Barrister in tenancy
Kevin Davidson worked for four years as a social worker and a volunteer at a Citizens Advice Bureau. He also travelled through China, India and Argentina to broaden his life experience before starting his career as a barrister.
What does your job as barrister in tenancy involve?
The two roles I perform are as an adviser and an advocate. Firstly, I am often asked to advise on cases before they are heard in court. Normally, this is to do with whether or not there is sufficient evidence to make or defend a claim for damages. I also advise upon the merits of continuing the prosecution and defence of criminal cases.
Once court action has been decided, I represent my clients in court. Even though we have moved into a court setting my role as an adviser continues. I have to constantly review the progress of the case.
What was your route into your job as a barrister in tenancy?
Before taking my bar finals I was advised to broaden my life experiences, so I spent the next four years working and training to be a social worker. During these years, I worked with young people in care, people with mental health problems and people living with HIV.
What training you have received so far?
Pupillage was the final stage of my training and involved being supervised by an experienced barrister. There were two parts to my pupillage – the non-practising six months during which I shadowed my pupil supervisor, and the second practising six months when I was able to appear in court.
What hours do you work?
On average, I work about 65 to 70 hours per week. I'm usually in court by 10.00am. I work about three to four hours every evening. A major disadvantage of life at the bar (working as a barrister) is a shortage of time for family members. My job can be all consuming and often leaves little room for anything else.
What are the skills needed for a barrister in tenancy?
Resilience and stamina are important qualities – they come into play when having to work late at night, when you're about to lose an argument, if you're working with a difficult client or facing a grilling by a judge.
Kevin's route to becoming a barrister in tenancy
- A levels.
- Degree in Law (LLB).
- Diploma in Social Work.
- Diploma in Bar Vocational Studies.
Kevin's barrister in tenancy tips
- Be prepared to work hard and make your application for pupillage and tenancy stand out.
- Build a close network of friends that you can rely on – it's important to socialise as well as work hard!
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