Am I a barrister yet?

You've completed 12 qualifying sessions at your Inn, successfully passed the BVC and been called to the Bar but, without a pupillage, what are you? A barrister?

I had this exact problem, I'd completed the BVC, was call to the Bar and was now deemed a barrister. However trying to explain to family, friends or employers that I am a barrister, but can't stand up in court and do the arguing and representation bit, was more than a little confusing.

However help was at hand, the Bar council has issued guidance on this problem which can be found here

In a nutshell, the whole contention on what you can/choose to call yourself appears to rest on whether you intend to supply 'legal services'. Note: That the term "legal services" includes providing legal advice, representation and drafting legal documents.

If you haven't secured a pupillage but intend to provide legal services then you must not describe yourself as a barrister or anything similar e.g. counsel, member of the Bar, barrister-at-law or "non-practising" barrister.

Instead you may call yourself a Legal Adviser, Caseworker, Legal Assistant or Para-Legal

However if you have no intention of pursuing a career providing legal services then things are simply; you may call yourself a barrister.

If anyone is still in doubt about their position then you can call the Bar Council ethics team or write to them at