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Aspiring barrister who documented her BPTC struggles in new BBC programme is appealing Inner Temple’s decision to deny her a scholarship

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Leila Taleb is from a working class family in Bradford and is trying to raise £14,500 for her fees

Leila Taleb

An aspiring barrister from Bradford has showed viewers of a new short BBC3 programme how difficult it can be for working class graduates like her to become barristers.

Leila Taleb, the 25-year-old star of Breaking out in Bradford, told watchers that the bar is an “intimidating profession”, but that she doesn’t think her background should hold her back. She said:

It must be a cool and powerful thing to know the law and know your shit and then be creative and work within those parameters to seek justice for the person. The reason why I want to become a barrister is because I feel like there’s a lack of barristers that know what’s going on on the ground, that actually know about people.

The documentary shows Taleb — a Lancaster University LLB graduate, who also has a masters degree in applied human rights from University of York — raising money for the bar course by teaching part time. Given her hopes to study at The University of Law in Leeds, Taleb will have to save £14,500 to pay for the course. This 2017/18 fee is actually 7.5% cheaper than the 2016/17 rate, which set Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) students back £15,480.

Leila Taleb on BBC3 documentary ‘Breaking out in Bradford’

Though the documentary ends on a high (Taleb secures her place at ULaw weeks after completing her entry assessment), the aspiring lawyer has told Legal Cheek that there have been a few updates since it was filmed. Namely, Taleb has not received funding for the bar course and is now hoping to crowdfund the money. Her crowdfunding page, ‘Leila Raises The Bar’, states:

I applied for an Inner Temple scholarship. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful, despite the fact that they pride themselves on social mobility and their grants are awarded 80% on need. I need to raise £14,500 to pay for my course.

Taleb also told us she is appealing the Inn’s decision to deny her a scholarship. A spokesperson for Inner Temple told Legal Cheek:

Inner Temple scholarships are awarded on merit alone, assessed against five key criteria. For the vast majority of our awards, financial circumstances are then taken into account to determine the amount to be awarded. In 2017, Inner Temple awarded BPTC scholarships totalling over £1,485,000. The Inner Temple recognises that access to the profession is not solved by awarding money alone and that is why we also invest in a leading access programme, working closely with school and university students and providing access to and funding for work experience and skills development though the Pegasus Access and Support Scheme.

Though her funding hangs in the balance, Taleb has accepted her law school place and says she is “determined” to start her course this year. She told us:

I will find a way to raise the funds, I am sure of it.

Watch the documentary in full below:

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162 Comments

Anonymous

She didn’t mention the masters degree in applied human rights from University of York in the documentary…

(32)(2)

Anonymous

and…

(6)(1)

Anonymous

or…

(4)(1)

Anonymous

but…

(3)(0)

Anonymous

You should put her in touch with Tom, so he can warn her of the perils of self funding a BPTC.

(37)(3)

Anonymous

Triggered!

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Am I missinf something? Who’s Tom?
She seems hard working and committed – really don’t get why people have to be so vile online. So what if she swore? Its BBC3 not Songs of Praise

(13)(9)

Anonymous

You are. It’s Tom Connolly, the LC writer.

(1)(0)

Tom Connolly

Good point well made

(5)(0)

Anonymous

How on earth can she appeal the Inn’s decision?

I would like to appeal the decision of Chelsea not to pick me up front for their game on Saturday. I may not be very good, but they did say that they wanted to get players from the local community into the set up…

(105)(4)

Anonymous

Shit point. We’re outside the Premier League transfer window, so Chelsea wouldn’t be able to add you to their registered squad for the Premier League. Your appeal would therefore have no logical basis whatsoever, even taking into account your shit football skillz.

(3)(5)

Anon

With all due respect I worked a full time desk job for 2 years straight to pay for the bar course and I don’t come from a wealthy family. No wonder other generations think of millenials as entitled.

(107)(7)

Anonymous

Spot. On.

(5)(2)

Anonymous

Appealing the decision smacks of arrogance.

(74)(6)

Anonymous

“I applied for an Inner Temple scholarship. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful, despite the fact that they pride themselves on social mobility and their grants are awarded 80% on need. I need to raise £14,500 to pay for my course.”

Stop. Don’t waste your money. Doing the BPTC is not likely to increase your chance of securing a pupillage. Use your time and money to do other things, gain experience, etc. If you’re good enough, you’ll get a scholarship, or secure a pupillage without having done the BPTC. If you’re not, (or not better than the competition at least) you’ve saved yourself and those contributing a lot of money.

I was really surprised the documentary placed significance on the difficulty of obtaining a place on the BPTC, does anyone know of anyone not obtaining a place on the BPTC?

(136)(1)

Pantman

Doing the BPTC is not likely to increase your chance of securing a pupillage.

Unfortunately this is not true. More than 25% of pupillages listed via the pupillage gateway have start dates within nine months of the application deadline. The implication being that only those who have completed the BPTC, or who are currently studying it, are able to make those applications.

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

Using your logic (by implication only those with pupillage should do the BPTC), all of those pupillages actually go to people that should not have undertaken the BPTC in the first place.

(5)(20)

Anonymous

25%?

So the overwhelmingly majority of pupillage’s are open to those who have not yet done the BPTC?

Considering how big the pool of candidates are that do not secure pupillage each year, which include merit-able candidates with Inn Scholarships, you would suggest paying all of this money to have the opportunity to apply for 25% of pupillage’s that you wouldn’t be able to have applied for otherwise?

I think the point was, if you don’t have the spare cash (and you DO have a few brain cells) why worry about doing the BPTC when you don’t need it anyway? If you’re good enough you will get pupillage, BPTC or no BPTC.

(6)(5)

Pantman

Thank you dullards for downvoting my previous post. I know many of you believe that embarking on the BPTC, without first having secured pupillage, is a mug’s game. I’m not sure that I disagree with that view.

However, as pointed out previously, at least 25% of pupillages essentially require the candidate to have completed or to have commenced the BPTC in order to apply for that pupillage.

If you draw the conclusion from this fact that this means that those doing the BPTC only have access to that 25%, then you are clearly lacking in logic. Unless you have some documentation to show that pupillages simply are not offered by the other 75% to those who have already commenced, or finished, the BPTC.

If you cannot grasp the logic that the market is demanding that candidates commit to the BPTC prior to receiving pupillage offers, then I wish you and your clients (the ones who require your cleaning services, because you won’t be doing anything requiring intellect) the best of luck.

(6)(20)

Anonymous

I’m not a dullard.

Perhaps it was considered silly to suggest that someone would be justified in spending £17k (not including maintenance/accommodation) just in case they should obtain one of the c 100 pupillages available to those who have done the BPTC.

Only rubbish chambers do this anyway.

(10)(4)

Pantman

I don’t say that they are not rubbish chambers (though some of them definitely are not).

The premise is simple: there are pupillages that you can only apply for if you have committed to or finished the BPTC. This isn’t a negligable number, it is fairly substantial.

The main criticism of those doing the BPTC without pupillage is that they should get more experience instead, and they will (eventually) get pupillage, if they are up to the job. Otherwise they are wasting their money on a course that will not secure their career. It is suggested that one of those avenues of experience is paralegaling.

Clearly those committed to the course will have more choice in potential applications than those who have not. They can apply for pupillages that require the BPTC, and they can apply for pupillages that do not require the BPTC.

