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  Michael Bohane
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Occupation Details

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Barrister

Job Zone

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€55k > 110 
Barrister
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€55 - 110 
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
SOLAS

Last Updated: March, 2013

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
-2%
Occupational Category

Barristers, Judges, Solicitors & Related Professionals

Also included in this category:

Advocates; coroners; circuit and district judges; legal advisers; legal consultants; justices' clerks

Number Employed:

10,700

Part time workers: 5%
Aged over 55: 24%
Male / Female: 54 / 46%
Non-Nationals: 1%
With Third Level: 100%
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At a Glance... header image

Represents people in court of law by stating their case before a judge and jury.


Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records: 1

Vivienne Breathnach
Lawyer Linguist-Barrister  
Vivienne completed a degree in Law and Irish in UCC, and after some further training completed a course for Lawyer-linguists at King's Inns. She now works as a Lawer-Linguist with the EU Commission and is based in Brussels.
Go to Interview  
 

The Work header image

A barrister is a legal professional who gives solicitors and other client’s legal advice. When members of the public initially seek legal advice, they typically consult a solicitor, but they will be referred to a barrister in the event that a court appearance is required.

The Barrister's role includes researching and preparing cases, writing legal documents, representing clients in court and cross examining witnesses.

There are approximately 5,000 Solicitors and 1,350 practising Barristers in Ireland. The main difference between the two professions is that Barristers have an effective monopoly of audience before the High Court, the Supreme Court and even the Circuit Court. In cases heard in these courts, the Solicitor prepares 'the brief' or file before the court hearing, whilst the advocacy and cross-examination in the courtroom is performed by the Barrister.  Even where litigation is not involved, if a difficult legal point arises, the Solicitor may refer the question to the Barrister for counsel's opinion.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Represent clients in court or before government agencies.

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Present evidence to defend clients or prosecute defendants in criminal or civil litigation.

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Select jurors, argue motions, meet with judges and question witnesses during the course of a trial.

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Study Constitution, statutes, decisions, regulations, and ordinances of quasi-judicial bodies to determine ramifications for cases.

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Interpret laws, rulings and regulations for individuals and businesses.

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Present and summarize cases to judges and juries.

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Prepare legal briefs and opinions, and file appeals in state and federal courts of appeal.

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Analyze the probable outcomes of cases, using knowledge of legal precedents.

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Examine legal data to determine advisability of defending or prosecuting lawsuit.

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Evaluate findings and develop strategies and arguments in preparation for presentation of cases.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others:  Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

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Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards:  Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

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Communicating with Persons Outside Organization:  Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Analyzing Data or Information:  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Law and Government:  Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Administration and Management:  Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

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Clerical:  Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Persuasion:   Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

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Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Negotiation:   Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.

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Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

To be a Barrister, one needs to be eloquent or at least fluent, capable of thinking on one's feet, and resourceful. It will be necessary to understand and interpret complex legal wording in clear basic English.  
 
Since the work is confidential an intending Barrister needs to be trustworthy and discreet. Mental and physical stamina are essential in order to cope with the long hours, travelling and stress.  
 
Barristers need interpersonal skills to work with other professionals, including solicitors, judges and other court staff.  
 
Whilst Solicitors do some advocacy in the lower courts, most of their work is concerned with interviewing and advising clients in their offices. So the message would seem to be that if you are particularly nervous of speaking in public, you should not think about becoming a Barrister, but could still contemplate joining the Solicitors' profession.


Entry Routesheader image

To become a barrister, you must first complete a number of academic courses and periods of vocational training to obtain the necessary minimum skills to do the job.

There are three stages to becoming entitled to practise as a barrister, namely the academic, vocational and pupilage stages.

Academic: You must obtain a Law Degree from a university or other approved third level institution. If you have a non-law degree, you can study for a two year Diploma in Legal Studies at the King's Inns instead of a third level law degree. Students over 25 with no degree can also take the Diploma course.

Vocational: When you have your law degree or diploma, you must pass an entrance examination (usually 5 legal subjects) into the King's Inns. If you pass, you may enroll in a one year fulltime course or a two year part time course in the King's Inns leading to the degree of Barrister-at-Law. The emphasis in these courses is on advocacy, procedure and practical matters.

Pupilage: Having passed the Barristers-at-Law degree from the King's Inns, students are called to the Bar of Ireland by the Chief Justice of Ireland. Before being allowed to practice on their own, barristers are required to do pupilage (commonly called "devilling" - on the job training) with a suitably qualified barrister in an established practice for a period of 12 months.

Last Updated: November, 2015


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Barrister - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Barrister - from:  Videojug [UK] Video
Go..Barrister - from:  GradIreland
Go..Barristers' Clerk - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Honorable Society of King's Inns
  Address: Henrietta Street, Dublin 1
  Tel: (01) 874 4840
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: The Bar Council of Ireland
  Address: Four Courts, Dublin 7
  Tel: (01) 817 5000
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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