MAKING APPLICATIONS FOR THE BAR Mini-pupillages Pupillages BPTC.
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MAKING APPLICATIONS FOR THE BAR Mini-pupillages Pupillages BPTC
What Do Barristers Do? Barristers are independent specialist legal advisers and advocates The majority are self-employed but work together in sets of chambers Others are employed in solicitors’ firms, business and public sector organisations They offer two main services to clients: –Advocacy –Specialist opinion
Some Statistics 15.030 practising barristers 80% of these are self-employed 66% of all practising barristers are men; 34% women; 11% from ethnic minorities Approximately two-thirds of barristers are based in London
How to become a barrister Get a good degree (2.1 or above) Get relevant experience –Mini-pupillages –Other experience that will demonstrate your skills and personality Take the Bar Professional Training Course Gain practical experience (pupillage) Get a tenancy
Mini-pupillages A form of work-shadowing Usually last one week Available at any stage of your studies and often at any time of year (not just in vacations) They may involve –Reading papers –Discussing cases –Attending Court and meetings –Research and drafting Search for a mini-pupillage at www.lawcareers.net/Barristers/Pupillages
What are selectors looking for? Intellectual ability Outstanding communication skills – written and verbal Motivation Experience and understanding of law and its context Individuality – something to make you stand out from other candidates
Intellectual ability Exam results are obviously crucial Put them in context: e.g. results achieved in the face of difficulties Highlight any significant prizes or awards you may have received Any other achievements
Communication skills Written Essays and dissertations Any other writing experience – student journalism; publicity for a society or event Your application! Verbal All kinds of work experience Persuasive skills
Motivation/Understanding of law Bar-related activities, e.g. mooting; debating; Law Clinic; Temple Society! Have you talked to practising barristers? visited Courts, Inns or Chambers? joined an Inn? Are you aware of current issues at the Bar? Do you read the legal press? Have you researched other options in law – especially solicitors?
Individuality Your application will probably be read by a practising barrister who has to fit recruitment and selection around his/her other work Make your application interesting – make them want to meet you! Anything a bit different/unusual will help you to stand out Work experience and extra-curricular activities can offer good material here
Quotes “Most applications for mini-pupillages come from quite young and inexperienced candidates – we mostly have to select on the basis of academic results and anything original or unusual in the application” “Be concise – a few well-chosen words or sentences, properly spelt and punctuated, are preferable to long rambling essays”
BPTC Applications Open Monday 2 November www.barprofessionaltraining.org.uk Closing date 7th January 2010 (14:00 hours) Sections are likely to include: –Choice of 3 BVC providers –Personal and educational details –Referee details (they will email your referee) –Skills (languages and IT skills) –SUPPORTING EVIDENCE
Supporting evidence Mini-pupillages and other Bar-related experience Reasons for choice of career Evidence of intellectual ability Inter-personal skills Advocacy and public speaking Personal organisational skills
Pupillage applications OLPAS is no more All pupillages are advertised on the Pupillage Portal www.pupillages.com Portal opens for applications in mid-March and closes on 1st May You can apply for pupillages one or two years ahead – usually during final year or in BPTC year Applications may be online (via the Pupillage Portal or direct to Chambers) or by CV
Making applications Whatever the method - do your research! Put time, care and thought into every application Be accurate – in every respect! “Why us?” “Why should we choose you?” What did you learn?
Further information - online www.kent.ac.uk/careers/siteslaw.htm www.kent.ac.uk/careers/applicn.htm www.legaleducation.org.uk www.pupillages.com (includes mini-pupillages) www.lawcareers.net (The Training Contract & Pupillage Handbook online) College of Law www.college-of-law.co.uk/a-career-in- law/barrister-skills.html Chambers & Partners www.chambersandpartners.com/uk/
Further information - print The Training Contract & Pupillage Handbook TARGET Law Pupillages Handbook The Path to Pupillage My Brief Career
Careers Advisory Service www.kent.ac.uk/careers Careers Advisers for Law Students: Canterbury: Jenny Keaveney J.A.Keaveney@kent.ac.uk Medway: Jenny Walters J.Walters@kent.ac.uk Careers Advisory Service, University of Kent, 2009