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    Any information on what others have experienced during these scholarship interviews would be interesting to read.

    For example, are they really only 15 minutes long? What kind of questions do they ask? Is it virtually a queue and wait system? How many people are on the interview panel? That kind of thing...

    Thanks for your contributions in advance.
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    Mine was about 5 mins, but other peoples I know 15 or longer. (I didn't get an award ) they asked me about my past career/finances, about a couple moots I'd done and what area of law I was interested in)

    there are a few threads on here it's worth trying to find to get further info.

    also the books bewigged and bewildered and the path to pupillage are worth a read
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    Thanks for the reply FMQ. I read Bewigged and Bewildered a couple of years back, and it is a useful read. I've also seen older threads where people have asked similar questions, but they are quite old threads, so I thought those people who were asking back then, might have some info for those of us about to be interviewed now.

    Did you fund your BVC (soon to be BPTC) yourself? That's my other option, or doing it part time whilst working.

    I'm just wondering how much preparation is necessary if the interview is not likely to be more than 15 minutes.
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    I funded myself and did it part time while continuing to work. Wouldnt have considered it if it had involved any debt. Also when I applied to BVC student to pupil ratio was much much higher than in the last 2/3 years. Wouldn't consider it now unless I had a) pupillage lined up or b)significant interview success in pre BVC year.

    Know
    Why the bar
    what area of law and why and recent cases and consultations
    be able to amplify your entire application form (moot topics, dissertation, why you support charity you did sponsored walk for ...)
    At least skim quality newspaper/their website every day
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    Seven Stars: Which Inn did you apply to?

    I applied to Middle and haven't heard anything yet.
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    Inner. I got a reminder early last week about interview dates and my confirmed interview was emailed to me today.

    Friend of mine applied to Middle and he hasn't heard anything yet either. Looking at the old threads on TSR re Inn scholarships, it seems some Inns don't interview until April.
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    Middle are April.

    What made you choose Inner?

    You a law student or on GDL?
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    Inner was a considered choice for personal reasons. I don't think there is much material difference between the Inns. My first choice was going to be Middle, then I changed my mind at the last minute (Inner being the original "considered" choice, dropped in favour of Middle, only for Middle to be dropped in favour of Inner)...silly really, as Inner require three references, and Middle only two.
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    Missed your reply before FMQ. Thanks for that, very helpful.

    Do you have pupillage now? I'll be applying for the first time this year...it would be nice to gain one pre-BVC but I understand that is not the norm for most people. Of course if I got a pupillage, I would definitely pay for the BPTC myself.

    I think I'm most nervous about the fact that my panel for interview is going to consist of four people...my nightmare! Three is manageable to sustain eye contact relatively smoothly, but four is one too many!
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    (Original post by SevenStars)
    Missed your reply before FMQ. Thanks for that, very helpful.

    Do you have pupillage now? I'll be applying for the first time this year...it would be nice to gain one pre-BVC but I understand that is not the norm for most people. Of course if I got a pupillage, I would definitely pay for the BPTC myself.

    I think I'm most nervous about the fact that my panel for interview is going to consist of four people...my nightmare! Three is manageable to sustain eye contact relatively smoothly, but four is one too many!
    No I haven't. My Law Degree is ex poly though and even with the life experience and lots of pro bono i have struggled to get interviews. Re: funding; I am a career changer so in a different position as i had enough savings behind me to fund the course (and continued working full time) so just wanted the scholarsip for "recognition".

    With regards to the panel don't worry about numbers just treat 1 or 10 the same way. I have a real issue with interviews and unfortunately have never excelled in them (even in my current job, but luckily there i am quite specialised so often not competing), but most people don't seem to have a problem with interviews per se just knowledge, that they havent kept up to date with the right stuff. Do a bit every day and I am sure you will be fine (if you have strong academics/ECs) .
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    Do you consider that the issue with lack of interviews is due to the ex-poly you attended? I have heard so much about certain universities being frowned upon, but thought a career changer might not be so affected by that, given the need to possibly remain in a particular area for family reasons. Which Inn did you join?

    I am also a career changer; my reason for wanting a scholarship is the same as yours, but also because I've committed a lot financially to retraining (three years loss of salary so far, plus a huge chunk of my savings), so getting a scholarship would be an acknowledgement that I haven't wasted my time or money. That said, I'd be happy working part time and studying the BPTC part time simply for my own sanity and to be back amongst people my own age on a day to day basis (nice as being a student again was!).

    My experience of four person panels is not good due to feeling like I'm under scrutiny as opposed to being interviewed...I am sure I'll cope, just makes me nervous thinking about it!
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    I thought the same as your paragraph 1 3 years ago when i applied for the BVC, but over the last 2 years of being on it, i honestly believe it is very difficult if not impossible to trump academics, even though it is difficult to know for definate (as no one will give you feedback at interview, never mind application stage). I can only go with my experience and that of my peers.

    When I started the course I thought that because my academics were reasonable, and i was running my own business, had plenty of mooting/debating/advocacy experience, had legal pro bono and volunteer experience in my local community, mini pupillages, and a couple of interesting pastimes etc etc all while continuining to work full time and study part time (for 6 years (showing tenacity etc))- that this would make up for the lack of top ten uni degree (I have 2 degrees the LLB is ex poli, the other is top 30) i would be ok. But everyone thinks this and although there are a lot of people who do nothing especially on the part time course as they use "family" etc as an excuse - there are still plenty of people with full CVs.

