Life happens, and it happens to barristers as much as to anyone else. There will be times when you have no option but to look to the welfare of others – parents, children, and spouses in particular – and cannot leave them to cope while you go off to court.
Returning to the Bar after having a family, or having had a period away coping with aging parents or a disabled spouse can be very stressful as you rebuild your practice and juggle work and your caring responsibilities. Inevitably you will also have cash flow challenges.
Assistance is available.
- If your absence has been children-related, talk to other parents at the Bar: find out how they manage their work loads.
- Don’t be afraid to talk to your clerks about what you can and cannot do.
- Talk to Chambers about what financial assistance is available.
- Put in place as much ‘back up’ child care, or care for the elderly, as you can.
- Look to carers’ organisations for practical support and advice: see for example, the Carers’ Trust http://www.carers.org/help-directory/dealing-change.
The Bar Council has a crèche in both London and Leeds, and is looking to expand facilities on the Circuits. For more information see: http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/supporting-the-bar/parental-support-hub/.
For further information and resources please see www.wellbeingatthebar.org.uk.