£5 million up for grabs as Inns of Court open BPTC scholarship applications

By on

Bar hopefuls have less than a month to apply


An eye-watering £5 million is up for grabs as cash rich Inns of Court throw open their doors for another round of Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) scholarship applications.

The four Inns — Inner Temple, Gray’s Inn, Middle Temple and Lincoln’s Inn — dig deep into their coffers each year, offering financial support to hundreds of aspiring barristers.

With some London providers charging just shy of £20,000 for a place on the BPTC, the financial support offers a much need lifeline for many bar hopefuls.

According to the latest figures, both Inner and Lincoln’s have more than £1.5 million each to play with, while Middle has a scholarship pot just shy of £1 million. Gray’s — the smallest of the four Inns — will offer bar hopefuls in excess of £800,000 during this latest round of funding.

Inns have their own criteria for who gets what. According to Inner, some scholarships are awarded on a merit (academics and career motivation) basis, while others also take into account the financial needs of the candidate.

Lincoln’s awards all of its scholarships on a merit basis, while Gray’s offers an initial base amount of £10,000 on a merit basis, which can be topped up after a financial means assessment. Finally, Middle will offer bar hopefuls a scholarship on a merit basis, but financial circumstances will be taken into account when fixing the amount of the award.

The application process is fairly straightforward. After an initial written form, successful students will be invited to take part in an interview at the Inn itself. Some Inns will even reimburse reasonable travel expenses for those outside London.

This year’s application deadline is 4 November, and wannabe barristers don’t need to be a member of the Inn to apply.



Scholarships are great…when the recipients have a chance of obtaining pupillage.



A scholarship and a VC is virtually a ticket to a pupillage, dumbass!





Lyle of Huh.



Scouser of Counsel

May I urge all redbrick/ new-uni types who are not bothering to apply for one of these to apply because of a perception that these all go to Oxbridge 1sts to make the effort to apply?

I wasn’t going to bother until, two days before the deadline, I was persuaded to by a fellow student with the “you’ve nothing to lose by applying… nothing ventured…” argument.

I ended up with a top scholarship that paid for my BVC with £1000 change left over. All in spite of being on for a 2:1 from a redbrick.

I had a pupillage by the end of first term of BVC (as it then was).

Just do it! Best of luck!




This is good advice. However, I would add to it by saying that, in my experience, the real problem isn’t able candidates failing to apply. Rather, it’s less able candidates applying, failing to get a scholarship, and then signing up to the BPTC regardless.

It is easier to get a scholarship than it is a pupillage. If you don’t get a scholarship, I would seriously advise against commencing the BPTC. But, as Scouser of Counsel says, by all means apply, apply apply…


Scouser of Counsel

* one too many “to apply”. Lol!

I blame my over-enthusiasm.



What’s the chances of a pupillage if awarded an Inn’s top scholarship but no 1st?


Chancery tenant

Depends on the area dont it. Also if the 2:1 is from a good Uni or whether or not it is from Theydon Bois Basket Weaving College/ Edge Hill/ LJMU etc.

Crime/Family wont be bothered, nor will Northern sets, but even they have some standards so make sure its a good 2:1 from a good Uni.



Cambridge 2.i (Law); London LLM Distinction; international mooting success (but not victory); top scholarship; relevant internship.

Looking to get into public law and employment law.

Worth a shot at the big leagues without the first?


Chancery tenant

Probarbly worth a go yes, Employment will be easier to get into than Public Law. although it depends how puritanical you want to be about it. Big Leagues? In those areas if you mean like Littleton and Francis Taylor Buildings, maybe but you wont find many without a 1st – Plenty of other good sets which do those areas, however, would be more likely to take you on (e.g. the big Legal 500 Top Teir mixed sets like St Phillips, No 5, 3 Paper etc).


Public tenant

I think this is inaccurate. They will struggle to get a look in at e.g. Matrix or 11KBW (both being excellent public law and employment sets – FTB is public but principally the planning side), but that profile looks as though it should be aiming higher than regional supersets with London offices. Plenty of mixed practices in London, with higher pupillage awards and more silks, where they would have a good shot at.

Those sets should still factor in their applications but at the lower end rather than as an aspiration. If a Cambridge graduate with a Distinction in an LLM from a good London uni and a top scholarship cannot get into a London set then that paints a bleak picture for applicants.

Chancery tenant

Perhaps you are right. I mentioned those sets because they seem to me to be the next best thing after the 11kbw’s for that sort of work, but it depends on your perspective and which regional sets you are talking about. Perhaps it is true of No5 etc, but then St Phillips and 3PB have excellent London-based teams in those areas and the pupils/new tenants there seem to be 1sts and scholarships. Who knows? You see some 2:1s at the very good Chancery sets in Lincoln’s inn once every few years , but I would say it is a rarity. I have noticed that the top end have started to move away from solidly recruiting Oxbridge 1sts/BCL/multiple scholarships – there was even that pupil at Matrix from Lincoln Poly.

Struan Campbell

Myths about the bar are one of the biggest things that put people off even thinking about joining the profession, so to be clear. Inner Temple scholarships are all awarded on merit based on the shared criteria that all four Inns use. Seven of the scholarships are fixed at a set amount. For the rest the amount given is based on a financial needs assessment.



For the love of God, if you’re going to write the same article every year, why not do some research and make it informative and therefore useful? Otherwise, why bother writing anything at all!!


Comments are closed.