Senior International Projects Officer

I joined the Bar Council to break out of the NGO sector I had previously worked in and to gain some more marketing and business development experience, whilst still working internationally. The new role also offered the possibility of continuing to do some more values driven work in the rule of law and human rights.

There has always been room to use my initiative 

The work is project based and varied. Most of it is determined by the barrister led international committee to accord with the international strategy, however unexpected projects also crop up at short notice - a human rights issue in Iran, challenges to individual barristers caused by the ever shifting immigration legislation and organising programmes for important foreign delegations with a week's notice.  Much of the work involves organising events and overseas business development missions that raise the profile of the Bar internationally. There has also been an opportunity to manage a government funded training programme for Chinese lawyers and to develop a new programme to replace this. This involved collaboration with the Law Society, British Council, British and Chinese Ministries of Justice and many Chinese lawyers and English barristers.

There has always been room to use my initiative and it was satisfying to launch a grant programme to enable young barristers to participate in international events in collaboration with the specialist bar associations. There has also been the development of marketing publications, website material and seminars to educate barristers and UKTI commercial officers on the opportunities for barristers overseas.

It has been particularly enjoyable to work with Chinese lawyers and get to know and understand the legal market and culture through numerous visits there. It has also been fascinating to work with some sharp legal minds on the International Committee.  Working here prompted me to undertake a Law Conversion. This was partially funded by the Bar Council and my manager was supportive of this undertaking.

The pace is fast and there is never a dull moment. During busy periods it might be necessary to work a couple of nights a week as many of the meetings and events are held out of office hours. However it is possible to claim back this time as TOIL.