Barristers are highly qualified members of the legal practice who understand and interpret the law. Barristers in independent practice are sole practitioners. Barristers’ practice in-groups know as chambers, sharing clerks, essential services and office accommodation, but they remain in competition with each other throughout their careers. Barristers fulfill two closely related functions. The first is Advocacy for an enormous variety of clients in all courts and tribunals. The second is to provide specialist advice in specific areas of law such as criminal, family or commercial law.
The Barristers work comes from solicitors and also from other professionals such as accountants, surveyors, and from foreign lawyers. The principal function of barristers is to appear in court and represent clients and plead their cases and advice generally on legal problems. An essential rule of practice that every barrister complies with is that any work that is offered in a barristers field of practice must be accepted if the barrister is free to take it. Related Occupations to a Barrister would be a Lawyer, Crown Prosecution Service, Solicitor, lawyer, Central government, Lawyer, Magistrates court.
The Barristers work involves understanding and interpreting the law, mastering briefs, researching points of law, writing opinions and advising solicitors and other professions. In litigation preparing cases, presenting arguments in court, examining and cross-examining witnesses. The key skills common to all barristers is to absorb information quickly, memorising complex facts and working under pressure. The job requires barristers to like dealing with people and helping them with their problems. The legal profession also requires them to be able to communicate a good standard of spoken and written English as well as able to take on responsibility. A high level of integrity and
Discretion is essential as they have access to sensitive information.
Typical working hours involves regular unsociable hours. The work place can be court, chambers or home. The work takes place in all major towns. Starting salary range is from 10,000 – 20,000 but at the age of forty the salary can be anywhere in the region of 99,000 – 150,000 the end salary depends on the nature of clients, Legal aid work pays less but earnings in London are likely to be higher.
They require an in house computerised database of both reported and unreported cases, which may be searched to enable relevant cases to be identified. E.g. Westminster C.C. v Haywood 1997 2 All E.R. 84, C.A.
The Barrister I interviewed said she would like in future to incorporate a relational database to make storing of data much more convenient and accessible for reference as well as for statistical analyst.
Another area she brought up as a concern to her was the financial, marketing, advertising, promotional and casework information management side of her profession. I suggested a computerised system to aid her with her casework and financial management. I suggested that an out of house agency to manage her Marketing, Advertising and promotional information management side of her business.
The general information needs of her profession are:
Case Information, profession service/details, reports, information and product protection, new laws and legislation in force, client history, and criminal records.
Implications for Information Management
The Barrister I interview for this assignment expressed a need for assistance in terms of information support. Especially with technology, she told me she lacked sufficient time in her working day and knowledge about computers to make effective use of the resources available. It wasn’t possible to take time away from her current work to start learning the very basics of some of the complicated new technology and software available on the market for law professionals. Having someone go and research for me what I want would be a great aid to me in my job.
The expense of on-line retrieval databases available commercially to the legal profession cost a great deal more, therefore practitioners tend not to subscribe to on-line services as tariffs charged and the time taken to search puts many practitioners off investing in this new resource. However the advantages of having up-to-date information at the tip of your fingers out weights the disadvantages.
Many Organisations have set up business to exploit this niche, by providing a service to solicitors and Barristers with evidence and information to achieve more positive results. An example of