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about Becoming a Barrister

Want to become a barrister? If you’ve completed a law degree at undergraduate level, or a law conversion course, we can help you on your journey towards a career at the bar.

65% of our full-time UK/EEA 2018/19 BPC students graduating in 2019 have successfully secured or completed pupillage (based on student data collated summer 2022).

Gain up to 50 hours of advocacy training: test your skills in front of real barristers and judges at mooting competitions and also at mock trials in court.

We are committed to ensuring you have the advice and support you need to make successful pupillage applications. Our unique Future Pupil Programme means that you’ll be able to prepare for pupillage applications from the moment you accept your place with ULaw.

Your route to becoming a barrister

The Bar Practice Course (BPC) is the qualifying postgraduate course allowing graduates to prepare and practise as barristers in England and Wales. It is the vocational stage of training, which you’re required to pass before you can go on to complete the final, practical stage of training; pupillage. To start the BPC, you’ll need either an undergraduate law degree or a law conversion course such as our MA Law (Conversion) or Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PgDL). The infographic below shows the route from your law degree / conversion course to becoming a fully qualified barrister.

Our Bar Practice Course provides an ideal environment for developing the confidence, communication skills and leadership you’ll need to thrive at the Bar. With our experienced academic team and advanced learning technology, you will gain the expertise and experience needed to start your career as a barrister.

You can also add an internationally recognised LLM qualification to your CV and pupillage applications by studying our BPC LLM. Choose from three pathways to success: real-life work experience via our Pro Bono clinics, study additional modules or write a dissertation.

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Choose to study this award and you will have the opportunity to add an internationally recognised LLM qualification to your CV and pupillage applications.

You can complete your Master of Laws (LLM) qualification via three routes:

  1. Complete real-life work experience via our Pro Bono clinics - you will advise, manage and represent clients on a variety of cases in legal areas. You will also be paired with a Master’s Supervisor, who will guide you through a reflective learning process so that you can complete your reflective assessment and obtain your Master’s Degree.
  2. Study additional modules** - increase your knowledge of legal practice areas which are of interest to you and can help shape the direction of your career. You will sit the exams once you’ve finished your Bar Practice Course.
  3. Write a dissertation - immerse yourself in an area of law and become expert in it, allowing you to demonstrate your knowledge in your applications to chambers and beyond.

If you study our Bar Practice Course LLM, you could also be eligible for a SLC Postgraduate Loan.

**Students studying additional modules at our Liverpool campus in 2022/23 will have to attend regular sessions (1-2 days per week) at our Manchester campus for a single semester. Students studying additional modules at our Newcastle campus in 2022/23 will have to attend regular sessions (1-2 days per week) at our Leeds campus for a single semester. International students cannot study the additional module route in Liverpool or Newcastle, as they must complete all of their studies at one campus.

Students wishing to complete our BPC must go through our Selection Process. This allows us to identify the brightest and most able students, creating a stimulating learning environment for all. As a result, when you undertake our BPC you can guarantee that you will be studying alongside committed, focused and intelligent students, which in turn will push you to succeed. It’s also an excellent way to get vital practise for advocacy and pupillage interviews.

Money being put into a piggy bank

GET HELP FINANCING YOUR BPC

We have a variety of funding options available for our BPC. If you study our Bar Practice Course LLM, you could also be eligible for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan.

Find out more

Make an Enquiry

 

Bar Series Part 3: Chambers, Circuits And Practice Areas (Virtual Event)

Thursday 29 February, 17:00 - 18:30

Our bar series event on chambers, circuits and practice areas will provide everything you need to know on these crucial areas and will allow you to be completely confident ahead of making those all-important pupillage applications in the future.

 

Advocacy 101: The Basics (Virtual Event)

Tuesday 12 March, 17:00 - 19:00

Are you interested in a career at the bar, but the idea of advocacy feels confusing? Or, do you want to learn more before heading into your pupillage interviews? Then join us for our brand-new event, advocacy 101: the basics.

Building pillars

aboutInns of Court

The Inns of Court are professional institutions for barristers in England and Wales, and you must be a member of an Inn at least 12 weeks before starting your Bar Practice Course. There are four Inns of Court to choose from: Gray's Inn, Inner Temple, Lincoln's Inn, and Middle Temple. All four are in central London, and they provide training and support to both students and fully qualified barristers. Each Inn will offer student scholarships to help towards the fees of the BPC, and they will regularly hold academic activities and professional events to assist your training.

To help you choose which Inn to join, take a look at our helpful information below.

Pupillage

Pupillage is the final stage of training before becoming a barrister. During this time, you put into practise everything you have learnt so far. In the first six months, you will be shadowing a barrister, this will include accompanying them to court, conferences and consultations as well as providing assistance with their papers. In the second six months, you are in the practise stage, where you will have a provisional practising certificate and be able to provide legal services to the public, under supervision.

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Preparing for Pupillage Interviews

Future Pupil Programme

The University of Law is committed to ensuring you have the advice and support you need to make successful pupillage applications. Our unique Future Pupil Programme means that you’ll be able to prepare for pupillage applications from the moment you accept your place.

Here's a list of the support you’ll receive from moment you accept your place until after you graduate:

CV starter pack

Sent as soon as you accept your place on our Bar Practice Course. This will be your guide to ensuring your CV is Bar-focussed.

Employability platform

From the moment you accept your place, you’ll be able to register with our employability platform to gain access to relevant job and work experience opportunities as well as event listings.

Pupillage health check

Once you accept your place, you’ll be invited to meet one of our Specialist Careers Advisors to review your CV and get strategic advice on future pupillage applications. This is followed by our preparing for the BPC workshop, which is a chance to hear from our Future Pupils.

Pro bono and advocacy Opportunities

Participate in our award-winning pro bono activities and test your skills in front of real barrister and judges at prestigious national and international advocacy competitions. We also run internal competitions and workshops, including mock trials in court.

One-to-one appointments

One-to-one appointments are available in person, by email, via Teams or Zoom. These can cover anything from general strategic advice to feedback on your applications, and mock interviews tailored to you.

Pupillage interview workshops

Prepare for pupillage interviews in groups of four with a Specialist Careers Advisor and BPC Lecturers ready to grill you.

Pupillage panel events

We run a range of events from practice-specific panels to How to Succeed at the Junior Bar, and our celebrated Pupillage Application Question Time and Pupillage Interview Question time events. We also run Bar networking events as well as events on the non-legal aspects of your practice such as taxes.

Bar Mailing List

A newsletter run buy Future Pupils that ensures students are kept up to date with relevant information on topics such as mini-pupillage openings, job opportunities, volunteering opportunities, pupillage application pointers, scholarship information and events.

Post BPC advice

Even if you obtain pupillage whilst you’re on the BPC, you are likely to have a year to fill before you start. We can help you with scholarships, internships, employment and further education decisions. You’ll have access to our careers service for 5 years after graduating.

The Future Pupil Programme