By your logic all the decent candidates already have pupillage offers, so they won’t be applying for these pupillages. Which leaves them open to the less able who didn’t secure pupillage in advance.

It may be true that this is not really a desirable situation. But I’m only the messenger here, the market is sending the message.

While c£17k may be a lot of money for a course, it may also enable you to complete paralegal work – which as noted elsewhere increasingly requires either a BPTC or LPC. So, doing the BPTC may lead to other avenues of experience that may benefit the candidate in the long run.

I would not take this bet myself, doing the BPTC without a pupillage is a long shot – but it is not necessarily throwing that money away.

(2)(7)

Anonymous

Absolutely delusional. You are selling Christmas to turkeys.

There are many other things aspiring barristers can do to get experience, other than being a paralegal. If anyone is doing the BPTC to have the opportunity to be a paralegal, I would be amazed how they have had the capacity to get through a degree, let alone become a successful barrister.

“By your logic all the decent candidates already have pupillage offers, so they won’t be applying for these pupillages. Which leaves them open to the less able who didn’t secure pupillage in advance.”

Not at all, there are far more good candidates than pupillage. This is the problem you’re not realising, you can be a good candidate and still not get pupillage. So why take the risk?

“It may be true that this is not really a desirable situation. But I’m only the messenger here, the market is sending the message.”

The market is only the way it is because so many students are stupid enough to self fund. If even half of the market decided to be sensible and not do the BPTC without scholarship or pupillage, then the market would change. Its simple economics, the market is flooded, BPTC students are of nominal value.

(6)(1)

Anonymous

It clearly states, “you would suggest paying all of this money to have the opportunity to apply for 25% of pupillage’s that you wouldn’t be able to have applied for otherwise?” It doesn’t say that the 75% of pupillage providers DO NOT offer pupillage’s to those who have commenced their BPTC.

Obviously, it is a fact that there are 25% of pupillage’s that people who have not commenced the BPTC cannot apply for. But you are failing to see the bigger picture.

As said above, when you put it into context, the advantage you’ll have in being able to apply for that extra 25% is negligible because of the size of the pool that can apply for that 25% is huge.

There is absolutely no correlation between having completed the BPTC and securing pupillage. Self funding is a monumental risk, if someone had an ounce of sense they would try and secure pupillage before commencing the BPTC (or get a scholarship).

(3)(1)

Pantman

There is absolutely no correlation between having completed the BPTC and securing pupillage.

This is obviously wrong. That 25% of pupillages must be going to those who hae already completed the BPTC – so there is a correlation.

Self funding is a monumental risk, if someone had an ounce of sense they would try and secure pupillage before commencing the BPTC (or get a scholarship).

I am not saying that you are wrong in your view, I am only saying that you are wrong as to the factual conclusions.

(1)(3)

Anonymous

I am not actually sure, which Chambers fall into this 25%.

Lets suggest I am an aspiring commercial/chancery barrister. All of my experience, university modules point in this direction (so it would be difficult to justify other areas of practise). How many commercial/chancery chambers would be open for me to apply to in the 25%, having done my BPTC?… I think you’re looking far too narrowly into this to have any credibility to even make a plausibly sensible point.

“I am not saying that you are wrong in your view, I am only saying that you are wrong as to the factual conclusions.”

Actually, I said above that there may be an increased chance, but its negligible. You have no concept of context and you have totally missed the point. Namely, it isn’t sensible to do the BPTC if you don’t have a scholarship or pupillage. If the only information you had in assessing your chances of a career at the bar was that there were 25% more chambers that you could apply to if you had done, or were currently doing the BPTC, of course the logical conclusion would be to do the BPTC. However, we’re in the real world and there are far more considerations than an extra 25% of chambers to apply to.

You’re either arguing for the sake of it, or one of those idiots that has paid to do the BPTC and feeling bitter at the fact that you’ve wasted so much money and haven’t got any further in life.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Also, although 25% of chambers advertise pupillage this late, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will continue to do so.

(2)(0)

Pantman

When and why will they stop doing it? It’s the same chambers, year after year.

(0)(2)

Anonymous

Who cares?

Your logic is flawed.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Over half of those who apply for a place on the BPTC at ULaw are rejected because unlike other Bar schools they actually put you through a live selection process – interview, advocacy and written assessment and you have to pass all three to get in. Might explain their 58% and rising pupillage success rate ….

(6)(31)

Anonymous

Thank you for that valuable contribution, University of Law marketing person

(60)(2)

Anonymous

No: successful candidate who went through that process and actually just thinks checking, y’know, FACTS might be an idea for anyone aspiring to be an actual lawyer

(2)(15)

Anonymous

What percentage do the other Law Schools reject?
Is the ULaw ‘over half’ stat at the application or interview stage?
What’s the pass rate at ULaw?
What proportion get a pupillage?
How does this compare to other providers?

Or are you simply delighted with some bit of marketing trotted out to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

(4)(0)

Anonymous

A large proportion of applicants are rejected by each of the major providers. Which is astonishing, given the extremely low calibre of the average BPTC student.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Apologies – meant to press up button but hit report in error

(0)(3)

LC Team

Glad you confessed that.

We were about to delete the post.

(4)(0)

Legally Blonde

Unfortunately, your opening remarks make it entirely clear why you were unable to obtain a scholarship. You came across as inarticulate, unintelligent and utterly clueless about what being a barrister entails. I say this as someone who grew up sleeping on their living room floor, received free school meals and later obtained a full scholarship for the BPTC. I am working class through and through, but worked exceptionally hard to hone my oral advocacy skills and to ensure I came across as articulate within interviews. I am sure you are a very bright girl, but you seriously do need to work on your phraseology, tone and vocabulary. I am currently on Pupillage and can assure you that the same applies to Pupillage interviews; if a panel cannot ‘see’ you as a barrister, you do not stand a chance.

(15)(1)

Sarah-Jane Hounsell

I agree the place on the BPTC is the easy bit! I didn’t get my scholarship but I did get the award for work experience from both Inner and Middle. It does not mean I am not good enough to do the Bar it just means other students needed it more than me. We all have a sad story, it’s just a game of top trumps! I have started my gofundme page too so hopefully 18500 will donate a pound to me. Whatever happens though I will find the money and I’ll be starting at The City Law School in September.

(1)(10)

Anonymous

Don’t do it! Not getting a scholarship does not mean other people needed it more than you. You should be able to ascertain from this article that Ms Taleb needed it but did not get it. The award is based on merit, the quantum on need. You didn’t get one because you were not seen as a good investment.

You would be mad to do the BPTC without pupillage in circumstances where you couldn’t get a scholarship. Getting pupillage is harder. Please listen and don’t throw your money away.

(14)(0)

Anonymous

I agree

(1)(0)

Anonymous

If you will find the money anyway regardless of whether you raise it via gofundme, then why are you asking others to fund your BPTC for you? Its not about who has the saddest story, it is very matter of fact – if you are good enough, you will make it.

(3)(0)

Anon

She can apply for up to £25k in the form of a government backed loan – how does she think those in London fund the course, given that most awards don’t pay the full fee anyway!

(23)(0)

Anonymous

The documentary didn’t reveal too much into her motivations, experience or skills.

Oh, and her saying that barristers are out of touch will be a good one for her to justify in her pupillage interviews.

