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

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By Thomas Connelly 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.