I am going to study to become a barrister. Which area of the law is the most interesting and how do you know? Do you have any experience? Also I need work experience ideas for law. I was thinking human rights or criminal law would be interesting, however with criminal law will I represent rapists or bad people? It is just I am an ethical person and I do not want to represent people who have done wrong and I know they have. What is the worst area of law you can go into? I just want your opinions guys
Which area of the law is the most interesting? Watch
- Thread Starter
- 15-08-2013 21:14
- 16-08-2013 10:12
I'm new on here, so I've no idea if this place is as plagued with trolls as the rest of the internet is, but I'll respond earnestly...
Only you can answer your question. Personally I find almost all areas of law interesting but have a good idea of which areas I'd find most interest to practice in on a day-to-day basis. So while I find intellectual property and human rights equally interesting, I can't tell you one way or the other which is "most" interesting, and certainly I can't dictate that to someone else. Ultimately no one will have practical experience of all areas of law, so everyone has to just figure it out based on what they enjoyed during their degree/GDL or through their TC/pupilage, assuming there wasn't a specific area of law that interested them prior to studying it.
Bear in mind that you might hate a subject you thought you'd love, and vice versa. I thought I would hate land law at university, but I actually quite enjoyed it. Conversely I was really keen to study employment law but, while I did enjoy it, I found that I was actually a bit useless at it ("a bit" being an understatement).
You've identified human rights and criminal law as areas you'd like to work in as a barrister. Will you have to represent rapists and bad people? Yes, you will. It's the CPS's job to prove a defendant's guilt, and it will be your job to make sure they meet the required standard when doing so. It's not just defending a potentially guilty man, it's defending all of the rights and protection that is afforded to every single one of us in a criminal trial.
On a more pragmatic point, as a criminal barrister you're going to struggle to make much money at first, or even at all, so turning away cases on ethical grounds is going to do nothing for your career or your bank balance. In any event, criminal barristers can't actually refuse an instruction (there's probably exceptions - I've little interest in becoming one so I've no idea on this point) so when John Q Rapist's file lands on your desk, that's it, he's your case to defend.
And therein lies another point - criminal law is very poorly paid and that's not going to get better any time, well, ever. There's a huge number of barristers (not just in criminal law) who drop out after a few years because they simply cannot afford to stay in the profession. So while you might find criminal law the most interesting, realistically in order to make a living you might be better off specialising in corporate tax law, for example. You might not find it interesting, but it's more likely to pay the bills. Sadly, the decision to earn a living doing something you don't like, compared to making ends meet in something you love, is a choice we nearly all face at some point in our lives.
And damn those who earn a fortune doing something they love!