I have created this presentation in order to show my dedication to providing a great service as bar careers secretary, this is a sample of some of the information I want to provide in order to improve the Bar Careers service given by the LawSoc. I have gathered some information from various law fairs and complied them to create this presentation.
The bar council is the governing body for the bar, it carries both representative and regulatory responsibility. The work covers many area’s like maintaining the relationship with the government, the EU and other countries legal professions. The regulatory arm of the Bar Council is the Bar Standards Board who have the responsibility to provide the rules of conduct and ensure that these are complied with.There are 4 inns of court; Inner Temple, Middles Temple, Lincoln’s Inn and Gray’s Inn. These are all based in grand buildings in London; therefore trips to these inn’s are sometimes costly due to travel expenses however I would take up the opportunity to visit each in to get a feel of which one you would like to join. You must join an Inn before you commence your vocational training, the inn’s provided dinners and educational events of which you must attend 12 before being ‘called to the bar’ (this is the process of becoming a barrister). The inn’s are the main source of support for students wanting to come to the bar as they not only provide education but sponsorship which I will go into further detail in later slides.Barristers tend to work in chambers however it is not compulsory to do so however it provides greater support and access to more work through your clerk. A barrister’s clerk is the most important person in practising as a barrister as the clerk provides the barrister with work therefore a top tip for practise is to look after your clerk. England and Wales is divided into six chambers South Eastern, Midland, Northern, North Eastern, Western, Wales and Chester. The Chambers within a circuit come together which are headed by a senior barrister, this is purely for administrative reasons. The SBA’s are organisations for individual sectors of the legal system these include institutions such as the Criminal Bar Association, Parliamentary Bar Mess, Public Access Bar Association.
I know most of the people this is addressed to are on the LLB or other qualifying law program however it is important that this information is covered because not all members of LawSoc are necessarily law students. Also if you are on the LLB and want to pursue a career at the bar please ensure that you choose the qualifying law modules for 2nd and 3rd year. The foundation subjects are:i) Public Law (including Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Human Rights)ii) Law of the European Unioniii) Criminal Lawiv) Obligations (including Contract, Restitution and Tort)v) Property Lawvi) Equity and the Law of TrustsIt is often perceived that at the academic stage of training only 1st’s from oxbridge are accepted however statistics show that russel group university’s like us stand just as much as a chance so don’t let the statistics put you of pursuing your dream if it is the one thing you want to do more than anything.
The BPTC is a one year skills based program which is designed to prepare students for the pupillages and lay down practises for your future career. I believe that exposure to more information regarding the BPTC is necessary in order to help students plan there future career, I think that presentations by the School of Law and BPP would be great in order to expose the LawSoc to this valuable information. Also due to the upcoming addition to the career by the BSB in terms of the aptitude test I think that there should be some form of workshop explaining what the test is about and how to deal with it when applying for the BPTC. During the BPTC year you must complete 12 qualifying sessions which take forms of dinners, education days/weekends and lectures these are much easier to attend from the capital so keep that in mind when choosing your BPTC provider. The BPTC year is going to be one of the most expensive years you have training as the costs for the full time course range from £10,100 - £15,045 this is without the cost of living however BPP do provide books for your course as well.
In terms of scholarship applications I want to provide a great service which starts early in second year in order to improve chances of scholarship providing application talks and making use of the workshops provided by Skills@library and those provided by the law school. I also want to have a similar event to which was organised this year, a talk by BPTC students who have been through the application process this will give great insight from people already been given scholarships or options other than the inn’s scholarships. Lincoln’s Inn offer the maximum of £18,000 Scholarship with the chance to include accommodation. Inner offer one £20,000 scholarship. More figures can be found on there websites or in publications but as you can see the money is available you just have to work hard enough to achieve it.
A pupillage is like a one year apprenticeship which leads to qualifying as a barrister, these are funded by a minimum of £12,000 a year however some chambers pay much more. In the first 6 pupils must successfully complete:An advocacy training course organised by the Inns of courts and circuits. Practice Management course organised by the Inns of courts and circuits. In terms of pupillages I would like to contact some chambers and organise a talk with various pupil’s from different legal sectors to share there experiences of bar careers and to give advice, after a networking event in first semester I had the chance to speak to a pupil who gave me a great insight into what it is like on pupillage.
It is really important to sample at least 4 or 5 mini pupillages in different areas of the law however do not do too many as this could be detrimental. The idea of a mini pupillage is to gain an insight of what the work of a barrister is like, these can be assessed in some chambers assessed mini-pupillages will give a chambers an account of your work if you went on to apply for pupillage. Marshalling is shadowing the workings of a judge, this can give you a incredible insight into the legal system. Mooting and Mock trials give you skills which are used at the bar, advocacy is incredibly important for the bar therefore developing these skills early can be very advantageous.
Training for the bar from a ‘fresher' prospective
By Emma Millard
What is the Bar? Barristers are special advocates who are able to appear in all the UK courts. The institutions surrounding the Bar include:- The Bar Standards Board/Bar Council- Inns of Court- Chambers- Circuits- Specialist Bar Associations
Education and Training In order to qualify for the bar you must first obtain a qualifying law degree (the LLB) or a degree in another subject followed by the CPE (common professional exam) or GDL (graduate diploma in law). Your law degree must include the modules required by the BSB. The traditional requirement to go further in a career as a bar is traditionally a 2:1.
Education and Training After the academic stage in training there is the vocational stage also known as BPTC year. There are many BPTC institutions across the UK the closest to us is the BPP in Leeds. Costs of the BPTC year are extensive, the bar isn’t as well funded compared to the training contracts offered to trainee solicitors.
Scholarships The inn’s of courts provide between them provide £4 million worth of scholarships each BPTC year. Do not delay Scholarship applications as the deadline is within the first few weeks of third year. (Seems a long time away but how fast as this year gone). The course providers also provide scholarships although the inn’s are highly recommended.
Pupillage Pupillage is spilt into two six month periods. During the first 6 the pupil will shadow a barrister, observing and assisting the barrister and other barristers within the chambers. In the second 6 the pupil is allowed to work their own cases more independently often appearing in court. Pupillages are hard to come-by, it’s not good to kid yourself but if you really want to go for it then work hard!
Work Experience and Probono In order to develop those important applications skills and experiences need to be shown. There are some opportunities available which will enhance your CV.- Mini-Pupillage- Marshalling- Mooting- Mock Trails- Career excursions (dinners and trips) It is also important to have interests outside the law as this gives you something else to speak about in interviews.