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REVEALED: The BPTC providers with the highest chance of pupillage

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Northumbria is the worst; BPP London is the best — but overall rate is poor

law-student-problems#

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has released new Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) statistics revealing where students should go to ensure the best chance of securing pupillage.

According to the stats, BPP Law School’s London branch was the winner — with 27% of its 2011, 2012 and 2013 BPTC students having started pupillage. ULaw’s London branch and City Law School came second equal; 21% of their graduates are already in chambers.

Table

At the other end of the spectrum, Northumbria came last: a mere 3% of its students — or seven out of 225 — from 2011-13 have bagged a pupillage. Incredibly, not a single member of Northumbria’s 2013 BPTC class, which contained 48 students, has started pupillage yet (however, Northumbria says that six of those students have pupillage but didn’t start it until after the BSB completed its survey).

Meanwhile, Cardiff Law School is second bottom of the table, with just 6% of its BPTC graduates over those three years having made it into practice.

Overall, there is a pattern for the BPTC providers outside London — which charge lower fees — to offer less chance of securing a pupillage than the more expensive £18,000-a-year providers in the capital.

The BSB’s study also revealed that one quarter of all BPTC students had a 2:2 at undergraduate level. Northumbria was particularly welcoming of these students, with over half its intake between 2011 and 2013 having a 2:2.

94 Comments

Felicia

What a bloody scam.

(42)(3)

Proudboobs

Northumbria (an ex public convenience) welcomes mediocre students from other ex public conveniences – none or very few of which secure a pupillage. I’m shocked.

(15)(20)

Anonymous

If you actually looked at the figures with any depth then you would see that Northumbria has taken on circa 75% of its students from overseas who almost exclusively return home and therefore do not apply for pupillage in the UK. Additionally, these figures do not take in to account MLaw students of which there are 20 a year. Out of the 20 in 2014, 5 have pupillages. I studied at Northumbria graduating this year and found the standard of teaching and facilities impeccable. Your comments are very out of touch, wise up.

(55)(16)

Anonymous

Yes but have you got a pupillage ?

(9)(7)

MLaw Graduate (with a pupillage!)

Yes, thanks. Have you?

Public convenience alumnus

Likewise.

Anonymous

Once again, if you (and the author of this article) had bothered to read the report properly, you would see that the BPTC recorded pupillages that had commenced after 24th July this year. The six 2013/14 Northumbria students who obtained pupillage all commenced their pupillage after that date (though 3 obtained it whilst on the course). Some incredibly bright students who have gone on to be accomplished barristers have come through Northumbria, and your comments are enormously disrespectful towards them at the very least. If you are in the profession, then it’s time you started acting like a professional: applying some level of analysis to material; not relying on ill-founded prejudice; and demonstrating courtesy. If you are not in the profession then that is a good thing. From the evidence of this performance, you don’t deserve to be.

(6)(5)

Anonymous

Please note that if you take out the non-eu students that City University gets the most students in Pupillage.
Many providers take non EU students who are returning to common law jurisdictions . If these figures are removed p122 of the report https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases-and-news/bar-regulator-announces-important-developments-in-the-2016-bar-professional-training-course/ BPP does not come top at all !

(5)(3)

BPTC 4eva

These figures are awful, but a couple of things to bear in mind:

– The majority of overseas students go back to their own countries to practise. Even ‘outpost’ providers have significant proportions of overseas students. Lots of those included in ‘failed to secure pupillage’ won’t be looking for pupillage in the first place.

– Those who have already secured pupillage before undertaking the BPTC are perhaps more likely to choose to do the BPTC in London as well. Considering most pupillages are London-based this would skew the figures in the favour of London providers.

(27)(0)

Anonymous

If you remove the overseas student results. City gets the most Pupillages.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

You have to bear in mind that a lot of students who attend the regional BPTC centres are doing so because they may not want pupillage in London, and there are FAR fewer pupillages and chambers outside of London.

(2)(0)

Anon

How do chambers general respond to applicants making their applications before starting the BPTC or before having secured a place on the BPTC. I’m going to make pupillage applications this year and next, but I have no intention of starting the BPTC until I’ve secured interview or even a pupillage.

(6)(2)

Anon.

They don’t care. BPTC is, to most chambers including mine, basically a complete nothing.

(16)(3)

Anon

Good to know, so many in practice have said that the academic side of things is not worth the money, but whilst a complete waste of time, it is the requisite. I wish the Bar would move into the modern age.

