£6 million up for grabs as Inns open bar scholarship applications

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You’ve got to be in it to win it 🤑

It’s that time of year again. The scholarship application window for the bar course is now open at the various Inns of Court.

Gray’s Inn, Inner Temple, Lincoln’s Inn and Middle Temple have a combined £5.8 million pot in financial support for the next cohort of bar students.

Gray’s has made at least £1.3 million available this year to fund up to 85 scholarship awards ranging from £5,000 to £30,000.

Inner Temple has on offer seven large scholarships of about £20,000 each, plus a number of small awards totalling £1.7 million.

Lincoln’s has set aside £1.5 million to cover a number of scholarships. The value of each award is calculated through a means test based on the applicants’ disclosed financial resources and obligations.

Middle Temple has a fund in excess of £1.3 million for scholarships to students undertaking the bar course.

Secure your place: The October 2021 UK Virtual Pupillage Fair

With the most expensive bar course coming in at £19,500, the Inns’ scholarships offer a financial lifeline for many aspiring barristers.

The scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, with those on offer at Inner and Middle Temple also taking into account an applicant’s financial resources and needs.

Students can only apply to one Inn for a bar course scholarship and have until 5 November 2021 to apply.

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

Keen on a career at the bar? Why not come along to The Legal Cheek Virtual Pupillage Fair 2021 on Saturday 9 October. The free event is open to all students and graduates, and features over 30 leading chambers, the Inns of Court and all the major bar course providers, as well as interactive workshops.

The 2021 Legal Cheek Bar Course Most List


Scouser of Counsel

Do it.

Just do it.

I was on for a 2:1 from a Redbrick, no connections and never thought I’d get a scholarship.

A friend told me I’d nothing to lose by applying.

The scholarship I got paid for my BVC with £1,000 left over.

Got pupillage before leaving Bar School.

I’m now sitting in Pret opposite the RCJ during the luncheon adjournment in a two day matter I’ve got on there.

Loving the job and living the dream.


One Oxbridge educated failed pupillage hunter didn’t like your comment.


Was there something special about your CV you did not mention? Handing out that substantial a scholarship to someone with apparently ordinary entry academics indicates the Inns are far too profligate with scholarships. Rents charged to chambers fund most of these, and that is passing a substantial unnecessary cost on to all practitioners, which clearly can be reduced in these difficult times. Time they stopped the charity binge with other people’s money.

Scouser of Counsel

Not particularly special. I ticked a couple of diversity boxes having gone to a state school and being the first in my family to go to university (both were questions on the application form).

I did emphasise that I enjoyed public speaking and did not feel nervous speaking in front of an audience, which can be half the battle, even for experienced counsel.

Thanks for the thinly veiled suggestion that the likes of me shouldn’t have had it, though….


I was thinking of the wider diversity impact of burdening those from non capital owning backgrounds when they practice with costs that the wealthy new starters can more easily afford. I don’t think a bog standard 2:1 from a third tier uni cuts the mustard for that large a handout, particularly since a 2:1 these days is often really a 2:2.

Summer of 69

University of Liverpool third tier?

Plenty of graduates from there at the Bar.

It’s the original redbrick after all…

Scouser of Counsel

I didn’t actually mention which university I went to, but thank you for assuming it was a ‘third tier’ institution.

How thoughtful of you to spare a thought for the non-capital owning classes.

It’s kind of you to want to spare them the hardship of even trying for the Bar by pulling up the ladder.

Perhaps a property qualification should be introduced for those going to the Bar?

Do you favour the giving of scholarships at all? If so, what would be your criteria?


Well, you called it “red-brick”. While there are RG red-bricks, in this context one can infer that you referred to red-brick because it was not in the RG. On that basis it would be third tier.

My point is that by letting the ladder dangle too far down and then giving so much to those that clamber up that ladder the prospects of working class members of the profession are harmed as a broader class.

Scouser of Counsel

It was RG, actually.

Rule 1 at the Bar:

Never infer anything!


Rule 2, allege an inference and smoke out the fact they are not telling you.

I stand corrected. I don’t think a bog standard 2:1 from a second tier uni cuts the mustard for that large a handout.

Scouser of Counsel

Then it’s my good fortune that you weren’t on the panel that made the decision, isn’t it?


Roger the Lodger


Just Anonymous

Before anyone asks:

It does not matter which Inn you apply to. Chambers do not care. Also, I do not believe that you can improve your prospects of success in any material way by ‘tactically’ choosing an Inn. In my view, if you are worthy of a scholarship, you will probably get one whichever Inn you apply to.

Durham LLB

Which is more prestigious?

Just Anonymous

Lincoln’s Inn, according to Lincoln’s Inn.

Inner Temple, according to Inner Temple.

Middle Temple, according to Middle Temple.

Who cares, we’re definitely the most fun, according to Gray’s Inn.


Inner for the rich man,
Middle for the poor,
Lincoln’s for the scholar/gentleman/Commonwealth (according to preference and scansion)
Gray’s for the bore (or something ruder ending in -ore).


One lucky student can win £5.5 million – the bar really is the golden ticket out of the educational slums (Exeter, Durham, Bath, Brunel… essentially almost any institution that isn’t Oxbridge).

Grandpa Joe

🎶I’ve got a golden ticket…🎶


And if it all doesn’t work out, you don’t have to pay anything back! 😃 💅🏼

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