Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free to post

No invited to scholarship interviews - still worth trying to become barrister?

Announcements Posted on
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    xxx
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    horrendous disciplinary record? That must have been some pretty awful reference you had there. If you want to go down this route, then it sounds like you need to stop up on the ECs. That will require commitment and stamina. You'll also have to convince a panel, at interview, that it's the right career for you. From my snapshot view here, I wonder what attracts you to the Bar? It's a career that requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice - not to mention impeccable behaviour (despite what the program Silk wishes to portray).

    If you are after the 'dolla', you're possibly better off looking at the Magic Circle. Still requires plenty of hard work, but the financial rewards are (initially) greater and it's a little easier to 'coast' (so I'm told).
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Just realised that you've posted this before - albeit with slightly different circumstances! My answer there still stands.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    So would you say that oxford 1st/high 2i (I think my tutor's wording was 'at least a high 2i' based on what he said to me) + vanilla ECs + at least some debating success should get an interview? So is it defo down to the disciplinary record? And for what it's worth, said record is horrendous, but to give more details would be to out myself VERY obviously.

    Step up on the ECs? I -think- I'll be good at mooting. Obviously, no one can know, but I have a track record in public speaking/debating, so at least I can make this claim with more probability than most other people. What apart from mooting? Sports/sports captaincy? Other leadership, in whatever? Pro bono?

    Why the Bar? Worst reason possible - others have suggested it! Browsing recent tenants it seems 1sts are valued, oxbridge is valued, foreign languages are valued, debating/mooting is valued, and so I decided to follow through with it.

    So (and I really do appreciate your answers, btw; parents actually think auditors and solicitors are the same thing so I'm almost totally at sea): do you think it is worthwhile trying to secure a pupillage given I was not invited to GDL scholarship interviews?

    And: what career path might overlook the poor record? Both sensible and highly bizarre answers are welcome, btw.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Oh just looked at the other reply:

    Mooting?: will do next year.

    Legal experience?: interning for Gazprom legal division in Moscow this summer.

    Prizes?: again I'm aware of most of the essay prizes given out and will be doing during the GDL.

    Scholarships?: right, given that I've now missed the first set of scholarships; and given that there's a very high chance I won't be invited to BVTC scholarships either as my resume won't have changed THAT much, is it worth it?

    (Oh for what it's worth, my old school headmaster actually refused to give me ANY reference.)
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by old glory)
    Why the Bar? Worst reason possible - others have suggested it! Browsing recent tenants it seems 1sts are valued, oxbridge is valued, foreign languages are valued, debating/mooting is valued, and so I decided to follow through with it.

    And therein lies a problem - if you're going to convince people you want to be a barrister, you need a convincing reason, which that most definitely is not. To be honest, your posts here don't seem to show much enthusiasm for the job, rather a sense of what you need to do in a clinical way to get there. Of course you need the requisite academics/ECs/something to make you stand out etc. but if you can't be convincing that you a) want and b) will be enthusiastic about the job rather than just going through the motions, you won't get very far.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Wildman)
    Don't listen to Kessler nay-saying as usual. You could still get a pupillage next application season - a friend of mine wasn't interviewed or offered any Middle Temple scholarships and secured a truly great pupillage the next year. That friend is now building a great employment practice and appearing in the EAT on a semi-regular basis.

    The key for you is doing a ton of minis - starting this summer - and going to town on extra cirriculars when you are doing the BPTC, i.e. signing up for everything remotely relevant. You should also get someone to check your applications as the reason you didn't get any scholarships may have been that your application writing was very poor and didn't do you justice.

    Ps - horrendous disciplinary record suggests that you are maybe someone interesting and original who I'd enjoy having a pint with, nothing more (unless you were trashing restaurants in and around Oxford that is).
    I think you misunderstood me somewhat. I'm a third year at university doing history - the scholarship I wasn't invited to interviews for was for the GDL scholarships. So I'd be doing loads of ECs, etc. during the GDL year first of all.

    Secondly, it isn't that I didn't get any scholarships - it's that I wasn't invited to interview, which implies something seriously wrong with my application. Bad writing can't be it, as the application form is fairly box-filling - e.g. list GCSEs, list hobbies, and say how relevant, list degree class, list/describe other achievements.

