A Day in the Life of: A Pupil Criminal Barrister

Game of Thrones, final season, the last two episodes. That’s pupillage.

The best part of my job?

Being an advocate for those who cannot do it for themselves. There is nothing more gratifying than a client who is sure that you have done everything you could to help them, whatever the outcome. Being a barrister is extremely exciting. Pitting your wits against some shockingly bright opponents and judges (keeping notes of the wins).

Meeting incredible humans from every walk of life. Dressing up. Sometimes you even get paid for it.

What do you need to qualify as a barrister?

There are many avenues to qualifying at the bar. Don’t be dissuaded if your current qualifications are not strictly academic because many have transferred from creative degrees / professions. You do need a brain that is capable of absorbing libraries of information and swiftly. Do your research, get yourself a mentor, be proactive. Anything is possible.

Why does diversity in the workplace matter?

Often the best person to seek advice from is someone who has walked a similar path to you. Experience and empathy are vital. We often take solace from a reflection, and that applies to clients too.

The bar has a very long way to go in adequately addressing racial issues and diversity in the workplace. My personal experience in getting to the bar has been difficult. If being a barrister is right for you, then like me, you’ll get there.

Jennifer Devans-Tamakloe of 23 Essex Street