Information for students and teachers on life as a barrister and the pathways to becoming a barrister
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch barristers from the Victorian Bar talk about what it’s like being a barrister
What is a barrister? Why do they represent people who are obviously guilty? Are they different from other types of lawyers? How much experience do you need to become a barrister? These and other questions were answered in a webinar for Victorian Law Week 2021 hosted by the Victorian Bar. You can watch the video below.
Useful links for students about the Bar and the Australian legal system
All you ever wanted to know about becoming a barrister - FAQ
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's shadowing program is currently paused due to the uncertainty of COVID-19. We hope it will return in 2022, and will update this page once more information is available.
In the meantime, the SEC will attempt to arrange for a limited number of university students to shadow barristers on an ad hoc basis. These placements will ordinarily run for one week, in person (subject to public health requirements).
Please note that we are not able to arrange work experience for high school students at this time.
If you are interested in shadowing a barrister, please send an application to email@example.com. Your application should include your CV and a brief cover letter setting out (a) why you would like to participate in the program, (b) what you hope to get out of the experience, (c) the times you are available to participate (to the end of 2021), and (d) any people you have regular contact with at the Bar, or in the broader legal profession. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
We cannot guarantee that every student will be offered a place. The SEC is committed to including students from diverse backgrounds and circumstances and will prioritise applications accordingly.
Contacts for students
Enquiries about the SEC’s Shadowing Program should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com