The newest graduates of the Victorian Bar Reader's course have increased the state's Bar Roll by 33, bringing the total number of practising Victorian barristers to 1889.
Almost one third of the new graduates were women (27 per cent), bringing the total number of practising women barristers in Victoria to 479. Three were Readers from the South Pacific region - two from the Solomon Islands and one from Papua New Guinea.
Signing the Bar Roll on 27 October, the 33 new barristers come from a variety of different backgrounds, including a building surveyor, a TV and film actor and a documentary maker. Legal experience ranged from six months to 36 years in small and large firms in Australia, the UK, Hong Kong, New York and Cambodia.
The 33 graduates are the first group to complete an extensively revised course.
"The graduates brought together people with diverse skills and experience," said Victorian Bar chairman Mark Moshinsky SC.
"They are unique individually and as a group because they are the first group to go through the new course. The revised course included a three-hour entrance exam on ethics, procedure and evidence, which ensured they were as prepared as possible to begin a course intensively focused on a barrister's core expertise - advocacy."
The new course includes exam entry and mid-point assessment, a new curriculum developed from scratch, further scheduled training during the nine-month reading period, moot courts conducted at the Supreme and County Courts, as well as working visits to institutions with key roles in Victoria's justice system.