Category Archives: Wellbeing and Work/Life Balance

Useful organisations at the Bar

Organisation   Contacts   Society of Asian Lawyers Jo Sidhu QC Jo.Sidhu@sky.com Society of Black Lawyers Peter Herbert PHerbert5law@aol.com Association of Muslim Lawyers Amjad Malik QC amalik@36bedfordrow.co.uk Association of Asian Women Lawyers Hanisha Patel HPatel@7BR.co.uk Association of Women Barristers Neelam Sarkaria associationofwomenbarristers@gmail.com Panel of Disability Advisors Sam Mercer SMercer@BarCouncil.org.uk Bar Lesbian and Gay Group (BLAGG) Claire Fox c.fox@pumpcourtchambers.com and Hassan Khan hk@4pt.com A

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Dealing with criticism

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

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Mentoring

Mentoring supports wellbeing and helps build resilience. Many Inns and Specialist Bar Associations have mentoring programmes in addition to those run within chambers. The Bar Council also runs a mentoring programme which is gradually being extended to support all those who need mentoring across the Bar. Details can be found at: http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/supporting-the-bar/bar-mentoring-service/. Social support from people who understand your background

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Monitoring

Problems with the allocation of work can cause stress, particularly if you feel you are not being treated fairly. Don’t forget that the BSB Handbook rule C110 requires Chambers to undertake equality monitoring, and to review on a regular basis the allocation of unassigned work. This includes work allocated to pupils, barristers of fewer than four years’ standing and barristers returning from

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Get help

If you feel you are struggling, the Bar Council’s wellbeing team suggests that you consider the following: Talk to your Chambers’ Equality and Diversity Officer, your head of Chambers or your clerk. It is unlikely you will be the first person to experience difficulties and most Chambers will do everything they can to support you. Go and see your GP

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Protect yourself

You can take steps to protect yourself and build up resilience to cope with the pressures of life at the Bar. These include: Get yourself a mentor, and/or speak to a friend/someone you trust (this may be someone outside Chambers). The Bar Council runs a number of mentoring schemes which you can find at www.barcouncil.org.uk/supporting-the-bar/bar-mentoring-service/. Take breaks between cases or after

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The science

There is a large body of robust science showing that emotional stability and resilience is strongly correlated to performance at work, life satisfaction, health, and longevity. Where we sit on this performance/pressure curve determines whether we perform optimally and fulfil our potential. Resilience is the ability to adapt, bounce back and recover equilibrium when faced with periods of pressure or

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