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What is it like working as a barrister in the 21st century? The independent Bar has transformed in the last 30 years into a commercialised, enterprising profession. Based on interviews with and observation of barristers and chambers' staff, this book identifies key changes that have taken place at the Bar and how these are reshaping and reformulating barristers' professionalism and working culture. This is the first empirical overview of the depth, scope and effects of multiple reforms that have been imposed on the profession. It explores how this once unified profession has fragmented, as the lived experiences of barristers in different practice areas have diverged. Highly specialised sets of chambers now operate like businesses, whilst others, who are dependent on legal aid funding, struggle to survive. This book offers a unique examination of different sites of change: how the chambers model has evolved, how entrepreneurial barristers market themselves, how aspirant law students prepare to enter the profession and how regulatory and procedural reforms have imposed managerial constraints on practitioners. The conclusion considers what the far-reaching changes mean for the prospects of the Bar in England and Wales.
The Enterprising Barrister: Organisation, Culture and Changing Professionalism
1. The Enterprising Barrister
I. The Research
II. Ethnographic (Re)Immersion
IV. Research Context: A Period of Crisis
V. Theoretical Framing of the Legal Profession
VI. Early Perspectives
VII. Professional Jurisdictions
VIII. The Neoliberal Profession
IX. New Modes of Governance
X. The Structure of the Book
2. Old Bar, New Bar: Reforming the Profession
I. The Early Origins of the Bar
II. The Inns of Court: Influence, Control and Training
III. A Gentleman's Profession: Status and Distinction
IV. Lawyer Monopolies and Jurisdictional Disputes
V. Representation and Regulation
VI. Legal Aid and the Growth of the Bar
VII. Calls for Reform
VIII. Loss of Monopolies and Internal Reforms
IX. The End of an Era: The Courts and Legal Services Act 1990
X. Solicitor Advocates
XI. State Withdrawal: Reduction of Legal Aid - Civil Work
XII. Transforming Legal Aid
XIII. The Neoliberal Bar: Independent Regulation and the Legal Services Act 2007
3. The Business of Chambers
I. The Traditional Chambers Model
II. The Growth of Chambers and the Rise of Specialist Teams
III. Location: Front Stage, Backstage and Chambers as a Virtual Space
IV. The New Commercialism: Business and Management
V. The New 'Super Clerk'
VI. Chambers as a Business
VII. Chambers' Branding
VIII. ABS and Going 'Global'
IX. Online/Virtual Chambers
X. A Traditional Chambers Model or Something New?
4. Getting in, Fitting in: The Enterprising Aspiring Barrister
I. Pupillage Places
II. The 'Special' CV
IV. Further Educational Qualifications
V. Other Work Experience
VI. The Implications of these New Trends
VII. Pupillage Selection Processes
VIII. The Sifting Stage
IX. The Interview Stage
5. Getting Work: The New Marketeers
I. Barristers and Solicitors
II. The Self-Promoting Barrister
III. Online Branding, High Visibility and Social Media
IV. Marketing in Groups/Teams
V. Individual Initiatives: Specialism, New Practice Areas and Diversification
VI. Relationship Building
VII. Attitudes to Marketing
6. Direct Access
III. Client Contact: 'I Don't Want to be a Solicitor'
IV. Off ending Solicitors: Biting the Hand that Feeds You?
V. Public Awareness
VI. What Next?
7. Bar Culture
I. The Development of Bar Ideology
II. Excellence, Commitment and Integrity
III. Independence and Self-Employment
IV. Independence and Excellence Constrained
V. The Loss of State Support
VI. Powerful Clients
VII. Conditional Fee Agreements
VIII. Managerial Reforms and Independent Regulation
IX. Civil Procedure and Costs Rules
X. Public Service and Pro Bono
8. Community, Unity and Fragmentation
I. The Inns of Court and Circuits
II. Specialist Bar Associations
IV. A United Bar or an 'Imagined Community'?
V. The 'Private/Public Divide'
VI. Changing Chambers
VII. Women at the Bar
9. Conclusion: A New Bar, with a New Kind of Barrister?