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Barrister decides to quit job over poor pay

A long-standing barrister has decided to quit her job in the legal profession to set up her own bed and breakfast in Yorkshire, claiming that government cuts to legal aid have meant the barrister's job is no longer financially viable, reports the Daily Mail.

Judith King has spent the past ten years defending clients in criminal cases in Kent.

However, she says the job of barrister was only modestly paid and that she could only afford to drive a small car and to rent a tiny house. She said her salary did not even cover the cost of living and that she was forced to dip into her savings to pay household bills.

Now Mrs King has decided enough is enough and has ended her career as a barrister in order to move north to Yorkshire to run a bed and breakfast, something she says will pay her far more than her previous job ever did.

"For me, defending and prosecuting the sort of cases I did and not to be able to afford a very modest lifestyle is ridiculous," she told the Daily Mail.

"At that time, I was renting a tiny house and running a tiny economical car yet I just couldn't earn enough to pay the basic household bills and I was subsidising everything with my savings," she added.

Mrs King was a former nurse and used her experiences in the medical profession to help her in complex child cases, one involving rape and another torture.

Earlier this year barristers across the country staged the first ever 'walk-out' over plans to significantly cut the amount that barristers are paid by the legal-aid system to represent those facing criminal prosecution.

Barristers are expected to pay for their legal education, spanning several years, and costing thousands of pounds in tuition fees. They are also then expected to work self-employed, with no guarantee of work and for sums of money that are getting lower and lower.

The state of the profession is such that many commentators believe that practicing at the bar will become the preserve of a privileged elite who can rely on wealthy relatives to fund an education and life that few others could afford on a barrister's salary alone.