Tutors provide a supervisory and mentoring role for new barristers, often referred to as readers. Tutors undertake to accept a reader until such time as the reader satisfactorily completes the requirements of the Reading Program (the program is a minimum of 12 months).
The tutor/reader relationship forms a critical part of the introduction and transition to a career at the bar. The Bar Association recommends that arrangements for seeking a tutor should be initiated between six months to a year before coming to the bar. Further guidance on the Bar Council's expectations of a tutor, the regulatory regime of the Reading Program and the importance of the tutor/ reader relationship are provided in the Reader / Tutor Guidelines. The Guidelines are intended to assist tutors and readers to obtain the maximum benefit from the reading period.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant changes to the way in which barristers work, and while some of these changes will be temporary, others may continue indefinitely. Additional guidance has been provided to tutors and readers navigating the Reading Program in light of these changes: Circular to Readers and Tutors – June 2020.
Become a Tutor
Barristers wishing to undertake the role of a tutor must meet the pre-requisites set out in the Bar Association's Tutor Policy.
Potential tutors should also be aware of their obligations as a tutor under the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) (Uniform Law) ('Potential Tutors'), and Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015.
For commencing practitioners and the profession at large, potential tutors and readers must be able to connect. The Bar Association maintains a list of Current Tutor and Potential Tutor. Barrister applying to be included on the list of tutors consent to their name being included on the list of barristers kept by the Bar Council, and made available via the Bar Association's website. Inclusion on the potential tutor list does not involve an offer or commitment to accept a reader.