Student Engagement

Information for students and teachers on life as a barrister and the pathways to becoming a barrister

BECOMING A BARRISTER - click here to view the brochure

Welcome to the Victorian Bar’s Student Information webpage, brought to you by the Victorian Bar’s Student Engagement Committee (SEC).

What is the SEC?

The SEC was formed in 2010 with the objective of ‘demystifying’ the Bar by providing secondary school and tertiary students with a better understanding of the work of the Bar, and of the pathways to becoming a barrister.  The SEC does this primarily by arranging barristers to speak to students at Victorian universities and secondary schools, and by creating and facilitating shadowing opportunities for students so that they can see what barristers do first-hand.  Details of the Shadowing Programs run by the SEC are set out below.

The SEC is proud to be working together with the Victoria Law Foundation to help Victorian secondary school students better understand the law and their legal system.

The SEC hopes that you find the information on this page interesting and helpful.  If you have any queries in relation to the information on this page, or if you wish to make an enquiry about having a barrister speak at your school or university, please feel free to contact the Student Engagement Committee:


Useful links for students about the Bar and the Australian legal system

All you ever wanted to know about becoming a barrister - FAQ

Becoming a Barrister

Life at the Bar

About the Bar

Understanding the Courts

The Supreme Court of Victoria has produced a video (‘One punch, a lifetime of consequences’) that gives insight into how criminal trials are run and features a companion booklet for students and teachers.

The Victoria Law Foundation also publishes useful guides about the legal system in general, as well as a range of educational resources for teachers and students.

The SEC Shadowing Program

The SEC offers the Shadowing Program for tertiary students who are interested in becoming a barrister:.

The SEC’s Shadowing Program typically involves one or more communications with a barrister, for example, meeting over coffee, communicating by email, or speaking by phone every few months and shadowing a barrister for 1-2 days, or as many days as suitable for the barrister.

The SEC does not offer exlcusive mentoring programs for university students, but directs interested student to the mentoring programs provided by most Universities.

How to apply for Shadowing 

Students who wish to apply for Shadowing (University students) with a member of the Victorian Bar pursuant to the SEC Shadowing Program should send their CV to, along with a cover letter stating the following information:

  1. What year level of school or year level of your law degree you are currently completing;
  2. Whether there is a particular area of law in which you are interested, and if so, why;
  3. Whether there are particular dates on which you wish to do or commence shadowing with a barrister, and whether there are any deadlines associated with confirming shadowing arrangements; and
  4. Whether you have a particular preference for a male or female barrister, or any other relevant preferences.

Please note that the SEC receives many requests every year for shadowing opportunities.  The SEC endeavours to meet all requests, but it is not always possible to do so.  Please also be patient whilst waiting for a response regarding your application.

Further, the Victorian Bar’s Indigenous Lawyers Committee has established a work experience and shadowing program for Indigenous secondary school and university students.  For more information on that program, please click here.

Students should also read the SEC’s Charter of Expectations prior to completing work experience: 


Contacts for students

Enquiries about the SEC’s Shadowing Program should be sent to, accompanied by the information set out above.

Contacts for schools and universities

Enquiries about school or university visits, or any other matters relating to the SEC and its work should be sent to