Childcare and other personal commitments

How to make your mark at the Bar while maintaining a personal life

There is a whole section of the Toolkit devoted to wellbeing and work-life balance. Members of the YBC offer the following additional tips.

  • Finding a work-life balance may seem very difficult or impossible in your first years. It is essential to maintaining mental resilience and dealing with stress.
  • It is not for this toolkit to tell you how to run your personal life in terms of personal relationships, marriage and children. However, maintaining a strong network of friends is important to remind you that there is a world outside of work and to give you perspective (even if your friends are all barristers).
  • Do remember that you are self-employed and that it is up to you to manage your working hours in a way that suits you. Don’t allow yourself to be pressurised into taking on work that you can’t do properly (that would be a breach of the BSB Handbook anyway), or which would involve an unacceptable level of stress.
  • If for any reason you find that you need to cut your working hours to work part-time for personal or family reasons, do discuss it with your clerks, Head of Chambers, Chambers’ Manager or others as appropriate.
  • Don’t underestimate the good that hobbies, sport or music can have on mental well-being to refresh and renew mental capacity.