10 June 2013

Barristers’ ‘Working Lives’ survey launched

Approximately half of all practising barristers have been selected, to take part in the 2013 'Barristers' Working Lives' survey, launched today. 
Commissioned by the Bar Standards Board and the Bar Council, the second in a series of biennial studies of life as a barrister asks a wide variety of questions about barristers' professional lives as well as their future career plans.

The results of the independent survey present a panoramic picture of the Bar as a whole. For Chambers, it provides valuable baseline data as a benchmark for measurement against the wider profession, and to inform training schemes.

Those chosen will receive an email inviting them to complete the survey online, which takes just 15 minutes. For those participants preferring to respond by post, a paper version of the survey will be sent to them shortly after.

Bar Standards Board Chair, Baroness Ruth Deech said: "The Barristers' Working Lives survey provides us with an invaluable insight into the profession we regulate and helps inform the work that we do. If you are one of the barristers who have been chosen to contribute as part of a representative sample, please take the time to complete the survey."

Key findings from the 2011 survey included:

• Men are twice as likely as women to be a QC - due, at least in part, because they are more than twice as likely to have applied. Women, however, are equally likely to be successful in their application and - on average - have made one less application than men.

• 57% of barristers went to a state-school between the ages of 11 and 18.

• The majority of barristers would still opt for the Bar if they could start their career again, and four out of five think the Bar is a respected profession.

• Very few barristers - in either the employed or self-employed Bar - see the profession as 'family friendly' (9% and 21%, respectively).

• Almost one in five women have experienced bullying and harassment at work, compared to just 8% of men.

For further information please contact the Bar Standards Board Research Team at Research@barstandardsboard.org.uk

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Notes to editors 

The independent survey will take place every two years. The last one was conducted in 2011. It is available to download here. 

Approximately half of all practising barristers are selected, entirely at random, to take part in this survey. Once all the data have been collected, all personal identifiers are removed before carrying out the analysis. This will ensure the survey results are all anonymous. 

The survey will be sent out to barristers (not chambers) on Mon 13 May 2013 and it will close on 14 July 2013. We will publish a formal report of results this autumn.

The Bar Standards Board regulates barristers called to the Bar in England and Wales in the public interest. It is responsible for:
• Setting the education and training requirements for becoming a barrister
• Setting continuing training requirements to ensure that barristers' skills are maintained throughout their careers
• Setting standards of conduct for barristers
• Monitoring the service provided by barristers to assure quality, and handling complaints against barristers and taking disciplinary or other action where appropriate.

Contact: the Bar Standards Board Press Office on 02076111392.