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Assistant to a Barrister

Job Title: Assistant to a Barrister

Working For: Media and human rights barrister at Doughty Street Chambers

Location: London

Length of Contract: ad hoc shifts with possibility of regular part-time/full-time work from June.

Renumeration: Introductory rate: £15 p/h. Regular rate significantly more, depending on training and experience. Self-employed.


The role

The barrister’s work is centred around media and communications law (with a particular emphasis on defamation and privacy) and human rights. Many of the cases are of political and social significance. The barrister is also heavily involved in work on disability rights in the Bar and the justice system. The barrister is disabled and engages assistants to support them in managing their disabilities as part of their fast paced and complex practice. The main work locations are Doughty Street Chambers and the barrister’s home office in Hackney. Legal education, especially the Bar Training Course and/or legal work experience, is desirable but not essential. Successful candidates will usually have done a law degree or GDL, although exceptional candidates will be considered without that. The role is often done successfully by people looking to obtain or start pupillage/training contracts, and previous occupiers of the role have gone on to secure these roles and other exciting opportunities in law and civil society/public affairs.

Key duties and responsibilities

  1. Supporting the barrister in every aspect of their case work including intensive case preparation, complex legal research and document management, and accessing and collating materials
  2. Attending court, conferences and professional meetings, including in evenings, and arranging access and other adjustments
  3. Fast and accurate contemporaneous notetaking, including in court hearings and conferences
  4. Written and oral communication with solicitors, clerks and chambers staff, and barristers on a range of case and other professional matters
  5. Assisting with IT set up and management (in Chambers and at their home office) including set up for remote video court hearings and conferences
  6. Keeping track of projects and deadlines, and supporting the barrister in complex time management, including the sensitive and appropriate prioritisation of multiple and competing demands

Essential skills and attributes

  1. Capacity to support a high performing professional with multiple disabilities in high pressure, challenging and multifaceted work
  2. Excellent academic/intellectual/analytical ability, including being adept at quickly becoming familiar and getting to grips with complex factual and legal scenarios and issues
  3. Strong oral and written communication skills and research skills
  4. Attention to detail and excellent spelling and grammar
  5. Excellent time management and organisational skills, especially under pressure
  6. Initiative and discretion when problem-solving in a range of professional contexts
  7. Good judgement and common sense
  8. High degree of flexibility and resilience, since working hours and shifts can be long, irregular, and unpredictable, depending on court and other demands and deadlines (including balancing competing and developing deadlines)
  9. Ability to work closely and build a relationship of trust and partnership with the barrister in demanding environments

Desirable (not essential) skills and attributes

  1. Bar Training Course graduate
  2. Experience of working as a barrister/pupil or solicitor, or with barristers, or other legal practice experience
  3. Other legal education/training and relevant work experience (exceptional candidates will be considered without legal education/work)
  4. A good knowledge or strong interest in media and communications law and the media (including social media) and/or human rights law and/or disability rights
  5. Experience of working closely as an assistant/adviser to someone in a high pressure/contentious public, political or business role
  6. Experience of supporting disabled people in a professional environment
  7. UK Driving Licence

Applications and start dates

Shifts are currently available (potentially leading to regular part-time/full-time work). Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, so candidates are encouraged to apply early.

Applications consisting of a CV and covering letter should be emailed to  

Applicants should indicate whether they are interested in ad hoc shifts only or regular part time work and/or full-time work going forward, plus their immediate availability over June and July.