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Written by Paul Watson
Being a barrister isn’t an easy job. You’ve got to mount the defence for major crimes, be even handed when dealing with shifty characters and pick through complex legal processes to find the right course of action for your client.
But while you might have the litigation skills of a pro, it’s quite possible that you don’t have the business skills to match.
Indeed, the bigwigs of the legal trade can strike out on their own and gather some profits. But running a business (even as a self-employed barrister in chambers) and staying on top of your day-to-day jobs can potentially make short shrift of your personal life.
With that in mind, what can you do to make sure your business headaches don’t put your job on the ropes?
Train your brain
You might think you’re hot with the law, but have you got the mettle to guide others?
It’s not as simple as it sounds. Without the appropriate training, you risk flying blind.
Not so with business management training from a distance learning provider. Study with one of these courses in your spare time and you’ll learn how to motivate staff, create appropriate business projections and turn your one-horse firm into a shining example of the law.
And, thanks to the efficiency of online distance learning, your studies don’t have to dominate your life. Simply dip in and out when you can. You’ll soon be ruling your roost like you command your brief.
When starting up, it’s understandable to want to shoulder the responsibility for everything yourself. Your cash is suddenly on the line like never before and you can’t allow others to mess it up.
But if you can find people you trust, delegate your tasks and relieve some of the stress.
This largely falls down to the interview process. That guy who comes to an interview and tells you he can get you a new computer “on the rob” might mean well, but he’s not a great choice.
Find people with a great CV, reliable references and a streetwise attitude. You’ll be able to give them the work you don’t have time for – or just can’t be bothered with.
The right office
People don’t want to visit a barrister and see an office resembling Philip Marlowe’s. Your workplace should relax people into the long arm of the law, yet still instil confidence in your sense of professionalism and experience.
This is a tight balancing act, but one that’s worth it in the end. Hire an interior designer to kit out your place and you’ll have it looking spiffy – perfect for keeping your clients in a chilled state of mind.