Coming to the bar
Guide to Becoming a Barrister
Guide to Becoming a Barrister to assist you in finding out whether the Bar is a career path for you.
Before you can apply for a NSW barrister's practising certificate, you must be admitted as a lawyer of the Supreme Court of NSW or another Australian state or territory under a corresponding law.
- Complete an application for an
Australian practising certificate,with conditions attached (the Bar Council has 90 days to determine an application for a practisingcertificate and may request further information from an applicant to assist with its determination).
All New South Wales barristers'
A lawyer, when issued with an initial practising certificate with reader conditions, is termed a 'reader'. The reader embarks on the Reading Program, which has two major elements, the Bar Practice Course & reading with a tutor.
Tutors provide a supervisory and mentoring role for new barristers. The Bar Association has replaced the Statutory List of Tutors with the Current Tutor List and the Potential Tutor List. The Bar Association recommends that arrangements for seeking a tutor should be initiated between six months to a year before coming to the bar. Learn more here.
In order to assist new readers, the Bar Association publishes Readers Rooms, a page with all the relevant information regarding chambers, such as fees, application dates, selection criteria and contact details.
Professional indemnity insurance
Professional indemnity insurance is a statutory requirement for all barristers in New South Wales. Learn more here.
Returning to practise at the bar
Since 2014 the Bar Association has offered junior barristers in their second year at the bar an opportunity to receive guidance and support from leaders in the profession. For senior barristers, the program is an opportunity to develop effective leadership skills and encourage and support emerging talent at the New South Wales Bar. For more information about the benefits of the mentoring program please click here.
Information for Indigenous practitioners
For over a decade, the Association has worked to improve the educational path for Aboriginal law students studying at NSW universities and to assist in providing career development opportunities and career prospects for Aboriginal lawyers through the Indigenous Barristers Trust The Mum Shirl Fund. Our primary goal is to increase the number of Aboriginal barristers