    I don't think Kessler is being that negative - certainly he's said HOW I can improve my chances.
    • 10 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by old glory)
    Secondly, it isn't that I didn't get any scholarships - it's that I wasn't invited to interview, which implies something seriously wrong with my application.
    From what I've read here, lack of motivation and over-confidence.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mystic123)
    And therein lies a problem - if you're going to convince people you want to be a barrister, you need a convincing reason, which that most definitely is not. To be honest, your posts here don't seem to show much enthusiasm for the job, rather a sense of what you need to do in a clinical way to get there. Of course you need the requisite academics/ECs/something to make you stand out etc. but if you can't be convincing that you a) want and b) will be enthusiastic about the job rather than just going through the motions, you won't get very far.
    Two things:

    Firstly, I haven't had the chance to show/not show enthusiasm - my CV shows good academics and ECs as relevant as any non-law undergrad's are likely to be.

    But, secondly, yeh you're totally correct, my enthusiasm for it is quite limited. I wouldn't reconsider at the first obstacle if I wasn't already highly ambivalent about it. Box-ticking is how I've approached most of my academic career unfortunately. And there is a certain unjustified arrogance that comes from being able to do Oxford academics well through little more than facile articulacy (yes, that is self-parody). At some point, the sense of -achieving- starts to feel more important than whatever the goal you might achieve is.

    Anyway, thanks for your help. I know I come off as arrogant or indecisive, but I do basically want to succeed through hard and useful work. Vague, I know.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by xmarilynx)
    From what I've read here, lack of motivation and over-confidence.
    Right, but I'm not sure how an application form shows that. Anyway, what I'm asking is, given that my application wasn't even good enough to get an interview, is there a realistic hope of turning it around or not?
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Wildman)
    If its GDL then this is a complete non-issue. Do the GDL if you are committed to law and take it from there. I wouldn't feel entitled to a GDL scholarship on the basis that you are on for a first from Oxford - it's a bit more nuanced than that.
    Again, we're going round in circles. IF I'd been invited to interviews and hadn't shown enough enthusiasm, etc, I wouldn't be asking this question. I'm just concerned that my raw CV (which IS just academia and ECs) wasn't good enough to get an interview.

    Also, re: doing the GDL, you must think I'm made of money. That's 9,000 for the course, then living expenses in London, and a year of my life I'm pretty sure I can think of better things to do with. And I am not committed to law, only to the Bar, which is fairly common - the person that convinced me to sign up for the GDL isn't doing it if he's finals aren't a 1st, and his family are substantially wealthier than mine, i.e. he can afford to make a go of it much more than I can.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Yeh I should probably add that my financial situation is substantially more precarious than that of some Bar aspirants. Students loans are quite small (Oxford really is cheap), but there's no real line of financial support. So bear in mind that I'm not being whiny - I really do need to know that my odds are decent before embarking on anything.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Wildman)
    All I will add is:

    1) GDL scholarships aren't I don't think as many or as important as BPTC scholarships - most do the GDL self-funded.
    Thanks! Yeah that does change my thinking in the direction of going for it.
    2) A first isn't necessary, depending on what law you want to do. The friend I referred to above had a 2:1 from a Redbrick. Obviously it is different if you want to go to some of the chancery sets.
    Probably some kind of commercial/civil fraud/business trusts - I'm not sure how precisely you're using chancery. Anyway, the chambers I'm looking at are largely, but not exclusively, firsts.
    3) I wouldn't read too much into not getting an interview for a GDL scholarship. As stated above they are fewer in number. Perhaps those who had interviews had all the extra cirriculars on their CV already - something that you will add to your CV over the next 2 years. If you get a first or a 2:1 from Oxford and take the issue of developing your CV seriously, you will get pupillage interviews. Trust me.
    Again, thanks! I'm just surprised there are enough with genuine relevant stuff.
    4) If you can prove your commitment to the Bar over the GDL year, then I would say you are in with a good shot of obtaining interviews for BPTC scholarships.

    The Bar is a gamble but if you don't buy a ticket you don't win the raffle, as they say.