(52)(1)

Anonymous

I agree it didn`t reveal much of `her merit`.
But her crowdfunding page does and seems to me that she`s been working very hard for the things she believes in.
Not giving up and moving forward to fight for what`s right, isn`t this what a barrister should be all about anyway?

(0)(21)

Anonymous

erm…

(6)(0)

Anon

Most people I know worked full time beforehand or took out a loan.

(23)(0)

Anonymous

Her academics look under-par, she hasn’t secured pupillage, she hasn’t secured a scholarship, there is no evidence of her relevant experience and skill set, she swears in-front of children she is teaching (on TV too!!!), she’s openly said barristers have little understanding of the real world, she wants to challenge an Inn decision and the focus of the show was related to the difficulty of her getting on to the BPTC course (this either shows her lack of research and naivety, or the BBC’s). Things aren’t looking too good.

(103)(0)

Anonymous

Whilst I echo Ms. Taleb’s sentiments – the Bar is not nearly diverse enough – handing out scholarships to anyone and everyone from a poor socio economic background won’t fix the problem. The process has to be somewhat meritocratic.

(45)(1)

Bumblebee

Hmm, do you want meritocracy or diversity?

(0)(20)

Anonymous

Is it not possible to have both?

(17)(1)

Bumblebee

Of course it’s possible to have a meritocratic and diverse Bar. Indeed, a perfectly meritocratic Bar would necessarily have to exhibit a certain degree of diversity.

However the reverse is not true. A “perfectly diverse Bar” would necessarily have to come at the expense of assessment by merit alone.

I’m trying to gauge where you wish to set the mark. Would you rather have a perfect meritocracy which came at the expense of diversity, or a perfectly diverse Bar which came at the expense of meritocratic features? It’s an important question because so many stakeholders – the BSB, Inns, Media etc. – naively adopt the position that it’s possible to have a Bar which is both wholly meritocratic and yet perfectly represents society.

(9)(3)

Bumblebee

perfectly reflects* society

(1)(4)

Pearl

It is entirely possible to have both. Other areas that require intelligent individuals (academia, investment banking, medicine, engineering, solicitors’ firms) are much more diverse and reflect the fact that merit is not restricted to a select number of universities or a particular socio-economic group. It is for this very reason that the Bar has come under so much fire – the contrast is just too glaring. Given the multicultural makeup of England’s elite universities (and in comparison to the international workforce of most London businesses) it is also curious to note that little to no foreign students seem to obtain pupillage. To be clear I am not referring to non-white British citizens, who are fortunately having more success at the bar. Perhaps a cultural bias as well?

(1)(3)

Anonymous

You’ve missed the point. Bumblebee didn’t say that diversity and meritocracy should not be pursued, but that a perfect meritocracy and perfect diversity cannot both be obtained.

Also, what you say about foreign students not getting pupillage simply isn’t true.

(2)(1)

Pearl

I agree that perfection in either sense is unattainable. However, the issue is that there has been a worrying and noticeable disparity, which the bar is trying to correct. As for the point on foreign students, this is my perception of the profiles of recent pupils and tenants in, let’s say, the top 30 commercial/public law sets. I will admit Australian applicants, mostly with considerable work experience, seem to be an exception at the very top sets. However, when you compare the bar to equally demanding professions, in what is possibly the most multicultural city on earth, I still find the numbers quite interesting.

(1)(3)

Anonymous

She seems to have misunderstood that the scholarships are awarded on merit and the value is determined by financial position.
If she didn’t get a scholarship at all, then its likely that it’s for another reason. She also could have applied for a scholarship with her provider

(20)(0)

Hmmmmmmm

Even an hour after the full journalistic force of a Katie King article, Leila’s crowdfunding remains at £0. It doesn’t look promising.

(33)(1)

Anonymous

Pleb she is.
If she was actually academically smart, it would be a whole new story.

Don’t try to say only the wealthy get the elite academic …
Say that to the Indian student from east state school in the RG’s.

(12)(9)

Bumblebee

What language is this written in?

(20)(6)

Anonymous

English.

(3)(12)

Anonymous

If she really wants to do the BPTC before getting a pupillage offer then she should study it part-time while working. Working as a paralegal would give her useful legal experience for her applications. In any case, I don’t think that saying the things that she is saying in public forums will help her any.

Anyway, best of luck to her.

(22)(0)

Anonymous

I agree, her actions to date, along with her comments are in my opinion somewhat career limiting.

(5)(0)

Pantman

It is quite difficult to get paralegal work these days if you have not completed a BPTC or LPC.

(7)(3)

Anonymous

She isn’t the only one who is struggling to self-fund a legal career so I don’t know where this special snowflake got her sense of self-entitlement from

(26)(1)

Grew up on council estate- now have pupillage + scholarship

I’m not sure how convinced I am by her crowdfunding page…

“I have worked tirelessly & put my blood sweat & tears into getting this far & I know that, based on need and merit, I deserved that scholarship.” … “This means those without funding are left with the option of scholarships, a system that does not cater to social mobility if you do not fit the ‘status quo’.”

With greatest respect, I don’t think Inner Temple are looking for people that fit the ‘status quo’. I think they’re looking for people who meet their published criteria. Lots of the info on the crowdfunding page pertains to motivation to succeed at the bar- but motivation isn’t enough by itself. She did a law degree and a masters- how did she do in them? Does she have evidence of advocacy? Mooting/debating/FRU?

I’m not surprised she’s disappointed, but this should be taken as an opportunity to plug gaps before applying for pupillage, which will be more competitive than getting a scholarship. The competition is fierce, and unfortunately drive isn’t enough.

(37)(0)

#realworldcalling

I have a 1st class degree and a distinction on an LLM. Mooting and relevant work experience. But when I applied I did not even get an interview. xD she needs to grow up (as many BPTC students do) and understand how difficult it is for anyone to become a barrister.

(18)(1)

realworldcalling

yeah but from where?

(5)(0)

Anonymous

It’s not uncommon. 1st class degree here from a Russell Group university + mooting successes + FRU cases (including an EAT case) + successful previous career in academia, and I am still struggling to get past the scholarship and pupillage hurdle.

Becoming a barrister is hard. Whilst the Bar may not be diverse, using your upbringing to explain why you’re falling short won’t do you any favours.

(10)(1)

Anonymous

Could be explained by RG. Sadly for a lot of the bar, particularly the commercial bar, it’s Oxbridge or bust.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

The Russell Group consists of 24 universities. Could you say which? I’m a bit interested in your predicament.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

University of Nottingham.

(0)(2)

Anonymous

Well, there’s your problem.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Research Chambers well. Look at who are current Members and get a feel for their values and criteria. Choose appropriately to maximise your chances and tailor your applications. Barrister.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(9)(27)

Anonymous

I have a 1st class degree and an equal LLM with Mooting and relevant work experience. But when I applied I did not even get an interview. She needs to grow up (as many BPTC students do) and understand how difficult it is for anyone to become a barrister. IF YOU CANNOT ACCEPT THIS THAN THE BAR IS NOT FOR YOU, SAVE YOUR MONEY!

(3)(1)

Anonymous

She needs to grow up (as many BPTC students do) and understand how difficult it is for anyone to become a barrister. IF YOU CANNOT ACCEPT THIS THAN THE BAR IS NOT FOR YOU, SAVE YOUR MONEY!

