Barristers appear as advocates in Court. They tend to have a more specialized knowledge of case-law and precedent than solicitors and when a solicitor is confronted with an unusual point of law they may seek specialist advice from a barrister (known as “seeking the opinion of counsel”).
Barristers are self-employed and they are specialist advocates or specialists in a particular area of law (or both). They usually spend most of their time in the court, talking to other barristers on various cases, deal with witnesses giving evidence and address the judge. Barristers are more experienced in dealing with the court side of the process and also resolving the cases.
- Receiving written information in the form of briefs and verbal instructions concerning cases from solicitors, other specialist legal professionals and clients.
- Providing advice and written opinions on points of law.
- Confer with clients and witnesses to prepare for court proceedings.
- Drawing up pleadings, affidavits and other court documents.
- Research statutes and previous court decisions relevant to the cases.
- Outline the facts to the court, call and question witnesses, and address the court to argue a client’s case.
- Provide opinion on complex legal issues.
- May draw up or settle documents.
The pay scale of a barrister ranges between AUD$39,350 – AUD$235,535 and the median being AUD$65,000.