Bar professional training course

Do As I Say Not As I Do Advocacy Training: Starring Lord Sumption

Last month we analysed the “smug smile” and poor posture which blight Lord Neuberger’s delivery of judgments. But the UK Supreme Court president is not the only senior judicial figure whose advocacy style strays from Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) textbook norms… As you can see below, Lord Sumption is so fidgety that it appears… Read more »

Tooks Chambers Barristers Start Company That Charges Bar Hopefuls £186 Each For Pupillage Application Advice From Michael Mansfield QC

When criminal barristers talk of having to diversify in order to survive, it’s generally assumed that they mean developing expertise in different areas of the law. The expectation isn’t that they would, say, start up a company that charges wannabe barristers £186 a pop to receive advice on ‘How to get a pupillage’. But that… Read more »

BPTC Language Test Fudge Leaves Bar Hopefuls Mystified

Surprisingly, non-native English speakers don’t have to sit a language test to gain admission to the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). Lucy Pether investigates To the uninitiated, this country’s quirky system of legal education is deeply confusing. This rule applies not just to the bigger picture, but also to the details, with the level of… Read more »

The Definitive Way To Decide Whether You Should Become A Barrister Or A Solicitor

Last week Eddie Stobart Lorries’ newly-formed legal arm caused controversy by claiming that solicitors are like GPs and barristers like consultants. While there’s some truth in this medical analogy, it can also be misleading – with misguided notions of status often leading wannabe lawyers to do the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) when they should do… Read more »

Podcast: How Far Should Bar Hopefuls Follow Their Dreams?

Incredibly, Yusuf Solley landed the first pupillage he applied for – with the Government Legal Service (GLS) then paying his way through the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). But despite being involved in some fantastic work at, amongst other departments, the Attorney-General’s Office, Solley yearned to be on his feet in court… So after qualifying… Read more »

How Never Having Done a Pupillage Needn’t Stop You Appearing On The Telly As a ‘Barrister’

Over the weekend, David Neita, a self-styled ‘People’s Lawyer and People’s Poet’, was interviewed on BBC Breakfast News, where he was billed as a ‘barrister’. Neita – a Bar Vocational Course (BVC) graduate who the Bar Standards Board (BSB) has no record of doing a pupillage – explained how he’s trying to stop racism in football, adding on… Read more »

Entry To The Bar: ‘Let The Cream Rise To The Top’

OccupyTheInns disagrees with the call made by Mr Justice Burton at Saturday’s Young Bar Conference to make more pupillages available Almost a year has passed since I launched my campaign urging Bar graduates without a pupillage to show their dissatisfaction by peacefully occupying the Inns of Court. At the time I was an angry young… Read more »

How To Survive The Bar Professional Training Course

After finally securing a pupillage over the summer, OccupyTheInns returns to offer his words of wisdom to students commencing the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) this month Amongst the celebrations, late nights out and long brunches I have enjoyed since obtaining pupillage last month, one thought has kept returning to my mind: how can I… Read more »

Restricting The BPTC To Students Who’ve Already Bagged a Pupillage Wouldn’t Breach Competition Law…

…but it would put pressure on chambers to fund the course – and could lead to it getting scrapped altogether, writes Lancaster University’s Angus MacCulloch The plight of thousands of aspiring barristers who invest large sums of money to undertake the BPTC, but are increasingly unlikely to secure pupillage, has encouraged a lively debate in… Read more »

Don’t Fancy The BPTC? Well, You Could Try Nicknaming Yourself ‘Barrister’ Instead

My favourite character in the media storm that has embraced embattled Tory peer Baroness Warsi is ‘Barrister’ Abid (full name Abid Hussein), the Baroness’s Walthamstow-based business partner. When he’s not working on projects with Warsi, Abid – who graduated in law from Sheffield Hallam University – is a ‘third sector and external funding manager’ at… Read more »

Five Ways To Solve The Pupillage Crisis

The chairman of the Bar Council was recently reported in the Evening Standard saying that there are not enough pupillages for those trying to enter the Bar. This is not new, but that is not to say that it should not be news, writes The Law Horse. Every BPTC student gambles tens of thousands of… Read more »

BPP Law School CEO Says Avoid Criminal Bar; Bar Council Chief Voices ‘Great Concern’ At Number Of Barrister Wannabes – Yet Still Students Keep Flocking To The BPTC

