Article by Stephanie Anais, law student at Birkbeck, University of London

“How do I become a barrister?” A question that is often asked by hopeful law students who have undertaken a mini-pupillage and are now captivated by the courtroom; or students who put the A* into advocacy during a successful mooting season and are determined to stand up for the great and the good forevermore. But as law students, we must remember that the answer does not lie in how but rather why. “Why become a barrister?” However, for Malcolm Waters QC the reasons were clear from the start….

Malcolm Waters QC was called to the Bar in 1977 and took silk in 1997. He has enjoyed a very successful career as a Chancery barrister, with a particular focus on banking and finance and financial services. He has worked on many interesting reported cases and has co-authored publications, published by Sweet & Maxwell, as well as worked as consultant editor on numerous Halsbury’s Laws of England editions. Some could say what Malcolm Waters QC doesn’t know about his area of the law isn’t worth knowing, which is the reason his advice is so valuable to law students who are debating a profession at the Bar.

I spoke with Malcolm Waters QC to learn about his life as a Chancery barrister and here is what he had to say;

1. Why did you decide to pursue a career in law and why a barrister rather than a solicitor?

I chose law partly because I liked the idea of advising people how to fix problems they faced and partly because it seemed like a good career choice for someone like me who studied arts subjects at A level. I decided to become a barrister because my law tutor thought (and probably rightly in those days) that it would provide a more stimulating intellectual challenge than practice as a solicitor.

2. What advice would you give to law students who are currently undecided as to whether they wish to take the barrister route or the solicitor route? What do you think are the key […]

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