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    Hi

    I completed my LLB this year at the University of the West of England. I'm going travelling in January for a year and was planning on doing the BVC in 2011, then hopefully gaining a pupilage after. However, I've been told that unless you had private education, have contacts, or went to a top university, it is near impossible to get pupilage.

    Does anyone know how much truth there is in this? I really want to qualify as a barrister, but can't afford to spend £15k on the bvc tuition if I'm not going to be able to get a pupilage.

    Thanks

    Lauren
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    It is untrue that you need private education/contacts to get pupillage. It is partially true that you need to have gone to a top university, or else have a first, simply because it is so competitive. Most people who begin the BVC don't manage to get pupillage. I'm not sure of the proportion as I'm not going down the barrister route, but I've seen people on this forum talk of something like only 1/5 of the people on their BVC course getting pupillage.
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    Thanks. It's so expensive, and I only got a 2:1, which I'm proud of, but not sure if it's going to be enough for a career as a Barrister. I think I'm going to try and gain a few mini pupilages, if I'm not managing to get these then a full pupilage is even less likely!
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    You don't need a private education, but a degree from a 'top' university (arguably easier to be a position to get if you have benefited from a private education of course...) helps. 'Contacts' - i.e. people who are barristers or know a lot about the profession - help, but you can make them by joining an Inn of Court and doing work experience.

    I will be blunt however. You have a 2.1. from a university that does not have a stellar academic reputation. If you have not done any mini-pupillages, it is not worth your while sinking the cost of a decent family car on the BVC. Get mini-pupillages (and if your applications are not successful, treat that as a warning sign...) and work experience in other parts of the profession (i.e. solicitors, and also perhaps probation, youth offending team etc if you're interested in criminal practice). Rather than spend time travelling, if you're serious about going to the Bar, perhaps try to get some paralegal experience in an area of law that you want to practice.

    I'm sorry to sound so negative, but there are far too many naive aspirants inflating BPP's share price out there!
 
 
 
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