    Also - have you considered doing the GDL part time if finance is an issue? It would enable you to get a job that is legally relevant and add even more to your CV if so.
    I have. On the whole, it isn't like I can't go into some debt, more that I don't want to go into debt, then discover there's something basic about my CV that makes the Bar a pipedream - specifically, the disciplinary record. Also - I feel old. I don't want to waste time.
    Thanks for the advice!
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by old glory)
    Again, we're going round in circles. IF I'd been invited to interviews and hadn't shown enough enthusiasm, etc, I wouldn't be asking this question. I'm just concerned that my raw CV (which IS just academia and ECs) wasn't good enough to get an interview.

    Also, re: doing the GDL, you must think I'm made of money. That's 9,000 for the course, then living expenses in London, and a year of my life I'm pretty sure I can think of better things to do with. And I am not committed to law, only to the Bar, which is fairly common - the person that convinced me to sign up for the GDL isn't doing it if he's finals aren't a 1st, and his family are substantially wealthier than mine, i.e. he can afford to make a go of it much more than I can.
    Wildman's suggestion of part-time GDL seems most sensible if money is an issue. Why is London so important though? The GDL is around £4,500-£7,000 in non-London institutions and living expenses can be considerably lower. Here's a full list: http://d1d1tdqerevjwu.cloudfront.net...ble%202011.pdf

    Oxford Brookes does it for £6,730- why not stick around for another year instead of running off to the big smoke?

    If you're worried about losing your money then do some research into the bar to see if it's what you want- I'd recommend undertaking a mini-pupillage. It's incredibly tough to get in (even with an Oxford first/high 2.i) and what's the point in spending all that money that you don't have to find you're up against candidates who are much more experienced, determined and enthusiastic than you are? And then you'll have to deal with the fact that, if you were to become a barrister, you have little control over your work pattern and have to work extremely hard. The financial rewards aren't all too great any more- what motivates most barristers to put up with the demands of the profession is interest in what they do. It takes a lot of work just to get there- it would be a huge waste of all that work to get there and discover it isn't all that you want. However, as stated above, if you don't really want it or you don't know why you want it then you're unlikely to get beyond first interviews (if you get any).

    This isn't something you should just be going into just because someone has told you that you're good at debating and have an academic mind- you have to want it badly and you have to know why. Fees for GDL+BPTC can be anything from c £16,000 to £25,000. This requires deep thought. There seem to be deeper questions at play here than what not getting a GDL scholarship interview means.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Wildman)
    Don't listen to Kessler nay-saying as usual.
    A little uncalled for, Wildman.
    • 20 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by old glory)
    Hey,

    As the title says, I just got no invited to scholarship interviews for the GDL year at Lincoln Inn.

    Me: Oxford history, probably a first, bilingual Russian, some success at British Parliamentary debating, some other vanilla ECs. No real legal work experience, and a horrendous disciplinary record. For what it's worth, I probably did better in exams than the reference my tutor sent would have implied. Also, needless to say, I'll be using other references in the future (like from the GDL tutors).

    So: given that being a barrister is not a lifelong dream of mine or anything like that, is it still worth trying to become one? Or should I seek alternatives, bearing in mind that most graduate schemes have closed, and living with parents for a year is a no-no?

    Thanks!
    I realise that you cannot go into details here.

    Are your problems such that you are going to have difficuties satisfying the character requirements for the bar? Have you made enquiries about this? Criminal offences, cheating, stuffing ballot boxes, "isms", behaviour demonstrating a lack of respect for others, will cause problems.

    Are your problems such that they show lack of application or diligence in academic work? Is there anthing in your CV to show that you have changed your spots?

    A bit of rowdy behaviour shouldn't be a problem, but it is how that rowdiness manifested itself. If your rowdiness impacted on a lot of others, the scholarship committee may well have thought "would I want to be in chambers with that so and so".
    • 22 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by old glory)
    Hey,

    As the title says, I just got no invited to scholarship interviews for the GDL year at Lincoln Inn.

    Me: Oxford history, probably a first, bilingual Russian, some success at British Parliamentary debating, some other vanilla ECs. No real legal work experience, and a horrendous disciplinary record. For what it's worth, I probably did better in exams than the reference my tutor sent would have implied. Also, needless to say, I'll be using other references in the future (like from the GDL tutors).

