Graduate profile | Law

Graduate profile

Ben Zipser

"A barrister's work is varied and challenging"

My role

I am a barrister.  My role involves providing legal services to clients, usually in contentious legal matters.  The services include advising clients on potential or ongoing litigation, preparing cases for hearing, and appearing in court on behalf of clients.

A typical day

A typical day involves a variety of activities.  During a typical week the activities will include preparing pleadings, evidence or written submissions for matters in court, researching legal issues, conferences with clients and solicitors, and appearing in court at hearings or interlocutory steps towards the hearing.

What I like most

A barrister’s work is varied and challenging, which I enjoy. Barristers are self-employed.  I enjoy being my own boss.  I also enjoy providing a service to clients.

How I got here

After graduating from UNSW, I worked as a solicitor for a few years, and then decided to become a barrister.  In order to become a barrister in New South Wales, one must pass some exams and complete a Bar practice course, which I did.

Hours per week

I work about 10 hours a day. Sometimes it is necessary to work longer hours, in particular during and in the lead up to hearings or trials in court.

Salary range

A barrister’s income varies depending on the type of work they do, the rates they charge, the amount of work they have (which usually takes a few years to build up from the commencement of practice), and their overheads.  It is not unusual for barristers to make in excess of $100,000 net income after a few years of practice.

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