Rory MacMahon – Introduction to a Career at the Bar

As a third year LLB student at the University of Derby, I found the Barrister Careers Event on 10th October 2018 very helpful and informative. This event, which would not have been possible without Rebekah Marangon, involved a recently qualified barrister, Joshua Hazelwood, discussing his experiences as a barrister and the route that he took to get there. As I have been set on getting to the Bar for some time now, the information that I gained from this event was particularly useful to me, as I am sure it was to everyone else who attended the event. As a recently qualified barrister, Joshua provided us with some very useful and up-to-date knowledge of the BPTC, acquiring a pupillage and the different Inns of Court.

As the talk progressed, Joshua covered a wide range of topics. Not only did he talk about his own personal experiences, he was keen to get an understanding of the ambitions of the students in attendance. He was happy to answer any questions that we had throughout the event, and he progressed at a reasonable pace. He even touched on the solicitor route and how it differs from life as a barrister. This was also undoubtedly useful to those in attendance who aspire to become solicitors.

Joshua outlined the difficulties of the BPTC very clearly, although he managed to put a positive spin on the aspects of a career at the Bar that seem the most difficult. For instance, he talked about how he now has several hobbies, including golf, that keep him motivated during his time away from work. I found this very reassuring, as one of my main concerns about pursuing a career at the Bar had always been the lack of a social life that comes with it. Indeed, I have noticed that this is a very common concern amongst students who are keen to pursue a career at the Bar. However, as Joshua explained in his talk, barristers are effectively self-employed, which gives them more freedom to choose their hours of work and to set aside time for their lives outside of work. When this was put into perspective, it did not seem as bad.

In summary, I found this event to be very well organised, extremely insightful and useful in deciding what I should do next. I would recommend any student who wishes to pursue a career in law, whichever route they may want to go down, to make the most of events such as this one, as it can really inspire and motivate you to achieve your ambitions. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rebekah and the Law School at Derby for providing these opportunities for students to learn more about the various different legal careers that are available to them once they graduate. The events are very fulfilling and it is worth attending as many of them as possible, in order to gain a deeper understanding of what each different route into the legal profession entails.