On Sunday BPP Law School chief executive Peter Crisp became the latest – and most unlikely – person to (indirectly) lend his voice to the growing chorus of warnings against doing the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). Speaking to The Sunday Times(£), Crisp said that he does “not advise going into criminal practice at the… Read more »

Through The Keyhole: Lincoln’s Inn Student Accommodation

City University BPTC student Jack Smith welcomes Legal Cheek duo Alex Aldridge and Kevin Poulter into his Lincoln’s Inn home – obtained thanks to the scholarship he bagged from the famous Inn. Like a Japanese tourist on his first visit to London, Aldridge insists on filming everything. The unique footage of smith’s flat, nestled in… Read more »

How To Get An Inns Of Court Scholarship

BPTC student Jack Smith, who’s in receipt of a full scholarship from Lincoln’s Inn, explains what to do – and what not to do – to get your hands on some Inns of Court treasure It’s that time of year again. Hundreds of budding barristers are currently waiting to hear whether they are among the… Read more »

Bar Should Be Restricted To Russell Group Graduates

Why incur the cost and hassle of an aptitude test to limit entry onto the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) when there is a far easier solution, asks OccupyTheInns This week the Law Society warned the Bar off introducing an aptitude test to restrict entry onto the BPTC. You may not expect this from a… Read more »

Who Are You Calling a Paralegal?

The title of non-practising barrister needs to be given more weight to reflect Bar school graduates’ educational achievements, argues OccupyTheInns In his Legal Cheek article last week Simon Myerson QC referred to me as an “anonymous paralegal”. This was saddening because Mr Myerson – whose work I had hitherto regarded with the upmost respect –… Read more »

Lord Justice of Appeal Slams MasterChef Hopefuls

When BBC series MasterChef set its contestants the task of cooking a qualifying session dinner at Middle Temple, it knew it would be a stern test. With 230 barristers to feed – including two Supreme Court judges, three Lord Justices of Appeal, four High Court judges and 26 QCs – the culinary hopefuls slaved away for… Read more »

Sloppy Reporting Obscures Bar’s True Pupillage Problems

A contributing factor towards lack of diversity at the Bar, and the oversupply of wannabe barristers, is poor reporting of the issues by the legal press, says Alex Aldridge For journalists, stats-based pieces can be a pain, because they require meticulousness and frequently more work than straight reporting of events. Often you just don’t have… Read more »

Minimum Trainee Solicitor Salary May Be Scrapped – Will Minimum Pupillage Award Be Next?

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has said there’s no regulatory justification for retaining the 30-year-old policy of minimum salaries for trainee solicitors. For legal geeks, the detail is explained nicely on LegalFutures. To summarise the practicalities: the scrapping of the minimum pay rule – currently £18,590 in central London and £16,650 elsewhere – would leave… Read more »

Don’t Believe the Law School Scholarship Hype

Yesterday a press release from the College of Law appeared in my inbox, headed COLLEGE OF LAW LAUNCHES SCHOLARSHIPS FOR BPTC (Bar Professional Training Course) STUDENTS. An hour or so later I noticed Lawyer2B had published it as a news story. Now, usually when journalists write on-diary news they tone down the frequently hyperbolic tone… Read more »

MASTERING WHAT, EXACTLY?

Follow @FellowsAdam Bar graduate Adam Fellows isn’t convinced doing a masters degree is a good way to land a trainee legal job One option for law graduates without a training contract or a pupillage is to study for a masters. Universities have offered LLMs for a long time. More recently, the big name course providers… Read more »

MILLIONAIRE LAWYERS SHOULD FUND PUPILLAGES

Follow @OccupyTheInns Unless the legal profession acts, an occupation of the Inns of Court could become inevitable, argues OccupyTheInns During the last few days I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that it is not currently a realistic objective to occupy the Inns of Court. It has become clear to me that it is simply… Read more »

£65K FOR A PUPILLAGE?!

Follow @FellowsAdam Adam Fellows considers the discrepancies between pupil earnings, and asks whether the Bar should bring back unfunded pupillages At Legal Cheek, the matter of pupillages has been getting a lot of attention recently. Two posts by jobless Bar graduate OccupyTheInns – one about ways of showing dissatisfaction with the lack of pupillages and… Read more »