(1)(5)

Anonymous

Self-entitled snowflake wants course but doesn’t want to pay for course out of own funds.

(9)(0)

Pantman

What is a ‘snowflake’ (ie she is not literally a flake of snow)?

(3)(3)

Anonymous

She went to Lancaster and wants a scholarship based on merit?

(18)(13)

Anonymous

I didn’t even know Lancaster had a university. But, having just checked, it is in the top 10 of all major league tables…?

(2)(1)

Anonymous

…So, she’s a Northerner trying to break stereotypes… by asking for handouts?

(39)(10)

Leila Taleb

There has clearly been quite a few misinterpretations here:

1. I am not saying scholarships should be awarded solely on ‘need’. I am saying that the scholarship I applied for is based on merit, with consideration of financial need. It is more naive of people who do not have a copy of my CV to criticise and slander my achievements and myself.

2. I am challenging the decision on the basis that there were no reasons given. I feel like I deserve feedback as to why I did not receive the scholarship. I am not deterring others from doing the same. How is one supposed to improve if one does not receive the basis upon which they were rejected?

3. I did not swear in front of the children in the classroom. They were gone at this point. I thought this was obvious in the documentary.

4. I cannot apply for a Student Loan for a postgrad (as I know they are doing LLM BPTCs to make this option available), as I have already self-funded my masters when the government was not offering this scheme.

5. I am working to raise the money. I will continue to do so. I have never stated that I have not.

6. I have already started to raise money through my original crowdfunding site so the amount is not at £0. The crowdfunding platform referenced in this article has been set up a few hours ago, as I will be using this platform henceforth (people seem to take to JustGiving more).

It is very disappointing and heartbreaking how people can only see the need to criticise and look so negatively at my actions. One would think that this shows more of my determination, rather than the fact that I am an arrogant entitled millennial.

Why can’t you follow a different path to feed to the same end goal? I may not have gone through the Oxbridge system; and I may not have met the merits that, as you say, are engineered by such systems, but I do not know this if I am not told of the criteria.

All I can say is #HatersGonnaHate.

And to those who have not necessarily hated but who have misunderstood, I hope my response provides some clarity on things.

I will go forward with fundraising towards my cause and I will be starting my course in September. Over and out.

(21)(63)

Anonymous

#PotatoesGonnaPotate

(46)(1)

Anonymous

#AlligatorsGonnaAlligate

(17)(1)

Anonymous

#FellatorsGonnaFellate

(15)(3)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(1)

Interloper

#Youreabitofaknobmate

(3)(2)

Anonymous

#letsgovisitthetate

(4)(0)

Gobble gobble

LC, the fact that you removed the above post with a masturbatory reference but not the one about fellatio makes me suspect you don’t now what fellatio is. You should try it – it’s wonderful!

(8)(1)

Anonymous

It was going well until the abhorrent hashtag.

(43)(0)

Anonymous

Point 1:

You use the words “criticise” and “slander” to mean the same thing (you often use two words with similar meaning when one would do). Slander has a clearly defined legal meaning though and you shouldn’t be throwing it about if you don’t know what it means.

Point 2:

“I feel like I deserve feedback”…

How you feel is not a ground of challenge. It is quite frankly irrelevant.

Points 3 and 4:

Fair enough.

Points 5 and 6:

Most people who self-fund the LPC or BPTC work to raise the money. Almost no-one chooses to crowd-fund. There are issues with how it can be perceived (i.e. entitled millennial etc.). It implies that you think you deserve the money because you are someone special when in reality there are thousands of others in your position just quietly getting on with it, not sabotaging their career chances with this kind of behaviour.

General observations:

You write like you are fighting in the boardroom on the Apprentice. In real life it’s about concrete academics and achievements, not just saying asserting how determined you are all day. That kind of thing gets grating very fast.

Also, you should take the more measured feedback in these comments on board and learn from it. Your attitude of “IT IS HEARTBREAKING, WHY ARE YOU CRITICISING ME, CAN’T YOU SEE HOW DETERMINED I AM???” suggests that you are struggling with this.

Anyway, best of luck whatever you choose to do from now on.

(68)(0)

Anonymous

Not for Point 4 – Barclays offers a government-backed loan for any postgraduate course; it’s interest free whilst studying, and 2 months after that.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Career Development Loans … relatively low interest, and only repayable after the course finishes.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

That’s the one!

(1)(0)

Charlotte

NatWest too. Which is how I funded my BVC after working 3 jobs to pay for my part time GDL.

(2)(0)

Just Anonymous

“I am challenging the decision on the basis that there were no reasons given. I feel like I deserve feedback as to why I did not receive the scholarship. I am not deterring others from doing the same. How is one supposed to improve if one does not receive the basis upon which they were rejected?”

You don’t deserve feedback.

I’m sorry to be blunt, but you don’t.

You applied for their money. They declined to give it to you. It’s that simple.

I agree that it would be nice if they provided feedback, but that is not something you have any right to demand.

I make no judgment on your abilities or your aptitude for the Bar, and I wish you all the best in your future career.

(46)(0)

Mostly anonymous

The lack of feedback may well be due to a desire not to stamp too hard on applicants’ feelings.

As others say, we don’t really know much about her qualifications, but if an aspiring barrister is offered the remarkable opportunity of a television documentary as a platform from which to make her case, it is probably not a good idea to state, as an opening pitch, that it would be cool to “know your shit”. This may be what is expected on a course on “applied human rights” (whatever that is) but it will not take you far at the Bar.

(23)(0)

Anonymous

I don’t know about Inner, but Middle give feedback if you ask for it. I wonder if by “appealing” she really just means that she’s asked for feedback?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

I once asked for feedback.

I reallly wish I hadn’t.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

I do think challenging a right for feedback is worthwhile as I think in general, feedback for applications is poor. However, I don’t think that’s the same as challenging the decision as a whole, it just makes you sound a bit bitter. Law as a whole is unbelievably competitive (as everyone on here will know) and loads of people have to go through countless failures before they get where they want to be. There will be thousands of people applying for those scholarships with similar experiences and reasoning for why they should get it and I just think your ‘attack’ on the system makes you look a bit entitled. I’m also from a working class family in the north and didn’t attend Oxbridge but haven’t tried to use it as an excuse. We all know that the whole process is crazy expensive but the majority of us just keep trying to pursue legal careers by working in full time jobs to raise the money ourselves. You said that your whole crowdfunding thing shows your determination, but I think doing that rather than putting aside time to earn the funds yourself just makes it seem like you think you deserve it more than the rest of us. I don’t think it’s a case of “Haters gonna hate”, I just think a lot of people don’t appreciate your attitude that the world owes it to you to fund your career choice.

(31)(0)

Anonymous

Ultimately all the Inns of Court give their scholarships to people based on the merit of their application and based on who they think will have a realistic chance of actually making the cut to secure a pupilage.

It is an investment for all of the Inns of their finite pool of resources. Money given away for one person for a scholarship is money that they can not then give away to another.

If the Inn did not provide you with a scholarship then the answer as to why you did not get it is simple: You were just a bad investment opportunity (or less good than the other opportunities on offer in that given scholarship application window).

Plus Inner Temple as far as I am aware always interviews scholarship applicants, so you had more chances than most of the Inns give you to impress them and show them why you are a good investment, even if you CV was subpar (which I would not know and hence I will not comment on) that would not necessary be a unconquerable obstacle therefore.

