FantasticMsFox
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I'm thinking of becoming a Barrister's Clerk and starting as a junior clerk.

What could I get in terms of salary? I know that they could earn at least £10,000 per annum. I live in London so if I work in Central London then would my salary be higher than in other places?

How many hours a week would I be working?

What would my duties be? I know that junior clerks would be doing general admin but what else would they be doing?

I've been looking for work experience as well to do in the Summer Holidays. How many weeks would it take?

I'm doing A-Levels at the moment.
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happyinthehaze
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(Original post by FantasticMsFox)
I'm thinking of becoming a Barrister's Clerk and starting as a junior clerk.

I can try and help you - I am a trainee sol though, so don't know all the answers you need!


What could I get in terms of salary? I know that they could earn at least £10,000 per annum. I live in London so if I work in Central London then would my salary be higher than in other places?

It is likely a bit more in London than other places as salaries are higher here. Google job ads in the law Gazette and see



How many hours a week would I be working?

Ha! I don't know - you need to get you a clerk to ask. I would imagine that clerks are employees of Chambers - you may already know that barristers are self-employed and band together in chambers - they will pay a percentage towards their rent, I guess, and the staff. It is fair to say barristers do work long hours. I would hazard a guess that a clerk is also going to work pretty long hours - they MAY have a system where they work shifts to cover long hours where necessary though - the bar can be quite unpredictable, with work coming in on very short notice - thus the night out you thought you were having is cancelled


What would my duties be? I know that junior clerks would be doing general admin but what else would they be doing?
Well - this is just from watching them work - when an experienced clerk, you book in all the work for the barristers, so the sols when they need counsel come to you and ask for availability. I do believe that ultimately, the clerks are the guys to know. So the sols send the documents in for the counsel's attention, and they send it in to the clerks so the clerks or junior clerks will copy and file the papers for the Counsel. They also run paperwork around for Counsel between clerks - I imagine they are involved also with the charging of time for Counsel etc. They liaise with the clients ie the sols and indeed the public in some cases I guess, given the new access to a barrister schems

I've been looking for work experience as well to do in the Summer Holidays. How many weeks would it take? You can probably do from a day to months...try and find a clerk to talk to - if you are anywhere in London then go and hang out at the RCJ - and have a word with any suited and booted chaps rushing between the RCJ and Temple - they will be clerks!! You can get in the RCJ no bother

I'm doing A-Levels at the moment.
good luck
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Crazy Jamie
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I'm not a clerk, but as a practising barrister I'll do my best to give you as much information as possible from my perspective.

What could I get in terms of salary? I know that they could earn at least £10,000 per annum. I live in London so if I work in Central London then would my salary be higher than in other places?
Salaries are usually higher in London relatively speaking simply because it is a more expensive place to live and work, though I simply don't know whether that would extend to clerking as an industry. There is no set pay scale that I am aware of for clerking as a whole; as far as I know it very much comes down to the approach of each individual Chambers. I would be surprised if a junior clerk's salary anywhere in the country was less than £10,000 pa, but the reality is that I don't know.
How many hours a week would I be working?
Generally speaking a full time role would be Monday to Friday during Chambers' opening hours, which are normally 9am to 6pm, though is with any job there will always be people who work part time or who do not work on particular days, though that will all be negotiated on an individual basis.
What would my duties be? I know that junior clerks would be doing general admin but what else would they be doing?
It depends on the Chambers. In larger sets junior clerks are not so much clerks as admin assistants, and do little more than general admin duties, though in fairness I don't know whether they are actually employed as clerks or not. It may be that they are not employed as clerks. In smaller sets, or smaller clerking teams, junior clerks do the aforementioned admin work, but may well also do other things such as answering phones, taking diary bookings and such. The ideal aim being that junior clerks eventually develop the skills required to do more substantial clerking. A 'fully fledged' clerk undertakes a plethora of roles that culminates in them juggling a lot of different tasks in managing barristers' practices. It is difficult to explain what that entails to someone who doesn't have experience of it in practice, but suffice to say that any barrister will tell you that a good clerk is worth their weight in gold. All junior clerks will differ in what they actually do, but it will usually be some individual elements of what the more experienced clerks are doing, the aim being that over time the junior gains the skills and experience needed to take on the wide elements of the role.
I've been looking for work experience as well to do in the Summer Holidays. How many weeks would it take?
Depends entirely on what an individual Chambers is willing or able to offer you. Work experience for clerking is rarely, if ever, actively advertised, so it would be a case of getting in touch with your local Chambers directly. I would have thought that most Chambers would give you work experience for a week or so.
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FantasticMsFox
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happyinthehaze - Thank you very much! Thank you for taking the time to help me. By the way, you mentioned hanging out at the RCJ. How do I get in the RCJ in order to talk to the clerks?


Crazy Jamie - Congratulations on being a practising barrister. Also, thank you very much for the information.

So you don't know what a junior clerk's salary would be in London? Would it be more than £12,000?

9am to 6pm? Including travel time (an hour each way), that would be a long day for me. Would it be possible to work part time after I've worked full time for 2-4 years?

So if I was to work for a Chambers in Central London then what duties would I have? Would I still have general admin duties?

Regarding work experience, how long do you think the hours would be?

(Crazy Jamie, I apologise if I've asked questions that you've already answered. Thank you for taking the time to help me.)
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Crazy Jamie
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(Original post by FantasticMsFox)
So you don't know what a junior clerk's salary would be in London? Would it be more than £12,000?
I have no idea. As I said, there is no set pay for clerks. It will likely differ from set to set as well as from clerk to clerk. Given the nature of the role I doubt it would be less than £10,000, but the reality is that I don't know.
9am to 6pm? Including travel time (an hour each way), that would be a long day for me. Would it be possible to work part time after I've worked full time for 2-4 years?
It would be a long day for most people, but that is the reality of working life. A 45 hour working week isn't uncommon. Whether or not the position would be available part time from the start or subsequently depends entirely on the Chambers. There is no set rule on that, though it is worth noting that the majority of clerks are full time.
So if I was to work for a Chambers in Central London then what duties would I have? Would I still have general admin duties?
I can only repeat my answer above but yes, as a junior clerk in Central London you would almost certainly have admin duties.
Regarding work experience, how long do you think the hours would be?
Probably the same as Chambers' opening hours, perhaps a little shorter. It will again be down to the individual Chambers, so you'll have to enquire directly with some that are local to you and see what they say. But just to make this clear, there is nothing unusual about a 9am until 6pm working day. That may seem like a long day for an A-Level student, but it's not for someone who is working for a living, so I would recommend dealing with it for the opportunity to gain potentially useful work experience.
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