A barrister says: “Don’t fall for robing room games. Some barristers positively enjoy trying to put off their opponents by ostracising or intimidating them. It isn’t you. They’re just playing games. Ignore them, as you would any other bully.”
It is not unusual for barristers, especially those who are inexperienced, to be subjected to unwarranted criticism. You can protect yourself by doing as careful and competent a job as you possibly can. It might be helpful to keep a detailed record of all the work you do on a case: the people you consult, the instructions you take, the conversations you have, the drafting you do, the advice you give – so that in the event the case has to be returned there is a clear record of the professionalism with which you’ve approached your handling of it.
Sam Mercer, Bar Council Wellbeing Project, suggests that never feeling able to admit you are struggling in the profession and the difficulty that presents in recognising you have a problem can be a real barrier to doing something about it.
If you are feel you are being treated unfairly due to your mental health illness within your chambers the Bar Council’s Disability Panel of Advisors may be able to provide advice and support.
For further information and resources please see www.wellbeingatthebar.org.uk.