The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has called for changes to the ways in which newly-qualified Barristers are trained and supported.
According to the regulatory body, a “more prescribed” approach is needed to ensure that all newcomers to the profession receive an appropriate level of support during the early stages of their career.
Under the current system, Barristers who have been qualified for three years or less are appointed a ‘qualified person’ or ‘QP’ as an adviser. This person will help to provide one-to-one guidance to the newcomer as they find their feet in the profession.
However, while this sounds like a sensible process in theory, recent research carried out by the BSB reveals that, in practice, the QP scheme is somewhat inconsistent, and has been much more successful in some circles than others.
The regulator’s research found that the not all QPs are offering appropriate advice on advocacy to junior Barristers and that the level and quality of guidance provided ‘varies widely’ all across the profession.
Due to this, the BSB says that the scheme needs to be reassessed to ensure that the benefits it provides are more widely and consistently felt.
It says that, going forward, the scheme needs to be ‘standardised’.
Ewen MacLeod, Director of Strategy and Policy at the BSB, said: “Our research suggests that the level of support made available to newly qualified Barristers by QPs varies considerably and that this influences how positively new practitioners think about the requirement.
“We will use this research to aid our future policy work around Barristers in their early years of practice as well as our review later in the year into the rules governing the scope of Barristers’ practice.
“We are grateful to all those who completed the survey.”
David Jacobs, General Practice Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “Taking on newly-qualified Barristers can prove difficult, but it is important that the right approach is taken from the outset to ensure that newcomers are trained to a high standard and feel well-supported throughout the early stages of their career.”
To find out more about the services Milsted Langdon can provide to Barristers and other legal professionals, please contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0117 945 2500.