£5 million in BPTC funding available as Inns of Court scholarship deadline looms

By on

Wannabe barristers have until Friday 2 November to apply

Millions of pounds are up for grabs as the wealthy Inns of Court consider a fresh round of Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) scholarship applications — and it’s still not too late to apply.

The foursome — Inner Temple, Gray’s Inn, Middle Temple and Lincoln’s Inn — collectively dish out around £5 million each year to help support young bar hopefuls through their vocational training. With some London-based students forking out northwards of £19,000 to secure a place on the pre-pupillage course, the Inn’s scholarships offer a financial lifeline for many aspiring barristers.

This year, it breaks down roughly like this between the four Inns: Inner Temple (£1,800,000), Lincoln’s Inn (£1,600,000), Middle Temple (£1,300,000) and Gray’s Inn (£900,000). It’s worth noting that these figures include Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) scholarships and pupillage awards, however, the lion’s share of the cash is set aside for BPTC-ers.

The 2019 BPTC Most List

Aspiring barristers have until Friday 2 November (be sure to check the varying deadline times on this day) to apply and don’t need 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 their cheque.

So what are the Inns looking for in a successful candidate? Well, each Inn applies its own assessment criteria, but key factors include intellectual ability, motivation to succeed as a barrister and personal qualities.

In terms of the application process, students submit an application form (usually online), followed by a face-to-face interview at the Inn. Some Inns will even help with travels expenses for those living outside London.

For more information about the application processes and assessment criteria please visit the Inns’ individual scholarship pages: Inner Temple, Gray’s Inn, Middle Temple and Lincoln’s Inn.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub



Free money good. Orange man bad. Give updoots now.



This money is not for you.

You’re not related to judges and lawyers.

We need socialism to democratise the law.




Troll fight!!



Highly recommend everyone applies for these as even a small award can make a difference. A friend of mine from a modest background completed the BVC part time and received a small award that covered his transport to uni and the inns for dining sessions which helped out a lot.



Just train as a litigator at a city firm (or any other area if your background is strong) and move across. The expense and risks of going to the bar are not worth it. The sooner firms start offering pupillages (‘in-house’) the better.


The Bar Necessities

I’m surprised how many people have down-voted this. There are a not insignificant number of people who cross in to the heavyweight commercial sets from being a magic circle associate, particularly if they have a few years in litigation or arbitration.

Statistically, it probably isn’t a better route than the more conventional Oxbridge first & BCL route. But it is a viable option for anyone who thinks they might struggle to differentiate themselves from the pack.


Scouser of Counsel

I post this every year and I’m going to again.

These awards do not go to the top academics, the Oxbridge crowd or the well connected.

They go to those whom the Inn feel will do well at the Bar.

2:1, redbrick, state-educated. I applied at the last minute because I thought that I wouldn’t stand a chance, but was persuaded to do so by a University friend who pointed out that I had nothing to lose by applying.

The scholarship I was awarded paid for my BVC in full with four figure change left over.

I’ve now been at the Bar for ten years.

My message: Apply. What have you got to lose?




It’s just not true – just ask Alex Aldridge



lol alex can’t even run a blogtweetlegalshitething, let alone have any business in law



I’ve been at the Bar for ten years now. I didn’t apply when I left University because I thought my 2:1 wasn’t good enough.

Biggest mistake I’ve ever made.

I got a number of scholarships afterwards but not without having to take on the £15k for the Bar course year which I only paid off after 5 years in practice.

Nothing to lose, everything to gain and more often than not – you will get something (may not be £20k but hey, £5k is acceptable when it’s free!)



Regret, are you Scouser of Counsel dialling in from an alternate dimension?



Don’t overlook Gray’s.

The Gray’s Aldi-Poundstretcher Award (for those who intend to practise only in the small claims court) is particularly sought after.


Mr Gray

Do the maths, fool.

Gray’s is smaller in numbers of members and applicants, and has the least cash.


It actually has the most cash per member/applicant.

Best kept secret!



Thank you Mr T.

Gray’s is also a post-war social housing scheme. Worst kept secret.



I am yet to apply for the BPTC (September 2019) does this matter?



No. You can apply for the course after securing funding, and the Inns’ scholarship panels understand that for many people it’s simply practical to do it that way round.



Thank you very much for your reply.



If you intend to study the BPTC in 2019/20, still apply this year. The Inns will allow you to defer an award for good reason i.e. to study an LLM or gain valuable experience.

Applying now will also give you two opportunities to secure funding (if you’re not successful the first time).



No, this is incorrect. For anybody absolutely set on studying the BPTC from September 2019, this is the only round of Inn scholarships they can apply for before commencing the course. Applications close 2 November 2018, interviews will be around March 2019, and the course starts in September that year.

Applications haven’t opened yet for the BPTC – most schools in London open the applications in early Winter. Chances are you will be accepted onto a BPTC course before you have funding, or before you have even had a scholarship interview.



Anyone considering doing the BPTC absolutely should apply for a scholarship from an Inn. I would also suggest applying for a scholarship/scholarships from the BPTC providers. The cost of the course is obscene and it makes me sad when I hear people have taken out massive bank loans just to get through it.



Hardest part.. which Inn do I pick?


Comments are closed.

Related Stories