New data on wellbeing at the Bar

Today the Bar Council has published the Wellbeing at the Bar Report 2024. The data shows some improvements in wellbeing at the Bar.

Dr Darren Van Laar at Portsmouth University produced the report, and it is based on data from 2023. The survey was distributed to the whole population of UK practising barristers.

The key findings include –

Chair of the Bar Council, Sam Townend KC, said: “The latest data reflects an improvement in some aspects of wellbeing at the Bar. This deserves recognition. Notwithstanding the challenges of pay and conditions for parts of the Bar, in particular, in publicly funded work, it is good to see these improvements being made. The publication of this report offers an opportunity to acknowledge the excellent work on wellbeing carried out by some at the Bar, clerks and staff.

“Concerningly, younger, more junior barristers, women and barristers from an ethnic minority background reported lower levels of overall wellbeing as did barristers working in criminal and family law. These are the areas we will continue to focus on in terms of personal wellbeing and working conditions.”

The Bar Council last year relaunched its wellbeing certificate programme that was first introduced in 2017. In 2023, certificates were awarded to 45 chambers as part of the updated programme. Chambers who have secured the new certificates have put emphasis on regular structured practice review for all barristers, offering career development and support, and taking steps to rebuild chambers as a thriving community.

Notes to editors

The deadline for the new round of wellbeing certificate applications is the end of March and more information is available on the Wellbeing at Work website.

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