November 2023 | Anna Barry | Foley’s List Barristers’ Clerk


Anna Barry | Foley’s List Barristers’ Clerk

What do you think is the most important thing about community?

The most important thing about community is one’s sense of belonging and connection. In one way or another we have been called to be a part of the legal community in providing service and helping others in the pursuit of justice. Whether that be assisting our Barristers, their clients or our colleagues, our sense of duty of care for others and engagement with the Law is what connects us.

What is the most rewarding part of working with the Victorian Bar?

As a Barristers’ Clerk, I have great career satisfaction in providing service to our Barristers, Solicitors, and other stakeholders of the legal community. I take pride in my role, in connecting our esteemed Barristers and observing them excel in their chosen fields.  Having the opportunity to work closely with those who have a direct insight into advocating for their client, shape policies and bring about positive changes in society is a feeling that is hard to describe.

Building strong relationships with clients and connecting them with valuable legal counsel is deeply rewarding. Knowing that my role has an impact in helping others during potential difficult or changing times in their life is very gratifying. In addition to this, the sense of camaraderie and teamwork is quite unique and understood by those in the legal community. It is something that I am proud to be a part of.

What is the most challenging part of working with the Victorian Bar?

One of the most challenging aspects of working with the Victorian Bar is the often-high stakes and competitive nature that comes with working in the legal field.

Working closely with our Barristers and other legal professionals, that are dealing with not only complex legal issues but are also often loaded with sensitive and emotionally charged situations. In addition, there can be demanding and relentless hours of hard work at times. This can lead to burnout if proper care and steps are not taken in creating boundaries and a healthy work-life balance. Managing the emotional toll and mental load can be challenging and requires empathy and resilience.

Providing support and streamlining service, allows our Barristers to focus on what matters.

Despite these challenges, all legal professionals alike that are called to work with the Victorian Bar typically find their work deeply fulfilling, knowing that they are contributing to the wide and diverse administration of justice.

The best advice I have received is….

“Comparison is the thief of joy”. I have now discovered is a quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt.

We live in a world where we constantly compare ourselves and our situations to others and in doing so we can set unrealistic expectations of ourselves and focus on things that do not serve us.

Be true to yourself and be kind. Stay authentic and genuine in your work and life endeavors. Embrace your unique qualities and values, as they are valued! Backing yourself and trusting your intuition will guide you to make choices aligned with your core beliefs and help you navigate through life’s challenges and successes.

Being a working Mum, I typically struggle to take my own advice, but it is something I want to continue to work on. It is essential to practice self-acceptance, gratitude and focus on personal growth rather than comparing ourselves to others.

Understanding and empathy is what truly connects us and provides a sense of belonging and community.