Becoming a barrister

Barristers are lawyers with specialist skills as independent advocates and advisors. To be eligible to practise as a barrister in Victoria, lawyers must qualify for and complete the Bar Readers' Course.

This section looks at life as a barrister and explains the steps to becoming a barrister in Victoria.

To become a barrister in Victoria you must:

  • be an Australian lawyer;
  • pass the entrance examination set by the Victorian Bar to qualify for a place in the Readers' Course;
  • satisfactorily complete the 9-10 week Readers' Course; and
  • work under an approved mentor at the Victorian Bar for a period of 9 months (inclusive of the Readers' Course period).

Click on the links to the right for more detailed information or, download our 'becoming a barrister' brochure.

Step Up to the Bar

In addition to the information in this section, the Bar runs an annual Step Up to the Bar event during Law Week. 

This seminar will inform lawyers, students and interested members of the general public of what to expect in a career at the Bar.   Find out what life at the Bar is like from the barristers who’ve done it all before — from setting up Chambers to establishing a client base, appearing in Court and balancing work and family life. Discover how you might become a barrister. Learn about the Bar Readers’ Course and application process. Hear about the clerking system — how to become a barrister’s clerk or how to find a clerk. Find out about our mentoring program.

After the panel, attendees have the opportunity to meet members of the VicBar, legal service providers and clerks.

When:  2020 date to-be-confirmed

The last recorded Step Up to the Bar session was held on Tuesday 14 May 2019, please see the video below to view the recording of that session. 


Contact the Education Team at the Bar Office for more information on:

T 03 9225 7111



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