Also Inner Temple has clear guidance to how they make scholarship decisions on their website. I am sure you can infer from the guidance why you did not get a scholarship.

It is not the Inn’s job to have to hold your hand and lead you along the golden path to scholarship…

(19)(0)

Anonymous

Okay then, show us your CV. Your LinkedIn is notably lacking your grades… If they’re anything less than a first/distinction then the decision not to award you a scholarship (which is based on merit) appears to be explained already.

(5)(5)

Anonymous

I think the point to take from the above is, if you’re struggling to secure a scholarship the struggle may be ten-fold when applying for pupillage.

The bottom line is that you do not need the BPTC to secure pupillage. This could be used as an advantage. While hundreds of other students are doing the same old and completing the BPTC, which will add nothing to their CV, you could use the time (and money) to do something different to make you stand out.

Not sure whether you have tested yourself in the pupillage market? If you haven’t do so before spending all of this money on the BPTC. That will probably be a good way of seeing where you stand in comparison to others.

Also, have you asked the Inn for their reasoning? From the above, it seems you’re appealing to find out the reasons you weren’t successful. To me, thats the wrong process for what you want. The Inn will state what the criteria are for scholarships, it is for you to tailor your application to that.

(5)(0)

Pupillage Committee

Leila, you’re so boring

(12)(2)

Anonymous

– Lancaster is not a good university for law which implies your A-level grades are nothing to write home about. I might be wrong, but it appears you have a 2:1. Even at the criminal bar, there are many, perhaps the majority, successful applicants who have firsts.
– The Inn’s award scholarships to those they think have got a good shot of obtaining pupillage. Given the above, they came to the conclusion you don’t have a great shot relative to other applicants.
– No, little Miss Snowflake, who has never really worked before – the Inns nor employers in general are obligated to provide you with feedback. It’s called rejection and in the real world you have to deal with it. Most employers will not give feedback; only a handful of chambers will after first interview. It appears you lack self-awareness and judgment in terms of what went wrong in your interview and then publicly making a pig’s ear of yourself. But more generally you’ve got to be able to take rejection to get a pupillage and, importantly, on the job itself. You appear to have a very thin skin and that sort of person probably won’t make a great barrister.
– I’ve looked at your Linkedin. It’s cringy. You wax lyrical about being utterly passionate about justice and the truth. You don’t seem to understand what barristers do. Barristers have a duty to assist the court in the administration of justice, but they themselves do and should not care about justice and the truth. Barristers, especially if you represent the public, will be defending often, if not usually, guilty people. Your job is to present the evidence honestly in the best possible light to try to get the client off even if you know completely that they did it and are as guilty as hell. You can try to wiggle around it, but what you’ve written, what you say and how you say it demonstrates lots of naiveté in your thinking.
– I’d suggest denigrating the bar as sexist, anti-meritocratic and out of touch is not only demonstrably false, but very unwise thing to do especially in public when you say you want to join it.
As for the chip on your shoulder, lots of us had tough backgrounds. Lots of us got pupillages. Oxbridge also isn’t usually favoured, the bar is almost always university blind, even at the top commercial sets. It’s just that the best candidates have often been there. Shocker.

(10)(5)

Anonymous

Barristers shouldn’t care about justice? Sure

(3)(1)

Anonymous

I may be wrong, but I thought Lancaster was a decent law school? Just looking at the Guardian tables and it is ranked 11th out of 325 in the UK. Might not be Oxbridge, but certainly doesn’t seem bad by any stretch of the imagination.

(6)(3)

Tim Nicebutdim

I think the Times guide is often given too much weight – I went to Lancaster and, as much as I enjoyed my time, firms/chambers do not see it as a top university.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

I think that’s because it is a ‘new’ university, not in the RG, and definitely not Oxbridge. Chambers/firms don’t see it as a top university because they probably don’t know it exists. However, it does appear to consistently place in the top 10. Also, York is clearly a strong university.

Her grades are probably weak, and her oral communication skills are below average. Therein lies the problem. I doubt it’s anything to do with the university she went to.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Your written English is dreadful and your spoken English is not much better. It’s not about sounding ‘posh’ before you resort to that as a defence, but about accuracy at the very least and carefully crafting your words at best. There are plenty at the Bar from working class backgrounds who can do both.

The feedback that you so crave is this: There are plenty better than you from a wide range of backgrounds. The notion that Inner Temple should give you money because you really want to be a Barrister and are from an under-represented group is illustrative of a wider problem, that being a lack of information that would have told you at an earlier stage that it was ability and not social class that would stand in your way.

Next time you look at the profiles of the academics in your law department, ask all of those who have the word ‘Barrister’ in their profile where they were in chambers. When you discover that none of them have and their ‘title’ is from doing the BVC/BPTC and no more, you’ll get an idea as to how little they really know about the Bar and in turn, how little information they can really pass on.

(4)(0)

Practising Barrister

You raise an important point. In my experience there was no shortage of people who were working class on the BPTC. However, the great majority had no realistic hope of pupillage – not because of their social class but because of their poor academics. In contrast, middle class people I knew from uni with much better CVs knew enough about the risk of not getting pupillage to decide that they didn’t want to take it. It seemed the working class people did not have access to people who could give them a realistic appraisal of the risks before it was too late.

(4)(0)

WorkingClassGirl

As a young working class female from the north-east and an ex-poly this story has made me furious. I could not fund the Bar and worked full-time for 2 years to save up the money, still massively lacking in the funds required I applied to Inner Temple for a BPTC scholarship and got every penny of the fees paid for me. I have also now secured pupillage. It infuriates me that this person blames the Inn for her own short comings when it is perfectly possible to succeed in the profession if you have the skills the Bar requires.

(52)(1)

Anonymous

Hear, hear.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

I took out a loan with a high street bank to pay for my Legal Practice Course. I am still paying it back 4 years after qualifying. To be honest it never crossed my mind to ask anybody else to foot the bill when I didn’t have the money to pay upfront.

(15)(1)

Anonymous

Oh FFS. Get over yourself luv.

(9)(1)

Anonymous

Another working class female, from the North West, with strong academics even from a Poly. My BPTC was funded by my Inn entirely, and I have pupillage. The reference in the documentary to working class women in law being a ‘tiny minority’ is frankly wrong and insulting. It’s a struggle, but with an optimistic yet realistic head, alongside good academics (even from a Poly – shock horror) the Inns, and some (granted not all) Chambers will take you seriously. I also worked solidly for a year to fund it myself if I hadn’t got the scholarship, you do what you have to do and it’s not worth whining about.

Sometimes it isn’t because of where you’re from, your class or your accent, it’s purely because you’re not good enough on the day or on paper. Suck it up.

Also, surely Ulaw Leeds don’t get 3000 applicants per year? That figure seems way off.

PS – pupillage rejections often don’t give reasons for rejection either, and are often rejection by silence. It might be worth getting used to it.

(24)(0)

Anonymous

I think they meant that the BPTC nationally across all providers gets approximately 3000 applicants – that matches the most recent BSB stats anyway …

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Yeah I think 3000 people undertake BPTC each year, and there are around 300 pupillages available each year.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Whilst that would give you a ration of 1:10, when you couple that with the number of previous years’ BPTC graduates that are still searching for that ever elusive pupillage, the ratio increases dramatically to something close to 1:30.

