BSB and Bar Council schedule BTPC civil litigation exam on pupillage offer day

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By Thomas Connelly on

“We are now looking into alternative dates and options” say bar bigwigs


The Bar Standards Board (BSB) and Bar Council were left red-faced this morning after Legal Cheek pointed out that they had scheduled a Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) exam on pupillage offer day.

This year’s cohort of wannabe barristers will sit their civil litigation exam — which is set by the BSB not by training providers — on 2 May 2017. Unfortunately, this is exactly the same day that students find out if they have done enough to embark on their dream career.

For those unfamiliar with the turmoil that is pupillage offer day, allow us to explain. Aspiring barristers up and down the country spend a large part of the day sitting by the phone continually smashing the refresh button on their email, desperate to read the words: “congratulations, we would like to offer you a pupillage’.

The agony is prolonged even further for those who find themselves on a chambers’ reserve list. Knowing that you’re second, or even third choice, your career hopes hang in the balance, as your pray that the person ahead of you goes elsewhere.

Yet the bar bigwigs have managed to schedule next year’s BPTC civil litigation exam on the same day. Having been pointed out the diary error, a spokesperson for the BSB and Bar Council said:

We have been made aware that the BPTC civil exam takes place on the same day that pupillage offers are made. The BPTC civil exam will remain as scheduled, as the dates have been confirmed with providers and published on the BSB website since June this year.

Acknowledging that no bar hopeful deserves this level of mental torture (leave that for when they’re qualified), the spokesperson continued:

We are now looking into alternative dates and options for pupillage offers and we will confirm any change as soon as possible.

As soon as Legal Cheek hears anything we will let our readers know.