Qualities Required

The Application

The key information is:

Your class of degree. I’m really sorry to say this but if you don’t have an exceptional reason for your result then a 2:2 is no good. Yes, it’s unfair. Yes, Megarry VC got a 3rd. But if you had to read 300 forms and throw 285 away and you could get rid of 190 by adopting this approach you would, wouldn’t you?

Your geographical home if applying to the provinces. Local candidates still tend to get preference. If you come from Wales, why do you want to practice in Leeds? It’s not as if our sheep are any more attractive surely?

What you want to do at the bar. Just on a personal note – if you want to be an advocate that’s fine by me. It isn’t necessary to specialise in contract law to get damages for someone who’s had a crap holiday – although there are some snotty solicitors who say it is. What are their hourly rates? But you should have some idea as between crime/civil/family. Obviously, the more specialist the sets you are applying to, the more this information will have to be precise.

Why you want to do it at the type of Chambers to which you have applied. Don’t be put off by the fact that the form is general. It’s what fortune tellers call a cold reading – “you will get a tax bill from the Inland Revenue”. So, “a mixture of practices means I can preserve my options as long as possible”. Or, “I have wanted to ensure that as many armed robbers as possible walk the streets of Manchester since my Uncle Jimmy went inside”.

Whatever makes you stand out from the crowd.


6 thoughts on “The Application

  1. This may be slightly off topic, but perhaps you can help anyway, never mind if not, the rest of the blog is incredibly useful, thanks! I’m intending to apply for a scholarship from an Inn of Court and have been informed that even with a 2:1, there is little point in applying, as the criteria is ‘outstanding’ academic merit. Just wondered if you had any opinion on this?

  2. Hmmm – that’s a new one. I would be surprised if that meant a 1st, firstly because there are such a lot of awards and secondly because I know people who have a 2.1 (and whom I would not regard as academically outstanding) who have an award.
    It may be that the particular scholarship about which you have enquired has different criteria. That should be ascertainable with a phone call.
    Otherwise I would go for it.

  3. I have a 2:1 and was awarded quite a large sum of money, so I wouldn’t pay too much attention to any rumours putting you off. Beware of scaremongering fellow students also applying for scholarships: it’s in their best interest to minimize competition!

    And besides, the range of scholarships is so broad that even if you only get a small one to cover the cost of your membership fee or call it helps a little towards the massive financial burden of the bvc fees, as well as giving you something (else) to put in that ‘awards, prizes and achievements’ box. After all, if you don’t try you’ll never find out and if nothing else, it’s all good application and interview practice in the end 🙂

  4. Hi there, i have extremely poor A Level’s and GCSE’s, and everytime i attempt to have a glance at a Pupillage application form, the thought of Chambers placing my form firmly in the nearest bin, automatically comes to mind.

    Am i just living in a dream world, or is there any real chance of me succeeding at the extremely competitive Bar?

    I am currently on a 2:1 degree, and am hoping to push my grades up to a First, but even then, is there any chance of me getting my foot in the door?

  5. I am also worried about not getting considered properly due to poor A level and GCSE’s results. I have valid reasons for them, but do Chambers take the time to look at the the reasons?

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