Students have until 3 November to apply
Wannabe barristers have just two weeks left to get their hands on a slice of a multi-million pound scholarship fund courtesy of the Inns of Court.
Each year, the four Inns — Gray’s Inn, Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Lincoln’s Inn — dish out large sums of cash to help hundreds of Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) students across England and Wales. The scholarships, which are awarded based on merit, range in value depending on the bar hopeful’s personal resources and needs.
The bigger Inns tend to offer between £1 million and £1.5 million a year in BPTC scholarships. The smallest of the four, Gray’s Inn, awarded 59 aspiring barristers a share of £838,500 last year.
Though there’s plenty of cash up for grabs, unlike marketing-savvy City law firms, the Inns are more muted in their approach to promoting the substantial subsidies. As a result many bar students — who can fork out northwards of £18,000 for a spot on the vocational course, according to our BPTC Most List 2017-18 — are unaware they even exist.
But fear not, there’s still time. Wannabe barristers have until Friday 3 November (be sure to check differing deadline times on this day) to apply and do not have to be a member of a particular Inn to be considered. However, if successful, students must be a member of the Inn in order to collect the cash.
So what are the Inns looking for in a successful candidate? Well, while the Inns do apply their own assessment criteria, there are some overarching themes. These include, among other things, academic strength and motivation to succeed as a barrister.
The application process is fairly standard. Following an initial written form, successful students will be asked to attend an interview at the Inn itself. As an added incentive to apply, some Inns will even reimburse reasonable travel expenses for applicants living outside London.