Survey of the Employed Bar 2007 - Summary Results

THE 2007 SURVEY

AT the end of November 2007 the Employed Barristers’ Committee (EBC) of the Bar Council undertook a ‘Survey of the Employed Bar’ to find out more about the profile of employed barristers, their backgrounds and interests, the issues that affected employed practitioners and the matters that they thought the EBC - as their representatives – should prioritise in 2008. The results of this Survey are not representative of the employed Bar as a whole but they give a good indication of practitioners’ concerns and provide the EBC with important feedback.


 

 SURVEY RESPONSE

The EBC received 383 responses to the Survey (13% of all practising employed barristers). 56% of respondents were male and a corresponding 44% were female;

  • 93% described their ethnic group as ‘White’. The remaining 7% described themselves as being of other non-White ethnic groups;
  • less than 4% considered themselves to be disabled.

 

THE EMPLOYED BARRISTER’S CAREER AT THE BAR

Respondents were asked about their career at the Bar, including their employment profile and their role in the administration of pupillage:

  • the average Call date of those responding to the Survey was 1991(= 17 years’ Call);
  • respondents worked in a variety of employment sectors, with 56% employed in the public sector and 44% in the private sector or other areas of employment;
  • 88% of respondents were working full-time at the time of the Survey, with a corresponding 12% working part-time;
  • 64% of respondents were entitled to exercise Rights of Audience, just over half of whom were entitled to exercise Higher Court rights;
  • over three-quarters (77%) of respondents had undertaken pupillage, of whom the majority (88%) had completed pupillage in Chambers;
  • there was a high level of interest in the administration of pupillage. While 90% of respondents were not pupil supervisors, nearly two-thirds would consider becoming a supervisor in the future. However, some changes might be needed to Pupil Supervisor training;
  • only 37% of respondents worked for organisations which were registered Pupillage Training Organisations;
  • before coming to the employed Bar, just over half (57%) of respondents had spent some time in self-employed practice, including time spent in pupillage.


PROFESSIONAL AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT

Survey respondents were asked to comment on career issues, including professional development, progression and training:

  • almost 90% of respondents anticipated remaining at the employed Bar. Of these, 35% would actively consider applying for Queen’s Counsel and 64% would consider applying for judicial office;
  • over 90% of respondents did not experience any difficulties in completing their annual CPD requirement although a small proportion encountered problems with finding relevant and/or accessible courses which had been accredited for CPD by the Bar Standards Board;
  • half of respondents delivered training for others, from which they themselves gained CPD.


KEEPING IN TOUCH

Respondents were asked to indicate the range of ways in which they kept in touch with their profession and with their representative
body, the Bar Council:

  • respondents kept in touch with their profession in a variety of ways – most frequently through Counsel/Bar News and through communications from the Bar Council;
  • only a small proportion of respondents (7%) were or had been actively involved with the Bar Council but 60% would be interested in contributing to the EBC’s work in the future.

 

CONCLUSIONS AND NEXT STEPS

The Employed Bar Survey 2007 has produced a range of valuable information that the EBC can use to shape its future work programme and more fully address the employed Bar’s concerns.

 

 

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