(2)(0)

Anon.

You’ll get some stuff out of it. If you’re doing civil for example you get an intro to the CPR which is pretty invaluable in some ways. But most of what you do is a waste of time and you could definitely get most of the helpful parts of the course done in a four week course, maybe followed by a few advocacy exercises spread out over a few months which could be fit around some work or literally anything else which would likely stand you in better stead.

(5)(2)

Anonymous

You could get that from a copy of the white book. Or even better, it’s online for free.

Mr Pineapples

Stupid comment. BPTC teachers us how to be barristers. I suppose you are of the olde school: let’s go to more dinners at the Inn and learn it from the drunken horse’s mouth?

Pathetic

(5)(15)

Anonymous

It taught me how to pass the BPTC, that’s for sure.

Now I am in practice (2 years after finishing Pupillage), looking back it didn’t actually teach me what I needed (and still need) to know.

Sure, the CPR part was useful but the knowledge is tested so badly. Professional Ethics was a COMPLETE farce and bore no relation to real life. Criminal – I can’t believe I passed it because I hardly understood a thing. Advocacy – good techniques but not exactly groundbreaking.opinion and Drafting? Forget it. Chambers and pupil masters have their own style that you have to follow as a pupil.

The optional subjects were so brief as to be useless (although I did learn how to do a PI/Fatal calculation which I have used more than once in practice).

As it is, the BPTC is just an edifice constructed by the BSB to show it is doing something towards educating future barristers, but in reality the education provided is fairly useless.

Now where’s my BPTC civil lit book…?

(8)(2)

Sir Viv

I actually thought ethics was quite useful for practice….. its unlikely you are ever going to read the code of conduct until you are shitting it that you have breached it.

Anon.

I’m afraid not; I’ve always firmly believed dining sessions teach no one anything except that there are some unsavoury characters hanging around the older part of the profession. As I said, I think there is a need for some form of course, but it could and should be drastically shorter (and therefore cheaper) without losing any of the actual utility it provides. You learn to be a barrister during pupillage, the BPTC is (or should be) to provide you with the very basic grounding needed to allow you to start pupillage without asking what a strike out application is.

(1)(0)

Pantman

Around a quarter of pupillages commence within one year of the application deadline – so effectively not having commenced, or even finished the BPTC rules you out of applying for those:

http://www.indx.co.uk/pupilbase/?mode=stats&rtype=delay

(1)(0)

Ex-Kaplan Student

I think (in my year and the year before at least) Kaplan had rates of around 50%. It should of course be accounted for that around half of those both years already had pupillage before arriving on the course, but in terms of percentages there were also a lot more picked up throughout the year. That was (I think) at least in part due to how beneficial it is to be in a more selective group which pushes you harder and lets you learn more from those around you, but credit where it’s due, there were also some real positives coming from the course itself in that respect.

Shame that’s no way to make money.

(10)(2)

Anonymous

On the GDL at Kaplan, 66% of us got pupillage before BPTC. It’s such a shame Kaplan had to close.

(8)(1)

Anonymous

Kaplan no more ‘got’ these students pupillages than they could fly to the moon. Chambers do not care less where you do your BPTC.

(13)(1)

Not Amused

I can tell you that we look upon people who do this as being very sensible.

(4)(4)

Kuzka's Mother

They should probably remove from consideration the people who are from overseas jurisdictions. But generally this doesn’t improve the image of the BPTC basically being a huge scam.

(7)(0)

Anon

If it is the case that Chambers are open to prospective applicants before they even made it on to the BPTC why are students flocking to the course that costs so much money; it shouldn’t be the case that pursuing the LPC and TC is more financially sensible than going for the BPTC and Pupillage.

Why don’t Chambers, like top city firms, recruit many years in advance so they can pick candidates they feel are most suitable to their Chambers?

(2)(2)

Not Amused

“If it is the case that Chambers are open to prospective applicants before they even made it on to the BPTC why are students flocking to the course that costs so much money”

Because someone is misleading kids.

(8)(4)

Tulkinghorn

Almost all Chambers do recruit a year in advance (ie during GDL/ 3rd year LLB) and most people I know who got pupillage got it before they started the BPTC.
Obviously some people do get pupillage during the BPTC, but it’s a very expensive risk to take. Few barristers would say that the BPTC itself adds value for a potential pupillage applicant.

