The Bar Council is to undertake a profession-wide ‘census’ to help establish its priorities after the pandemic.

The voluntary survey will ask barristers to answer questions about their working lives, including career progression, working practices, wellbeing, and remote hearings. The Bar Council said the anonymous results will help it better meet the needs of the profession.


'Census' will evaluate impact of Covid-19, court backlogs and Brexit on barristers’ lives

Source: Alamy

The survey will open on 20 April and will play a part in shaping Bar Council policies, training programmes, and how it seeks to influence government policy and other decision makers on issues affecting the profession.

It is the first such survey in four years. Bar chair Derek Sweeting QC said: ‘A lot has changed since 2017. The impact of Covid-19, the major backlog in the courts, Brexit and a move towards remote working were not areas of concern to barristers the last time we carried out such a survey.' While there was no mandatory requirement to participage, it would give individual barristers the opportunity to describe their experiences and indicate what they want from their representative body. 

In a message to barristers last week, Sweeting urged chambers to reply to unsuccessful pupillage candidates. ‘The manner with which they are treated can have a significant impact on both candidates themselves, given the time and energy they put into their application, and on chambers’ reputation among future potential pupils and barristers,’ he said.