Case study

Junior barristers' clerk — Stan Ford

Stan enjoys working alongside other junior barristers' clerks, supporting barristers and clerks. Find out more about his role and why communication, organisation and time management skills are so important

What degree did you study and where?

I graduated with a BA Hons Modern and Contemporary History in 2021.

How did you get your job?

I heard about the job through family members and friends. I then looked into what the job entailed and decided to apply via ABC Chambers Solutions, a recruitment consultancy specialising in training and support services for barristers' chambers and the legal profession. I had three interviews before getting a job with One Essex Court.

What's a typical working day like?

The first job in the morning is the court run, where I help the barrister go to court. This involves picking up boxes from their room and loading them onto a trolley and taking them to the court that they are in that day.

Once I get back from court I respond to emails and complete tasks for barristers and other clerks. This usually involves printing or scanning in order to make bundles for barristers. Other jobs can include contacting courier services to get parcels delivered to barristers' houses or visiting libraries to photocopy chapters/sections of books for barristers.

Throughout the afternoon I take post around the chambers to deliver them to barristers' rooms and am ready to help barristers with jobs around chambers. I will then do a court pick up to ensure barristers' boxes are back in their rooms, rather than being left at court. And finally, the evening job is to lock up the buildings around chambers.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy court runs as they are a busy part of the day, but the most important. They make you feel involved in the court case as it's down to you to make sure the barrister's belongings arrive at court on time. This is also the best way to meet barristers and form good relationships with them, which is useful in this job.

What are the challenges?

It can be difficult having to prioritise and complete so many jobs in one day. For example, there may be some urgent printing that a clerk or a barrister has asked for ready for a court case that morning. You need to be constantly focused and organised.

In what way is your degree relevant?

My history degree helped me develop my organisational and time management skills. This means that as a junior clerk, I am organised and can prioritise which tasks to complete in what order.

My degree also involved having discussions and debates in seminars. This has given me valuable communication skills, which are important when dealing with clerks and barristers. These communication skills are also vital in forming good relationships with other junior clerks.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

After only the first couple of weeks, I was trusted to complete tasks on my own. For example, I did my first few court runs alongside another junior clerk but now can complete several court runs on my own throughout the day.

Over time I have also developed good relationships with some of the more senior clerks as well as barristers, which means I am given more tasks as they trust me. This can hopefully help with my future ambitions of becoming a clerk.

What advice can you give to others wanting to get into this job?

  • If you get an interview, make sure that you come across as somebody who people would enjoy working with. They already know what qualifications you have by this point so treat the interview as a chance to get your personality across.
  • Emphasise your ability to work well in a team and with other people because clerking is a job that involves dealing with a variety of people on a day-to-day basis.
  • To make you stand out in an interview, mention a fact about a barrister from that chambers. For example, make a comment about a case that the chambers was recently involved in. This shows you have gone above and beyond in doing your research.

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