(1)(0)

Prospective LPC Student

Just so if anyone here is thinking that securing a TC is less difficult than securing a Pupillage. Securing a TC is as hard as, may be more, securing a Pupillage. The number of students (overseas excluded) who end up finding a TC, before or after commencing LPC, out of the whole batch (annual intake) is somewhat the same as the figures given above.

(2)(26)

Anonymous

I disagree.

(5)(3)

Anon

But you have to admit, the process is more transparent, not so complicated and of course there are so many more TC’s available that Pupillages; however in fairness you can’t compare the two because they are different practices (albeit in some respect similar), and the number of jobs available is as a result of different factors, but still within the consideration of law graduates looking to pursue a legal career.

But the I still don’t understand the timelines for the Bar that well compared to that of the TC route.

(0)(2)

Anonymous

The idea that getting a TC is harder than bagging a pupillage, is one I find laughable.

5000 odd TCs a year and approx 380 pupillages?

(25)(1)

Rumpole

379, taking into account mine.

(9)(1)

Boh Dear

378

Anonymous

Lol and how many applicant for those 5000 TC numpty ?…

(1)(3)

Kuzka's Mother

Apparently ~6,000 or so people complete the LPC each year. Of course this gets more complicated given how some people are deferred for a couple of years and you have others from previous years still looking for a TC but the numbers are hardly as bad as with BPTC graduates seeking pupilage. It was difficult to secure my TC but I managed it, and I’ve hardly got the most spectacular of academic backgrounds out there.

So yes, securing pupilage is certainly more difficult than a TC, purely because the numbers are so small which magnifies competition.

Anonymous

rubbish.

(0)(2)

Anonymous

I totally disagree. It took me 4 years to secure pupillage, having amassed a good deal of practical legal experience. Securing pupillage is extremely difficult these days (the success rate was under 15% when I completed the BVC in 2010, and it has fallen further still).

Is it hard to secure a training contract? Well, it depends where you want to go. City vs High Street arguments etc. If you just want any TC, then you just have to get some work within a firm and show them that you can work hard….et voila, an offer will undoubtedly be forthcoming.

(5)(0)

Seamus

This article is a little misleading. I just want to point out to any aspirant barristers reading this that chambers really do not care where you did your BPTC. The academic qualifications that DO matter are where you did your undergraduate degree, which degree class, your GDL results etc.. Of course, performing well on the BPTC is good, but the fact that we offer pupillages to many students who haven’t even started the course says all you need to know.

A separate discussion thus arises and asks whether the BPTC has any purpose at all…

(12)(1)

Anon

Would you have to have been offered a place first on the BPTC before consideration, or just applying for pupillage without any BPTC guarantee there at all, with the intention to study for the BPTC after success in finding pupillage.

(0)(0)

Tulkinghorn

It’s not hard to get a place on the the BPTC, and as the previous poster said, the pupillage providers won’t care. The best advice is to secure pupillage before doing the BPTC. No point betting £17k+ on your chances of getting pupillage.

(10)(0)

Anon

I meant if you’ve made not applications but you’ve applied for Pupillage, and lets say for pete’s sake, that he made it to interview, what Chambers position there, if he won’t make applications until he’s secured pupillage.

(0)(0)

Mr Pineapples

Who is this bluddy Pete of which you speak?

Anonymous

Your standard of written English is not good enough for pupillage. Don’t throw your money away on the BPTC.

Anon

Go do one arsehole

Anonymous

Will do, but you’ll be sorry you didn’t listen.

Gus the Snedger

Do one what?

Anonymous

Do you really care about GDL results? I’ve seen juniors with double firsts at undergrad receive commendations on the GDL. Of greater concern is the idea that good GDL grades will remedy a poor undergraduate result, which I don’t think is true, and wouldn’t want anyone to be relying on that and signing up to the BPTC in false hope.

(1)(0)

Seamus

GDL results certainly do matter, after all, they are the only legal qualifications many applicants have. It’s true that more weight is given to undergraduate degrees, but a mere pass on the GDL would not look good. The GDL, whilst not necessarily a very academic qualification, is still a challenging course and therefore can be used as one barometer of an applicant’s ability. Good chambers would want commendation or higher.

The thing to remember with all pupillage applications is that there is not one thing which matters absolutely. Rather, we aggregate scores across a number of areas (academics, work experience, mooting etc…) to create an overall picture of an applicant.

