UCL law professor appointed first dean of Inner Temple

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As Inns of Court two-part barrister training course receives BSB approval

Professor Thomas (background image credit: The Lud

University College London (UCL) professor of law Cheryl Thomas QC has been appointed Inner Temple’s dean of education — the first ever such appointment in its 700-year history.

With Professor Thomas on board, Inner Temple, one of the four Inns of Court, plans to develop new courses, further “educational innovation” through adopting new learning technology and “facilitate knowledge exchange” between academia and the bar.

Professor Thomas specialises in judicial affairs, namely courts, judges and juries, and has served as a consultant to the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Chancellor and Ministry of Justice (MoJ). She was elected master of the bench of Inner Temple in 2012 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2017. On her new venture, Professor Thomas commented:

“I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be appointed dean of Inner Temple. The decision to appoint a dean for the first time in the Inns of Court’s almost 700-year history reflects Inner Temple’s forward-looking approach to life at bar in the 21st century.”

She continued: “I have been fortunate to have already worked closely with Inner Temple as a member of the Education and Training Committee and most recently to help with a major redevelopment of Inner Temple’s ethics training for new practitioners. I’m looking forward to helping forge stronger links between the bar and academia and in raising public awareness of the crucial role the bar plays in ensuring the rule of law.”

Professor Thomas, who holds a D.Phil and M.Phil from the University of Oxford, will continue in her post at UCL as professor of judicial studies and director of the UCL Jury Project and UCL Judicial Institute, dividing her time between the two institutions.

The 2019 BPTC Most List

Today’s partnership comes ahead of impending changes to the bar training regime endorsed by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and backed by the Legal Services Board (LSB). We exclusively reported in 2017 that the Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA), a not-for-profit education and training organisation connected to the four ancient Inns of Court, is putting plans in place to deliver a new Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). The ICCA’s course, dubbed ‘Bar Course’, will be split into two-parts and received the BSB’s backing yesterday.

A spokesperson said: “The ICCA is delighted to announce that the BSB has conditionally authorised the ICCA to deliver its new two-part Bar Course. The conditions of authorisation are that the ICCA’s application for registration with the Office for Students is approved and that thereafter a contract is entered into with the BSB to deliver the authorised course.”

Subject to these final steps, the ICCA will take applications from December this year with a view to run its first Bar Course from September 2020.

If given the green light, the ICCA’s Bar Course will be the country’s cheapest route to qualification as a barrister priced at £13,000 in total. Our BPTC Most List shows aspiring barristers can pay in excess of £19,000 to secure a place on the vocational course.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Chambers Most List



Why the focus on the cost? if you are going to make it at the Bar 90% likely you will get scholarships to fund the vocational stage. If you don’t get a scholarship it is quite a big clue.



I think focus on cost is because scholarship or not, this course should not cost £20k.

I had a full scholarship. That doesn’t mean the crappy course I did at City, taught by failed barristers, was worth my Inn forking out £19k for it.



Yes – thank you for this – from another “full” scholarshipee, I agree.



Who cares? In a couple of years you’ll be taking in £300k.



Do you work for the course providers?

In fact in a couple of years the vast majority will be still seeking pupillage.

Income at the Bar is nowhere near that. Why do you think the highest PC band is set at a gross turnover of £240k.

The figures in the link below are for gross turnover including VAT and before practice costs. Net of VAT and net of tranding expenses the figures are:-

Under £20,000 : 16%
£20,000 to £40,000 : 19%
£40,000 to £60,000 : 19%
£60,000 to £100,000 : 22%
£100,00 to £160,000 : 11%
Over £160,000 : 16%.

76% of barristers (and thats all barristers not just junior ones) make a profit of £100k or less.

Just because 1st year law students post on LC that the make £300k at 23 does not make this so.



I don’t think that’s quite right as whilst only about 30% get pupillage, its less than that who get scholarships. Also a lot of scholarships do not fund all of the course fees, they just contribute towards them, so cost still matters. There is also something to be said in stopping private companies taking advantage of unrealistic candidates. The split course means that you do Part 1 (which costs £1,000) as an online course and only shell out the £12k for Part 2 when or if you get pupillage. That is a major improvement for the majority who do not get pupillage.



When there are a worrying number of sets funding pupillages at between £18k and £24k, £12k is still a big smack in the face. That’s as expensive as an entire three-year degree pre-2010.



Don’t disagree with you, but that is really down to the govenment. I was lucky, when I qualified university was free and bar school course fees were £4k (probabley about £8k in todays money but still cheap. But it has to be better to not have to move to London and pay out £19k and only pay out the £12k if you actually get pupillage.



She was only appointed to appease the feminists…



It’s what they do when appointing judges and silks. So at least they are consistent.



Alex you need to chill with deleting comments


Random passer-by

A lot of people study for the Bar in the UK and then go to other countries to practice. They will likely come to London to study. So cost is a factor for them.



And? Tell us something we care about.


Random passer-by

Response to the poster above asking why LC mentioned the cost of the course.

Also to the person below, just because others are paying, it does not mean cost is irrelevant to them. If as a parent you pay for something for your child, do you not care about the price? Clearly the bank of mum and dad if they do pay, will prefer a program run by the Inns of Court and with the support of actual barristers which is a few £ks cheaper than a course at BPP. Same will apply for an employer who will ask you to justify the more expensive cost.



Overseas students are typically sponsored by current/future employer or funded by bank of mum & dad so the cost is less relevant.



Better still, use them to subsidise the locals.


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