The Bar Council is giving junior barristers thousands of pounds to go to international conferences — apply here!

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By Alex Aldridge on

Up to £2,500 per barrister available to fund flights, hotels and other costs arising from participation in conferences abroad


Put-upon junior barristers in need of winter sun have been thrown a lifeline by the Bar Council, which has launched the 2015 version of its ‘International Grant Programme’.

The scheme funds brilliant jollies abroad participation in key global conferences via grants of up to £2,500. It is open to fully-qualified barristers of seven years practice or less, who are in need of “financial assistance to participate in international legal events of their choice, which contribute to their professional development”.

Past beneficiaries of the 82 grants handed out since the inception of the programme in 2009 have used the plentiful wedge to travel to locations as far flung as South Korea, Hong Kong, Brazil, Japan, France, Singapore and the US.

Bar chairman Alistair MacDonald QC describes the initiative as “an important part of our international strategy”. He says that its aim is:

“To encourage more junior barristers to participate in activities which will give them an international perspective on legal issues and help them to thrive in an increasingly globalised legal market.”

It’s also about helping other countries, MacDonald adds:

“With the Bar playing an increasingly visible role in an international market place, it is vital that we share our knowledge and ideas with other jurisdictions, whether via exchanges, business delegations or training.”

The deadline for applications — which can be made here — is next Friday 13 February, with two further rounds taking place later in the year with deadlines of 29 May and 16 October.

Established by the International Committee of the Bar Council in 2009, the programme is supported by the Bar Council Scholarships Trust, the Commercial Bar Association, the Family Law Bar Association, the Technology and Construction Bar Association, the Employment Law Bar Association, the Competition Law Association, the London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association, the Northern Circuit and the Wales and Chester Circuit.

Barristers must be a member of one of these organisations in order to apply for the scheme.