(0)(0)

The randomiser

TBH I went to Northumbria – left the BPTC this year. You cannot argue with the cost £12,500 and low cost of living in Newcastle. Moreover, with a Gray’s Inn Scholarship I made money from choosing to go there.

I would add that like 90% of those on the course are overseas so the statistics are a betrayal of the facts. Also, there are a number of students on the course who do this Mlaw degree who aren’t really pupillage contenders…

(9)(4)

MLaw Graduate (with a pupillage!)

Please explain how doing the MLaw course means you aren’t a pupillage contender? I’m intrigued.

(5)(2)

Anonymous

If chambers don’t want you with the CV you have, doing a top up course from the same provider in an attempt to bolster said CV, will not persuade them otherwise.

Show me a chambers that will take on pupils 4 or 5 years call, who have struggled to get pupillage thus far, and thought that going and doing these waste of space courses would ensure pupillage success.

(3)(2)

MLaw Graduate (with a pupillage!)

Do you understand what the MLaw course is?!
It’s four years doing an LLB, 15,000 word LLM dissertation and 4 Taught LLM options and the BPTC.
Not a top up course. Mong

(4)(13)

Anonymous

I have an MLaw. All i had to do was a dissertation once i’d finished the BPTC.

I got pupillage before enrolling on this, before anyone pipes up. I just fancied some extra fancy letters after my name, having won big at the bingo and with £1,500 to spare.

The Bar Necessities

Because Northumbria is a third-tier university. Even with a first, you cannot realistically hope to compete with people who have 2:1s from Oxbridge. It will be—and indeed is—incredibly difficult to secure pupillage interviews with an undergrad degree from Northumbria.

I did the BPTC at Northumbria (having done my undergrad elsewhere) and if I recall correctly of the group of forty MLaw students I met (spread over two cohorts of 20), four got pupillages. Two at local sets, two at sets further afield. Historically, the hit rate was about 1 per year, usually in one of the Newcastle sets. My year was a bumper crop but, even so, of those that got pupillage in my year, I think only one person did any better than knock-about out-of-London sets (although, ironically, those are sometimes the most sustainable practices).

The short answer is that choosing a Northumbria undergrad isn’t likely to result in pupillage. The odds of getting pupillage from a Russell group uni or Oxbridge are statistically much better.

Disgusting of Tonbridge Swells

Good luck keeping that pupillage if your chambers discovers that you are happy to use offensive and disablist language like “mong” as an insult.

Quo Vadis

Hear hear.

The Hon. Bowels

What an utter penis.

Anonymous

aw shaddup ya face

Top up Course Taker

Speaking as someone who got pupillage on the fourth year of trying and someone who did one of the top up LLM courses, I can say that it did indeed help and my dissertation was certainly a topic of conversation at interview.

When looking at a CV, I would definitely be interested in a candidate showing continued motivation and dedication to joining the profession by undertaking to complete a dissertation, particularly if doing so while continuing to do interesting legal work.

Such a vitriolic and snobby attitude has no place at the Bar.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

I’d love to know who are all the people getting pupillage from Northumbria.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

It’s a Mickey Mouse degree it’s not an honours degree and frankly is for those who want to save money and get their Botc/lpc student loan funded unless it’s a llb your better prepared having a geography honours degree than this mlaw FACT

(1)(0)

Anonymous

If you choose to do the LLM or the BSC in whateverthefukitis they promise you can do if you don’t have pupillage in 6 months, you probably won’t get pupillage.

An extra shoddy piece of toilet paper in a frame and on your CV won’t hide the fact that you’re not cut out for a life at the Bar.

(8)(4)

Anonymous

Cuntery is obviously still in high demand.

(5)(4)

A.Barista

Better a master of cuntery with a pupillage, than being woefully average and bitter.

(9)(5)

Anon

You may all want to look at p. 75 of the report, under the heading ‘4. B. 3. 2. Pupillage rate of BPTC graduates, by provider (UK/EU domiciled students only)’. Paints a much more accurate picture by excluding non-domiciled students.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

Do you have a link to the report?

(0)(0)

Proudboobs

I’m looking at page 75. Northumbria does very badly – even when non-EU students are extrapolated.

Pupillage rate of BPTC graduates (UK/EU domiciled):

Within 6 months – 5%
Within 6-18 months – 3%
More than 18 months – 1%

It appears that, being generous, only 1 in 10 English students at Northumbria ever secure a pupillage.

At the other end of the scale is City Law School. Almost half of all English students there secure a pupillage. BPP London isn’t far behind. UOL is also a contender. The others are not so good.

