How to become a barrister volunteer

Advocate works with volunteer barristers who offer their time, skills and expertise to provide pro bono legal advice, drafting, mediation assistance and representation to those who need it most.

Barristers from their second six months of pupillage all the way up to QC level can sign up to become a panel member (someone who takes on cases that come through our doors). To read about some of the barristers who already volunteer and why, click here.

Here's some useful information for junior barristers. Click here to sign up.

This is what you need to know:

  • By becoming a panel member, you have the opportunity to work in areas of law outside of your usual practice.
  • There is no obligation to commit to cases once you have expressed interest. After we send you the case papers, you have 48 hours to decide whether you would like to take it on.
  • All of our cases have had their merit and need approved by our volunteer reviewing barristers.
  • Panel members only take on the piece of work authorised, there is no obligation to continue with the whole case should you not wish to.
  • Our panel members operate under Advocate’s direct access licence.
  • We ask our panel members to commit a minimum of three days a year.

If we have not answered your query here, please do not hesitate to contact our volunteer manager.  

“You can find yourself working hard. Then devoting yourself to your family. Then being in great demand. And then realise that you left something behind. You left some people out. Vulnerable people. You personally could have made a difference.

Advocate can help you make that difference, to make that promise of shared commitment to devote some of our work to the service of the most vulnerable.

If you make that promise today, you will remember it. It will always celebrate this time. It may bring gratitude from someone you have helped that has a quality you will not experience elsewhere.”

Mr Justice Knowles, Chairman of Advocate