Barristers provide legal opinions on complex topics, research matters of law related to legal cases, negotiate settlements and advocate in court for their clients, giving legal opinions.
All Barristers must be members of the law library, the majority as junior counsel, but more experienced barristers will be recognised as senior counsel. Barristers practice throughout the country, but they are predominantly concentrated in Dublin, with smaller numbers in Cork and the remainder spread throughout the country.
As with solicitors, barristers can be divided into two broad categories, practising barristers and eEmployed barristers. Practising barristers are required to set themselves up as sole traders, meaning they may not work as part of a firm or company. Barristers will acquire their business via obtaining briefs from solicitors, rather than directly from clients. There are also barristers employed by organisations, including the state. The role of these Barristers is analogous to consultants. Crucially, as employees, they are restricted from performing the functions of a Barrister, so they may represent any client, including their clients, before the courts.
Not all cases are argued in front of the court, often they are settled or dropped before that step is required. But if it comes to court, it will be you standing up and advocating your side's case.
All Barristers qualify from the Kings Inn, taking the Barrister at Law degree. Following this they will spend a period of apprenticeship, minimum of twelve months, with an experienced barrister. It is here that they will learn the practical elements of acting as a barrister. Following this they will embark on their career, often the first five years of practice are difficult, due to the requirement to operate as a sole trader. But once established, it can be an extremely rewarding career.