(6)(1)

Boh Dear

I obtained pupillage a number of years after being called (2012). Not saying that it was easy but saying “if you don’t have pupillage in 6 months, you probably won’t get pupillage” is just wrong.

Doing an LLM/MA at a good uni WILL increase your prospects with some Chambers. I also know (anecdotally) that not having completed the BPTC can reduce your chances of being invited to interview. Once you’ve done the BPTC you’ve proved that you at least have some aptitude for the Bar and it’s a clear tiebreaker in some situations (someone more qualified vs someone who is less so) – not that I think is necessarily a good thing given the financial commitments which lie ahead for prospective pupils.

Also, I think the process for obtaining a TC is more rigorous than pupillage. TC offers are usually made after application forms, work placements, (sometimes multiple) assessment days, and multiple interviews. Pupillage offers are usually made after one application form and two interviews. That being said, these things can be a numbers game and TCs should, in theory, be easier to come by.

(4)(4)

Scouser of counsel

These type statistics were well known ten years ago and haven’t changed.

Personally the BVC was hard work but when I started pupillage I was told “forget it all”.

I regularly handed in opinions/ advices that would have been BVC gold standard but they were never good enough for my pupil mistress who made me do them again.

The advocacy tutor on the BVC was good but even he acknowledged that real-world advocacy wasn’t as formulaic as was taught.

A 2 year pupillage straight from the LLB would have been far more useful. The dinners were fun, though…

Just my 2d worth.

(5)(1)

Not Amused

” I also know (anecdotally) that not having completed the BPTC can reduce your chances of being invited to interview”

That is not true at my set.

It is not true at any set I know.

I am conscious that these rumours ‘do the rounds’ amongst young people. It seems they are extremely hard to kill. But I can only do my best by being honest.

The BPTC is an expensive and largely useless joke. It is held in direct contempt by the majority of the Bar. The minority simply ignore it.

No one should undertake the course without securing pupillage in advance. If you cannot secure pupillage, then secure a year of paralegal employment (ideally in litigation) and apply again next year. That really will help you: both economically and in making you more attractive to sets.

(5)(4)

Felicia

“My set”

Sure, hun.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

I’m told that this is 100% true of almost all crime sets.

(0)(0)

Barwoman

Seconded. The BPTC is in no way considered by chambers to make a candidate “more qualified”. If anything I think of applicants who have done the BPTC before pupillage as lacking in judgement.

(0)(0)

Boh Dear

OK, to confirm. My friend applied to a set and was rejected for interview. He requested feedback. He was told he scored 19.5 (or similar) and the cut-off was 20 (or similar) and that he missed marks because he hadn’t completed the BPTC.

‘Anecdotally’ was perhaps the wrong words to use.

(0)(0)

Barwoman

My chambers gives one extra mark for an outstanding in the BPTC but no extra marks for simply having completed it, it means nothing.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

It’s held in contempt by members of the Bar who have no idea as to its current content or what is taught. They continue the circle jerk that they know best, advocacy can’t be taught and that correcting a pupils work means changing it to the way they do it rather than being able to teach someone to improve in a way other than to mimic.

I’ve met just as many if not far more useless ‘teachers’ on the Inns courses as I have on the BPTC. Being at the bar full time is a mark of just that. Not that you can teach.

Teaching doesn’t mean “Do it my way or else”. The Inns courses are far worse at this than the BPTC. The difference is that fellow students on the Inns courses drool over members of the Bar and agree with their every word, including the mantra that the BPTC is rubbish and all the teachers are morons.

These stats aren’t about showing students how bleak their prospects are. They know. The problem is that they all think they are in the small minority who will get a pupillage.

Speak to a pre BPTC student and wild horses won’t keep them from the course. Will enrolments on the BPTC go down next year in light of these stats? Of course not.

This is all about the Inns taking over. Great! Not really. They just want a slice of the pie.

Will they restict numbers? Doubtful?

Will the quality of those who teach improve? Of course not. People are in cloud cuckoo land thinking that leading silks are suddenly going to teach the course. Hundreds per hour on a fat brief or £100 for teaching Billy how to cross examine?

The course is expensive due to (a) the desire to make a profit and (b) the amount of stuff the BSB (which includes the same Bar complaining about the course) mandate the course contains.

Anyway, I’m off to complain about more professional exams. I can count so why should I have to pass the ACCA assessments. I mean I can speak and therefore can cross examine people. I didn’t learn any of it on the BPTC. Oh now. I was perfect from the start.