    So: given that being a barrister is not a lifelong dream of mine or anything like that, is it still worth trying to become one? Or should I seek alternatives, bearing in mind that most graduate schemes have closed, and living with parents for a year is a no-no?

    Thanks!
    There exist options which are neither a graduate scheme nor the GDL. You needn't live with your parents if the prospect is decidedly unappealing.

    The bar isn't a career which one can waltz into on the basis of a hunch or whim. Do you have any idea what the work entails, what the hours are like, and so forth? You need to get some work experience sooner rather than later, or you could find yourself having spent a lot of money on a qualification which is useless outside the legal profession.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I realise that you cannot go into details here.

    Are your problems such that you are going to have difficuties satisfying the character requirements for the bar? Have you made enquiries about this? Criminal offences, cheating, stuffing ballot boxes, "isms", behaviour demonstrating a lack of respect for others, will cause problems.

    Are your problems such that they show lack of application or diligence in academic work? Is there anthing in your CV to show that you have changed your spots?

    A bit of rowdy behaviour shouldn't be a problem, but it is how that rowdiness manifested itself. If your rowdiness impacted on a lot of others, the scholarship committee may well have thought "would I want to be in chambers with that so and so".
    That was a big part of it, yes. As in, not turning up to tutorials, ignoring e-mails, handing in plagiarized tutorial work (NOT anything assessed to be totally clear), etc, rather than anything exam-related. I was just completely unused to being taught when I turned up to Oxford - for whatever reason, I'd just studied on my own throughout school, partly it has to be said due to some stunningly boring holidays.

    Impacted others? Very little given how bad my record is - the blatantly plagiarized non-assessed essays probably offended the tutors involved, as did me not turning up to class (note that we're talking about 5+ person classes that other people did miss, but not as frequently or as reasonlessly as I did).

    For context, I was railroaded into Oxford and into history (in the latter case because that was the subject I figured I had the best chance of getting in with). Think parents decided what the goal should be, and I just worked out the how. So I had probably less motivation or desire to be there than anyone else, felt totally out of place, retreated into the internet and into my own thoughts. So the why of my poor record is disengagement.
    • 22 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by old glory)
    That was a big part of it, yes. As in, not turning up to tutorials, ignoring e-mails, handing in plagiarized tutorial work (NOT anything assessed to be totally clear), etc, rather than anything exam-related. I was just completely unused to being taught when I turned up to Oxford - for whatever reason, I'd just studied on my own throughout school, partly it has to be said due to some stunningly boring holidays.

    Impacted others? Very little given how bad my record is - the blatantly plagiarized non-assessed essays probably offended the tutors involved, as did me not turning up to class (note that we're talking about 5+ person classes that other people did miss, but not as frequently or as reasonlessly as I did).

    For context, I was railroaded into Oxford and into history (in the latter case because that was the subject I figured I had the best chance of getting in with). Think parents decided what the goal should be, and I just worked out the how. So I had probably less motivation or desire to be there than anyone else, felt totally out of place, retreated into the internet and into my own thoughts. So the why of my poor record is disengagement.
    Plagiarism is a fairly serious blot on your copy-book, even on unassessed supervision/tutorial work. Given that it constitutes academic dishonesty, you may have difficulty registering with the BSB or SRA. I would take advice before putting money down for the GDL. It's possible you can get past it, but I expect the plagiarism plays a substantial part in your failure to get invited to interview for scholarships.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jjarvis)
    Plagiarism is a fairly serious blot on your copy-book, even on unassessed supervision/tutorial work. Given that it constitutes academic dishonesty, you may have difficulty registering with the BSB or SRA. I would take advice before putting money down for the GDL. It's possible you can get past it, but I expect the plagiarism plays a substantial part in your failure to get invited to interview for scholarships.
    No, plagiarism on non-assessed work is not even noted down anywhere - the tutor simply reports the work as having been inadequate.

    That said, do you know in which professions/careers would prior academic dishonesty matter less?

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: June 13, 2012
New on TSR

GCSE mocks revision

Talk study tips this weekend

Article updates
Useful resources
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.