I came to the Bar having worked in accounting / finance / management with a chartered accountancy background.
I started out as a barrister with very good but short experience as a solicitor branch of the profession.
I was an outsider at the Bar for many reasons. Many come to the Bar having worked in litigation area as a solicitor. They have many contacts that would provide them with work. In my days there were only few Indian barristers at NSW Bar. In that sense too I was an outsider. These days there are many more Indians at the Bar.
My advice to people starting out is that Bar is not for the faint hearted. You have to be passionate about some area of Law. If you have interest in Law and its development you would do well.
One of the most important qualities in my view is patience and perseverance. You might lose a case because of are too junior to a more senior lawyer (advocate in India). The loss should not be a deterrent. With time one will succeed but tenacity is required. Believe in yourself but remain humble.
Always seek mentors whether it be Law School colleagues. In NSW we freely guide people who came to bar much later than us. If I am in complicated case I would ask other people in my chambers or friends at the Bar who practise in that particular area of law whether my approach is correct. Never be afraid to ask questions. Some would not help but many would.
*As carried by SuperLawyers