At ULaw, every applicant to our Bar Practice Course (BPC) will need to attend one of our selection events. These events allow us to identify the brightest and most able students, ensuring a stimulating learning environment for all. We spoke with Beverley Dawes, Head of BPC at ULaw, who shared her advice on what to expect and how to make the most of the BPC Selection Events.
By Cara Fielder. Published 13 June 2022. Last updated 4 January 2023.
The BPC Selection Event is essential for applicants to see if a career at the bar is right for them. At the selection event, there is also important information including details about available scholarships to aid with fees and what studying a BPC will include from tutors and current students. It is also good practice for your advocacy skills and pupillage interviews as you get to take part in a 5-minute plea in mitigation.
Miss Dawes explains that the Selection Events are imperative to ensuring “students studying the BPC at ULaw will be surrounded by like-minded, motivated, high-ability students.” Selection Events also give “candidates the opportunity to meet current members of staff and current BPC students studying at ULaw.”
What to expect
If a candidate is successful at the paper stage of their application, they will be invited to attend a virtual BPC Selection Event. BPC Selection Events run throughout the year during the week and on weekends, and applicants can choose a convenient time and date for them. BPC selection events tend to last around two to three hours.
The day kicks off with a welcome talk, during which applicants will receive more information about the BPC and BPC LLM programmes offered by ULaw, as well as details about our advocacy scholarships, employability support and extra-curricular opportunities.
Students will then be given time to prepare a short unseen advocacy exercise; usually a plea in mitigation with a ULaw tutor acting as a district judge. The final stage is a short interview with a ULaw tutor, where applicants are asked a series of questions. Throughout the event, there will also be current BPC students, tutors and members of the Student Recruitment Team for applicants to talk with and ask any questions about the BPC.
What prep can applicants do ahead of the event?
Everything that you need will be given to you on the day of your BPC Selection Event. There is no advance preparation required, however you may wish to practice some mock interview questions or practice some advocacy before attending your BPC Selection Event.
However, “remember that we are not looking for the finished product. We are only looking for whether candidates have the raw skills needed to succeed on the BPC and beyond” explains Miss Dawes.
The BPC Selection Event is a great opportunity for tutors to meet prospective BPC students “We enjoy meeting future members of the Bar, hearing your interesting life experiences and your answers in interviews and being impressed by candidates’ advocacy performances. Our current BPC students enjoy sharing their experiences of the course with applicants and talking about life as a ULaw student” Miss Dawes told us.
Advise for going into the BPC Selection Event
Attending any event can be nerve-racking but remember everyone will be feeling nervous and it’s an opportunity for you to learn more about the course and meet the tutors. Miss Dawes advises candidates to: “be yourself, relax and enjoy the experience. Show your personality in your interview and when it comes to the advocacy exercise, remember the basics: speak clearly and slowly, structure your advocacy submissions and use professional language etc. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the BPC and ULaw to our students and staff who will be on hand throughout our Selection Event.”
We look forward to seeing you at a BPC Selection Event. Discover more about studying the BPC with us now.