(0)(0)

Pupillage Committee

I didn’t know people studied law in Lancaster and York, that’s so nice.

(11)(12)

Anonymous

Leila, the trolls aren’t open to changing their minds. Don’t waste your time.

(11)(16)

Anonymous

I know this is a low blow, but in the video you could tell she was not very eloquent – she could hardly find her words half the time! No wonder she didn’t get a scholarship. She obviously wasn’t awarded the advocacy scholarship from ULaw either.

She is no more deserving than anyone else in her position. The fact she is appealing just shows she is either arrogant or ignorant. Or maybe both.

(18)(1)

Anonymous

Whereas the Inn scholarships are in theory based on merit, in my experience if a candidate has an especially interesting life story or has overcome obstacles, they are significantly more likely to get a scholarship. This is not the case for pupillages. Accordingly, if this woman has not got a scholarship despite her circumstances I would think this a very poor indicator for her prospects of pupillage. I think it is foolish for virtually anyone to do the BPTC without pupillage, but it would be extremely foolish for Leila to do so.

The problem with this generation is that honest, accurate advice is called “hating” and everyone believes that they are entitled to “follow their dreams”. Unfortunately the likelihood is that she will learn the hard way as so many others do.

(15)(0)

Anonymous

Leila, my fear after reading the documentary was two fold:

1. You still, I am afraid, have a lot to learn about the Bar
2. That you would put any failure down to your background, rather than the simple truth that the Bar is a hugely competitive profession.

Dealing with point 1 – As a barrister, I was pretty offended by many of your comments. I come from a working class background, and I am in touch with the communities I represent. Your view that all barristers live in ivory towers with silver spoons in the their mouths is incorrect, and I fear could deter other people from diverse backgrounds from coming to the Bar.

Secondly, I disagree with your comment on your crowdfunding page that “At a time when there is such an assault on human rights, we need more barristers willing to stand up on issues like the rule of law & accountability. ” Whilst we could always do with more, you imply that there aren’t many barristers doing this already. There are. You do a great disservice to the profession you want to join.

Thirdly, your statement in the documentary that you want to go to the Bar because you have been told you are good at arguing is (for those of us who assess pupillage applications) cliche 101 and often leads us to conclude that the applicant is someone who does not understand the profession. I do surprisingly little arguing – I make submissions based on my instructions – whether that individual is disadvantaged or not. Coming out on top in arguments with your family has nothing to do with the skills you will need at the Bar.

As for point 2 – I totally agree that the Bar could be more diverse, but the truth is that the inequality starts much earlier than pupillage. The Bar cannot cure society’s ills, and must deal with each candidate in a fair manner. as we find them. I think that, to that extent, we largely achieve our objective. I do scholarship interviews for Inner Temple and we all have to do mandatory E&D courses before we can interview. Have we got it right? Perhaps not yet. But we are making great strides and dealing as best we can with the inequalities society throws at us.

Therefore I can confidently say that, whilst injustices happen, the Bar is more of a meritocracy now than it has ever been before. If you succeed, it will be on merit – and if you fail, it will either be on merit or the sheer numbers game that is the pupillage application process. It is very very unlikely to be your background.

I would implore you to defer your BPTC until you have pupillage. Please do not spend money unnecessarily. I wish you every success in the future.

(74)(0)

Anonymous

*watching the documentary, not reading – obviously!

(2)(0)

Anonymous

This.

(3)(0)

Annoyed

The actual truth. I was really annoyed reading her comments. I have worked my ass off for free as a barrister for people in society – for human rights – for social justice.

She shows a great lack of insight. A chip on the shoulder also.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Dear Leila

I’ve watched your video and wanted to congratulate you on how far you have come. But you really mustn’t start the BPTC this year. It is an enormous financial gamble for anyone. This is nothing to do with the fact that you are working class or female. It is a numbers game. It is a risk many people I know with Oxbridge 2.1s were unwilling to take.

It is furthermore not a good sign that you did not get a scholarship. It wouldn’t surprise me if the reason you did not get a scholarship (assuming you got at least a 2.1 in your degree) was your understanding of what the job entails. Barristers are not political campaigners. We do not defend people because we think there has been an injustice. We defend them because they are paying us to do so. We are not entitled to refuse a client because we think he is the one in the wrong. This means that you most certainty will not always be on the side of “justice”. If you do crime, you may have to defend a rapist. Civil, you may have to kick a family out of their home. Even in a good human rights set you will not always personally agree with what you are arguing for in your early years – plus, human rights is among the most difficult area to get into, you are literally competing for a handful of places with some of the brightest people in the country (all of whom are at least as determined as you). The barrister’s job is absolutely not to fight for what is right. It is to act as a mouthpiece for whomever might instruct you to do so. I’m not sure it’s the right job for you.

(69)(0)

Bumblebee

Spot on. This is the best comment on this thread, and indeed the best comment I’ve read on LC in quite a while.

(22)(0)

Anonymous

Agreed

(4)(0)

lawgrad

Great post. I was lucky enough to get a first at Cambridge (BA in Law) and to be perfectly honest, I’m debating (with myself) whether trying for the Bar is worth the risk. Leila, I think you’re seriously underestimating how competitive the Bar is, and for your own sanity, don’t jump to the assumption that this is because of your background.
I wish you all the best.

(19)(0)

Fraser mk.II (The Friendliest McKenzie)

If they wont offer you a scholarship, just set up your own company and do what you want outside of any regulator.

(5)(3)

mostly anonymous

Lord Harley, thank you for your contribution to the debate.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

I would consider the scholarship as a litmus test, in so far as if you are not capable of obtaining a scholarship are you capable of obtaining a pupillage at the end of your BPTC?
I know it’s a bit broad stroked.
I fully agree with the above posts of looking to secure your pupillage pre-BPTC, and look to vary your experience. Maybe apply for the scholarship next year instead? Why the desperate rush to do the BPTC instead of an extra year in your relevant area of interest, which will only set you up better for a scholarship.
Maybe one day you will, but at the moment you have not really demonstrated that you embody the values of the Bar.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

Leila is lucky in that she’s had a LOT of positive feedback from barristers and others going through the process, and I hope she takes this advice on board (ESP the bit about not starting the BPTC in September – defer it at year). In that spirit, I just want to add in some thoughts that I do not think anyone else has said yet:

Firstly, you could wait a year and re-apply for the scholarship – god, what a thought! You could spend that year working, gaining more experience etc. Admittedly, by making a public noise about this issue, that’s now going to be difficult, but if you spoke to the Inn, ditched the feedback request, you could re-apply and have a fair shot. [Yes, it’s crap you don’t get feedback but at this stage, it’s quite easy to know where you went wrong – just look at all the comments above, esp the ones about not understanding the profession!]

Secondly, if I was going to entertain your crowdfunding bit, I’d have the following points in mind: where are your grades? why did you do an LLM when it is not needed for the bar? AND, how many activities did you juggle at the same time? Those kind of basic questions need answering and you haven’t put them on your page. Also, if it’s not obvious already, your page is not remotely persuasive, which is arguably a big problem if you want to become a barrister.

Finally, you should realise that you are not the only person applying from a disadvantaged background; some of those did not get scholarships, and others did and went onto become barristers. Not only that, but you’ve just made your life harder – Chambers do google candidates (as do HR in sols firms), and many will see this article/the press on this and deliberately not interview you as a result.