(10)(2)

Not Amused

“The Inns courses are far worse at this than the BPTC. The difference is that fellow students on the Inns courses drool over members of the Bar ”

The difference is over 17k

(0)(6)

Anonymous

With the same people taking over post revolution.

They won’t do it for free. Some suggest they have backed away from making noises about running the course themselves when they worked out how much they would have to charge.

Some students received a survey last year asking effectively how much they’d pay for the course. The numbers were far off the course fees now.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Weren’t far off.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

As far as I can tell, the pupillage stats are based on the results of surveys issued by Providers to their former students – if so, they depend on Providers running multiple surveys and students engaging with them. The BSB would, surely, have better information as to the provenance of pupils and when each completed the BVC/BPTC, as all pupillages have to be registered with them – FOI request anyone?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

The BSB will have all the data as all those commencing pupillage have to register that they are starting Pupillage and the information they give includes where they did the BPTC, undergrad and so on.

The providers don’t have the above information but the BSB does.

If this data is obtained from the providers it will be utterly inaccurate as there is no obligation on students to inform their provider.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

First degree locations tends to dictate pupillage prospects more than BPTC/BVC provider. Look at the recruits.

(4)(0)

Barwoman

This is a silly article. BPTC provider doesn’t matter a jot to chambers. Correlation is not causation.

(0)(0)

Not Amused

Well, it would be silly IF it was about advising young people on which provider to pick (because no one cares). However what I think it is really doing is warning young people of just how colossally bad the stats are at ALL providers.

That is an important public function. These shyster providers aren’t going to be publicising this themselves.

(1)(5)

Anonymous

The main reason Northumbria falls behind here is their tendency to take on students with a 2:2. And decent law grad will tell you that without a 1st/2:1 minimum at undergrad you may as well not bother with a career in law. It’s simply a money making exercise so they can afford to do the course for the small majority of their students who have a hope, but don’t want to (or can’t) study in the South.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

In my experience (20 years on a pupillage committee including five heading it) students who choose to study outside London are far, far less committed to the idea of the Bar. They are trying it, but don’t want to (or to be fair, simply feel they can’t afford to) move to London and throw their all into being at the Bar.
University degree is important to some sets. But getting out amongst the legal world is so important. Go to conferences, work for solicitors, do pro bono work; all these things are easier in London.
Getting a pupillage isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it’s achievable if approached in the right way.

None of the out of London sets will explain this to you, obviously. When I see in hall, students bussed in from out of London like school children, unable to assimilate among the institutions of the legal world, I do worry they have wasted their money.

(0)(4)

Anonymous

What would be a waste of money would be to spend an extra £15,000+ living and taking the BPTC in London with no intention to practice there when there are plenty of solicitors and pro bono work to go around elsewhere.

I don’t know how you can equate moving to London with throwing your all into being at the Bar. The Bar exists outside of London and becoming familiar with the solicitors and barristers in the region in which one intends to practice is surely more beneficial than moving to London then moving away again once you’ve finished the course?

(1)(0)

Quo Vadis

This is a dreadful attitude to take. As a student, I can tell you that no-one takes this course on a whim. Everyone knows that the course is extortionately expensive. Everyone knows that most students will not secure pupillage, and will have wasted their time and money. We also know that the centrally-assessed exams are demanding and capricious in the extreme. But our love and passion for the Bar carries us forward. As it happens, some students are not able to study in London because they are poor. Others study in the provinces because they wish to practice there. That is no reflection on their future potential as barristers and should not be taken as such.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

I think this attitude is outdated and unhelpful.

Children are not born poor simply because they weren’t trying hard enough. A profession cannot simply say “here is a mandatory course we insist you take. Yes we know it is rubbish. Unfortunately our regulators are incompetent idiots so it also costs nearly £18k. If you try to act in a rational manner to reduce cost, or if you are poor then I will assume that you lack commitment.”

Or rather a profession which does say such obviously stupid things is inviting anyone with a brain to hold it in contempt. It is my view that nearly 75% of pupillages are currently not worth having, as they do not lead to a remunerative future. It isn’t a wild logical leap to assume that the same wrong headed idiocy which has allowed huge swathes of the Bar to become unremunerative is the same sort of wrong headed idiocy which produces comments about ‘lack of commitment’.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

The above at 1.55pm was me

(0)(0)

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