Why do you want to be a barrister?
Get straight to the point. NO WAFFLING!
“Because I’d be amazing at it!” “Because it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do!”
Possibly true, but not what you’re going for. This question is really several questions in one. It is asking you to answer the following:
- Do you know what a barrister does?
- Why do you want to do this job?
- Why do you think you’d be good at it?
“Why you want to be a barrister?” and “What skills do you have that will make you a good barrister?” are similar yet distinct questions. Don’t get your answers to each confused.
How to think through the answer to this question
Step 1: Do you know what a barrister does?
Start with the core competencies involved in being a barrister. Then rank those competencies in order of importance (in your eyes).
Pick your top 3.
Step 2: Why do you want to do the job?
Think about the three competencies you’ve identified and how you observed them during your experiences on mini pupillages. Then think about how you demonstrated and developed them yourself during your work experience. This section is about motivation, so – finally and most importantly – think about why it matters to you to be the one doing this kind of work.
Hint: the best answer to this question will be personal to you and have that ring of authenticity.
Step 3: Why would you be good at it?
This is where your ‘X’ Factor comes in. This part of the answer requires examples.
The best answers make clear that you understand what the job entails, why you’re motivated to do it and finally, through your examples, why you’d be awesome at it.
What it means to be a barrister
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When all else fails
You can always rely on The Secret Barrister for advice: