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

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By Alex Aldridge on

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 bar”.

Now, wannabe lawyers, when a man who does very well out of the hundreds of students doing the BPTC each year at his venerable institution says don’t go to the criminal bar – which, of course, supplies a substantial proportion of the 450 annual available pupillages – it means there is REALLY SOMETHING VERY, VERY WRONG at the criminal Bar.

From that, you can draw the conclusion that even if you do get a pupillage at a criminal set, you’re probably still shafted: another very good reason not to do the BPTC unless you want to practise civil law (and are clever and good at advocacy).

Don’t believe me?

Well, read Bar Council chairman Michael Todd QC’s comments in the Evening Standard yesterday about the “great concern” he feels that the number of students recruited to the BPTC is “far more” than the number of pupillages available.

As head of a professional body like the Bar Council, Todd has a lot of people to keep sweet and has to couch his language in diplomatic terms so as not to offend. Reading between the lines, what he is really saying is “WHY THE FUCK HAS NOBODY BOTHERED LIMITING ENTRY TO THE BPTC?!”

It’s a good question. Because the situation has been going on for a good while – and just keeps getting worse and worse amid buck-passing, fake “diversity” excuses and outdated arguments about competition law.

For reasons that it’s hard to comprehend at times, the wannabe barristers keep coming. We have to accept that. Time then, finally, for the Bar Standards Board (BSB) to wake from its slumber and do something.