I genuinely wish you well, but you won’t get far until you change your attitude, learn about the profession you want to join, and be able to clearly demonstrate that you have the skills for it.

(9)(0)

Mens Real

Leila,

You seem like a bright girl with potential but it appears your world view is tainted by a severe sense of entitlement. I am from a working class background, I am currently studying an LLB and I plan to become a barrister, I work full time and will continue to do so to fund my studies up until I can secure pupillage, that said I am very aware that it is a highly competitive profession to break into, as such if it happens that I fail to obtain pupilage for any reason it will not be anyone’s fault, except perhaps my own.

Your biggest impediment is that you feel society owes you something just because you didn’t have the best start in life or because you are a “minority” well I’m sorry to break it to you but nobody owes you a thing in this world, not the government, not the council, not the Inns of court, not any chambers and not even your parents, is this fair? Perhaps not, but the lesson to take from this is that nothing in life is fair, you’d better toughen up and lose the bad attitude and sense of entitlement because it will only drag you down.

Most people are motivated by self interest as such Chambers as an extension of the collective of barristers inhabiting them and Inns to a similar degree are motivated by self interest; they will generally give you the opportunity to prove yourself, and if you do prove yourself you will be given a chance, at the end of the day they want the cream of the crop because having the best people will only benefit their organisations. If for whatever reason you don’t make the cut it’s then time for some self reflection, failure only becomes a lasting failure if you don’t learn from it.

Also, drop the profanity, profanity is the crutch of the inarticulate. I say this as someone who used to swear a lot in public, the curse of the working classes so to speak, language can detract or elevate your persona, the choice is yours. I’m not saying you have to be a verbose waffler but consciously try to become more articulate and reserve profanity for nights out with friends or when you bang your toe on the corner of the door. You have got to be a great communicator both verbally and in written form to be successful at the bar, with that in mind you should be consciously trying to refrain from unnecessary us of degrading or profane language such as the type displayed in the video.

Good luck, I hope you succeed.

(10)(0)

Anonymous

I’m surprised at the suggestion the only sensible thing is to get pupillage prior to undertaking the BPTC. Obviously that’s ideal, but I cannot see how that is the case for the majority of those who are successful at obtaining pupillage. I am on the pupillage committee at one of the biggest chambers in the country, and I’ve never seen an applicant applying pre-BPTC, although there are very many who are mid way through it. I wouldn’t want comments made by those above to deter those who haven’t got pupillage pre-BPTC.
That said, I understand that students are in a difficult predicament, caught between paying thousands (and taking out expensive loans) on a chance of success. I finally paid off my loan 8 years post call.
It’s a hugely difficult process and I gather from Leila’s comments that she’s already exhausted loan opportunities. What I will say is that hard work even in non legal employment goes a long way in pupillage interviews.

(4)(2)

Don't do the BPTC first

As a member of a pupillage committee, I agree that most applicants have done the BPTC – but that doesn’t make it the smart thing to do. They do not get pupillage because they’ve done the BPTC. It is simply the case that most people walk unthinkingly into the BPTC after doing their degree. It is very difficult to get pupillage before you’ve even finished your degree given that you are likely to lack experience and we have no final degree marks to go on. Thus, there is a correlation, but no causation, between having the BPTC and getting pupillage.

There are always some applicants smart enough to apply first, then do the BPTC – our pupil this year is one of them. To my mind this indicates good judgment, key to a successful career at the Bar.

The greatest bulk of our applicants consist of people who’ve done the BPTC and have been applying unsuccessfully for many years. That says it all.

(4)(0)

Don't do the BPTC first

Judgement, even!

(1)(0)

Proelia

Leila,

You have secured here a considerable amount of valuable observations about your current position and how you may wish to consider proceeding. That is a considerable advantage conferred to you. Use it.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

Really somewhat harsh comments and hypocritical too!!! Have you guys not been in a Crown Court robing room and heard the bad language? Leila take it from me, you’ll do fine at a criminal set.

(3)(13)

Scouser of Counsel

I hope I can provide a little insight here.

Apologies if it sounds like I’m blowing my own trumpet.

The Inns aren’t necessarily looking for stellar academics, nor are they going out of their way to favour the posh or the underprivileged.

They are awarding scholarships on the basis of whether they think you will succeed at the Bar. This will be based on a combination of the extra curricular activities, work history and how you come across at interview.

I got one of Gray’s top scholarships with a RG mid-2:1 and no post-grad stuff to speak of.

As for “appealing”, is this actually possible now?

(4)(0)

Scouser of Counsel

Oh, and cut the swearing- you’re not impressing anyone.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

I am sorry but this is a farce.

I am from up north, working class and finally secured pupillage with no substantive scholarship. I ended up looking after a very sick and very close relative whilst working part time, studying the BPTC and volunteering in a firm once a week. I couldn’t do it all so I took out a bank loan halfway through which I am still paying back 4 years on. I did not ask for a handout from joe public via such forums as crowdfunding.

I admire your determination but you are far from the mark.

Ever thought of using the money you got from making the documentary to pay for the Bar?

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Heh… It does not bode well if she says about Inner Temple scholarships that they “are awarded 80% on need”. Scholarship criteria are published by all Inns, including Inner. If she did not know they were awarded 100% on merit (and then 80% of them weighed according to financial need), then either she did not read, or did not understand. Neither sounds good in an aspiring barrister.

Not to mention the bad judgement of bad-mouthing an Inn of Court. She must know full-well that nowadays a “These posh people don’t give money to us poor people” accusation can give rise to much public outcry, and BBC journalists are unlikely to check their facts.

And if I get my facts right (can’t be bothered to check), Inner interviews all candidates for BPTC scholarships, doesn’t it? So she did get a chance to show she was one of the ones who deserved a scholarship.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

Last time I checked Lancaster was a top 10 uni. I doubt this is the reason holding her back, but perhaps her attitude

(4)(7)

Anonymous

Don’t be silly.

(5)(3)

Lancaster Rejectee

Only overall, and even then it only tends to fall into that category by virtue of its student satisfaction in satisfaction-oriented rankings such as the Guardian. It’s nowhere near top 10 for Law.

(0)(0)

Guitar fan

*Loudly plays the awesome Derek and the Dominoes/Eric Clapton song*

I’ll get my coat…

(1)(1)

Eddie Darcy Esquire the fourth

I get the impression Leila saunters into interviews naively expressing her views about how she will change the world because she knows what it’s like to grow up on a council estate and there’s no way an actual Barrister could ever understand that struggle etc.

Well sunshine, that naive twaddle gets old fast. You need to correct your faults, work on your attitude, gain experience become commercially aware, drop the SJW bilk and just get the hell on with it.

Crowdfunding, unless for genuine medical expenses is just another form of begging.
Go get a loan, work your ass off, save in a credit union for a year and then apply for a loan to cover expenses and work part time if you have to.

There are many ways to get where you want to be, publicly slating an Inn is not going to help your cause, this article is not helping your cause either. We all make mistakes and it’s obvious to me that this stunt was a big mistake, but nice try.

Good luck.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

In my view a person who thinks it appropriate, without any real cause, to:

(a) bad mouth an Inn of Court publicly;
(b) swear casually on a television programme;
(c) make sweeping generalisations about a profession which is struggling valiantly to improve diversity. For example, her suggestion that all barristers are posh, look and sound a certain way, and are all from ‘aristocratic’ (!?) backgrounds.

