A criminal barrister works in court most days. They will prepare cases and then present them in court, either prosecuting for the State or defending for a lay client. Typically, a criminal barrister will practice on one of the various circuits which cover the country by region. These are the South Eastern, Midland, North Eastern, Northern, Wales & Chester Circuits. All barristers also have to belong to an Inn of Court: Inner Temple, Middle Temple, Lincoln’s & Gray’s Inn. The Inns support the Bar and students. They provide scholarships, education for barristers and trainees and library services.
In court barristers will attend non trial hearings (such as Plea and Trial Preparation Hearings, sentencing hearings and hearings to mount legal arguments before a trial). A large part of a barrister’s work is conducting trials in the Crown Court (before judge a jury), in the Magistrates’ Court (before a District Judge or lay Magistrates) and in the youth court. Criminal barristers also practice in the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and High Court.