers that work on civil law suits and those that work on criminal law suits. However, even civil law barristers do not handle all kinds of civil law cases. In reality, barristers limit themselves to niche areas such as intellectual property and patents law suits, company law suits, individual taxation law suits etc. Similarly, criminal law barristers can specialize in homicide law, sexual offense related laws, juvenile delinquency laws etc.
While barristers can practice independently, most of them choose to associate themselves with one or the other professional law firms. Such an association helps the barrister to maintain a steady stream of court cases, and therefore, a steady source of income. It also helps them leverage the knowledge of other colleagues who are also attached to the same law firm.