…and then goes further to suggest that the only thing remaining that must be the ‘problem’ is her background/social class:

(a) is naive;
(b) has absolutely no clue what it means to be a barrister;
(c) should not do the BPTC without taking steps to to remedy her multitude of deficiencies;
(d) will be lucky if, following this incident, the Inn finds her fit and proper to be called to the Bar of England and Wales in any event;
(e) should read the BSB Guidance on Media Comment just for future reference.

(13)(0)

Anonymous

Late to the party, having watched it tonight.

That was truly awful. She has wasted a golden opportunity.

(2)(0)

EssexBoy

when are the BBC coming to film me – funded and gained a distance learning law degree working full time, funded my BVC with a loan, then worked in a law firm whilst trying to get a pupillage, no contacts, a complete outsider, went to a comprehensive school in Essex and now a shit hot criminal defence barrister in a legal 500 chambers, the bar I work in every day includes many people from all manner of backgrounds who not only know their shit but are shit hot – what none of them do is talk a load of shit. Truly awful and what could of been a really inspiring piece of filming was totally wasted. I’m about to start interviewing for pupillage if anyone is thinking of spouting that X Factor generation rubbish to me – DONT!

(2)(0)

Ostrich

It’s always so endearing to see the chicks taking their first few wobbly steps, flapping their stumpy little wings, opening their beaks very wide, and hearing the peepy noises they make.

(5)(0)

Proudboobs

Stay classy BD3.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Glad to see that there are positive and constructive comments that Leila can use to her advantage. Leila, if you are reading the comments section still (as toxic as it can be), let me chip in.

You do seem to have a lot going for you. But undertaking the BPTC is not going to be a sensible investment. This is simply because it is not valued by Chambers as much as your degrees and at what University you did them. Therefore, the eye-watering expense of the qualification is not worth it if you have not secured pupillage (and I of course do not have to tell you about the difficulty of securing one in current economic times e.g. <400 places, the stiff competition year by year etc). I also would like to highlight that you have 5 years after being called to the Bar to try and secure pupillage, in which you will most likely struggle year after year in getting Pupillage before you have to re-do the course again as well as paying for it. This is not good as it will be demoralising for you, never mind financially crippling and hopeless. I appreciate your background and your openness in conveying that in the documentary. One day I hope you do use it appropriately in the future for interviews related to the Bar if it didn't work out the first time. But please understand, that cannot be the sole reason for wanting to join and develop a career the Bar, there is a lot more to it as described in some constructive comments above.

I must also add that you should consider what sort of practice you are after. If it is the Criminal or Legal Aid Bar, this is highly uneconomic for you to pursue and it is highly unlikely you will make a return on your investment in the BPTC course. If it is Public Law/Human Rights, it's the stiff competition and there will be candidates with more competitive CVs taking a more reasonable risk than you.

Apart from damage control (and I am referring to the Documentary), I strongly think you should put the Bar on hold. It will be there for you no matter where you go. Do something different, utilise your degrees to work in an organisation promoting Human Rights or work in Government e.g. Home Office (relevant to your Masters). If there is one thing that was quite interesting from your documentary, it was that you worked part-time teaching in a school. You can use this to your advantage by teaching English abroad and learning a new language too (a very good skill that is in low supply). I'll leave it to you to think outside the box. These experiences can also be life experiences too, things that can be demonstrated in interviews to show you are a well-rounded person and not just all about legal speak. And I'm talking full-time where you will not only be financially stable, but also show that you are committed and can demonstrate loads more competencies than you are now (all qualities that are valuable for the Bar as well as other professions). You have got to think about yourself, and manage your expectations at the earliest possible stage so you can keep going. That will show you are mature and ready enough to begin a career at the Bar.

There is no shame in doing something else, whether that's an alternative legal route or non-legal route, and then coming back to the Bar years later. Because by then your CV will hopefully be competitive and sending an application for pupillage will be worth the risk (cheaper than paying extortionate amounts for an arbitrary qualification, by the way).

I appreciate that this is your life and decision regarding your passion for the Bar, but please do not waste your money on this when you can put it to a better use. You will only limit yourself and the 5 year expiry will trigger and most likely put you under pressure. Read the constructive advice provided here again and again, get in contact with someone in the Bar or Inns of Court, read relevant sources about realistic pupillage prospects and make a positive informed decision. You'll thank yourself later when you look back in years to come.

I wish you all the best, Leila.

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Anonymous

lol

(1)(1)

Anonymous

one big lol

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Anonymous

Why do these sorts of people (entitled, arrogant-but-average brats; just a caveat before some SJW accuses me of sexism or racism or whatever else is cheap nowadays) always struggle to come to terms with their mediocrity?

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Go Leila

The BBC have abused Leila’s ignorance to create a non-story. Her intentions are ok. She means no harm. She’s inexperienced, overconfident and vulnerable. The injustice here is not her flakiness but the corrupt system of legal education in this country. Why aren’t the bar exams public? Because the inns and the bar schools make massive profits from the bptc. One day we will have an open, competitive and accessible legal education system. When that day arrives it will be because people like Leila spoke out. You trolls should do the same.

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Anonymous

How do the inns make massive profits from the BPTC? That is complete nonsense.

If you made some effort to inform yourself you would know that the Inns and the bar have been working hard, and making representations to the BSB, to try and get a fairer system in place, against the wishes of the BPTC providers.

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Anonymous

what have the Inns achieved exactly? Why should every Bar student have to pay an Inn £300 for a series of meals? That’s a million pounds a year into the coffers of the Inns out of the pockets of law students.

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Anonymous

1) The BSB was persuaded to include in its series of “managed pathways” the preferred option of the bar council and the inns for future training, namely a split course the first part of which would not require any formal training, so drastically reducing the cost to students, if those students were prepared to self-train, and taking money away from the providers. This was not originally included by the BSB in its original consultaiton paper. Heavy representation from the Bar Council, the Inns, the various professional associations and individual barristers changed the BSB’s mind. If the plan comes through, it will represent a drastic shift of power and money away from private-equity owned BPTC providers. See legal cheek article at http://www.legalcheek.com/2017/03/bsb-approves-radical-reforms-that-will-see-bptc-split-in-two-and-law-school-attendance-made-optional/

2) The inns do not profit from student dining. It is heavily subsidised and involves a great deal of time and effort being given up by practicing barristers.

3) If you don’t like the meals, go to lectures and other events, many of which are free.

4) The Inns collectively spend millions of pounds a year in scholarships to help students with BPTC fees and expenses. Ever increasing fees require ever greater fundraising efforts from the Inns to keep their scholarship schemes meaningful. Many members of the bar give generously in time and money to keep the schemes going. It is simply wrong to say that the Inns profit from the existence of the BPTC.

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Anonymous

A very nice girl, wish her best of luck at least for her determination. Not getting the Inns scholarship doesn’t presume she’s not good enough for getting pupillage. At the end of the day, she may get it in a year or two when she fills the gaps. Even though becoming a barrister is competitive, and it does favour students from Oxbridge, determination can make it happen. She can make Master’s, relevant experience, publications, mini-pupillages, there are always things that boost the chances of becoming one. Wishing luck, patience and determination to all those pursuing their dreams (including me))!

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