Becoming a Barrister

Entry to the Bar of Northern Ireland is based on merit.

How do I become a Barrister?

The path to becoming a barrister in Northern Ireland will differ depending on where you study, qualify and complete your pupillage training. There are different pathways for those who have trained as barristers in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland or England and Wales. A different procedure exists for solicitors who wish to re-qualify as barristers or those who wish to transfer from European jurisdictions. In general, the following steps apply:

Northern Ireland

1. Complete a qualifying law degree.

2. Complete the Bar Post-Graduate Diploma in Professional Legal Studies at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Queen’s University, Belfast (IPLS).

3. Call to the Bar of Northern Ireland and complete a 12 month pupillage.

For further information please contact the Clerk to the Under Treasurer of the Inn of Court of Northern Ireland on 028 9056 2349.

The Benchers have produced guidelines to Students of the Inn of Court on Engaging in any Other Occupation.

Temporary Call

Application Form - Temporary Membership

Application for a Temporary Practising Certificate

Payment can be made by credit card or bank transfer upon request by emailing

If you require further information please contact or call 02890562055

Discretionary Committee

If you require further information please contact or call 02890562055

2024 Exemption Applications

The Bar Council is offering one more window of opportunity to apply for exemption in 2024. The opportunity is as follows:

No new applications to be considered until the opening of the cycle in mid-October 2024 for the following exemption year in 2025. Please direct any enquiries to Donal Hannaway , 028 9056 2060