    I have about a 10% application to interview rate. All ints have been non olpas except a couple. This is a much higher interview ratio than most of my classmates except a couple who went to Kings/UCL. I have had some success therefore, and had my CV checked by inn sponsor so i think this is as ok as it can be, else i wouldnt get any interviews, so it must be whats on it rather than how im presenting it thats the "problem".

    So judging my success against other peoples, I think my lack of interviews is 60% uni/education (a fair few will bin it when seeing the uni and rubbishy A levels - never at 16 did I think they would haunt me in my late 30s) and 40% sheer numbers in competition - (you cant underestimate this you will be amazed by the people who aren't getting interviews either). but i dont actually know.


    I am in Middle - my interview was with a panel of three and they were nice - but I didnt engage them the second i walked in - I also think (hope) that they saw i didnt need the money and wasnt outstanding academically (though people with far worse academics get scholarships) MAYBE gulp they just realise i may never get through a pupillage interview so though I have "no prospect of success" i will never know

    I wasnt there long enough to be an idiot but i usually am. To be honest interviewers must think i lie on my CV when they get me infront of them I am sure you will be absolutley fine - I think more than a third of applicants get something.
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    Do you ever regret embarking on the lawyer path given your experiences FMQ? It is a shame someone hasn't given you some feedback, given that you are getting interviews it's obvious you are meeting the criteria on paper, so perhaps it's interviewing technique that is letting you down? Of course, it's hard for us to know, especially if no feedback is offered.

    I do worry that I was setting my sights too high, but having dedicated myself to this thus far, I can't stop now...though I am realistic in thinking that a maximum of three turns at pupillage application will be enough for me. I have a career I can return to, and adding an additional degree, plus a professional qualification to my CV won't hurt...and there is always the option of lecturing. But, those thoughts are at least three years away for me.

    I know that age isn't supposed to be a negative factor (in fact it should be a huge positive given not only business experience, but life experience too), but do you think that might be playing a part also? Although I would have thought they could filter immediately by that criteria from just looking at the date of birth on the CV.

    Have you considered the solicitor route?

    (I do apologise for asking so many questions, but appreciate you sharing your experiences, even though I have somewhat derailed my initial questions!)
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    1. I don't regret it - bit I am now feeling it was possibly a waste of time. The biggest problem is that you are up against so many people for each place, and they will nearly all be outstanding so part of it is just a general fit, which due to numbers you just may never find.

    2. I can't answer that - if you PM me some specifics I can say if i know how people equatable to you (quality of degree, extras on CV) are doing - but of course a lot of it will depend on you too so it would just be general info. (eg I don't know anyone personally, for example, with a 2.2 from ANYWHERE who has got to interview stage, but I know people who have got there with no box ticking, but a very relevant previous career where the tenants may have hoped to win future work through that person AND a top 10 degree)

    I am self employed so can always do what I was/am doing, and havent "given a career up" but a lot of people i have met have and are now very bitter (although clearly their sense of responsibility and realism is questionable with the odds so low), BUT my take is that I wouldn't have tried to change career into one that (for someone at my level) will be less financially rewarding, if I had job satisfaction in my current role. No one was going to change my life for me and im not one to moan about my lot - so the onus was on me to make a change! The professional qualification makes no difference in my line of work (or any I've considered pursuing in the alternative) but obviously it does in yours so thats a plus. Lecturing/teaching isn't for me. Neither is managing people or working in an office/single environment.

    I am constantly told by people who don't get any interviews that age is a consideration - I personally don't think this is true - you just have to look at the profile of a lot of recent tenants to see they have made it to pupillage past 30 or 40 - age is only a factor if you have nothing to show for it (ie 38 year old with only about 4 years in a previous career - just what have you been doing? or your look flakey having had about 6 "careers". Positive discrimination which often guarantees disabled or BME students interviews hasn't reached age yet, but i honestly dont think age is a big prejudicial effect anyway.

    Yes - one of the main reasons I went ahead with the BVC was that I knew if worst came to worst I would fall back on cross qualification. This however is unlikely to be as
    a) I assumed I would get paralegal work - yet hundreds of applications and no response down the line I have realised you can no longer get such a job without experience. The route in used to be outdoor clerking, but solicitors cant really afford clerks now so again no luck.
    b) the SRA are closing the loop hole so BVC graduates will no longer be eligible to sit the QLTT.

    No problem about questions - i come on this forum to give the benefit of my experience as someone who has been there and someone with life expereince, as there is too much rubbish on this forum from people with no idea or experience.

    I don't intend to put you or anyone else off and most bar students won't be put off no matter what you tell them, as they believe they have the X factor and good luck to them I say a % of people will get through- but if it involves debt then I would do my best to recommend they think think and think again!
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    FMQ you are being extremely helpful with your responses to my questions, and sharing your experiences is valuable. I very much appreciate it, so thank you.

    I didn't intend to imply (if I did) that I was asking about people comparable to myself. I think my academics are fine, as are my extra curriculars and pro bono...I'd expect my work history (in a very relevant, and related, field to that in which I wish to practice) to only be an asset. But who knows? Only at application/interview stage will any deficiencies become apparent, and perhaps even at that stage those deficiencies may be correctable.

    I think I am realistic, and whilst I will give this my all, I have set that bottom line at three years hence...no pupillage/scholarship after three application cycles means I will move on and do something else. But I will have given it my best shot during that time.

    I wasn't aware that the SRA were changing the status quo with regards to the QLTT. I don't want to be a solicitor in any case, but I do think that the method of crossing over should be maintained. I can't see the reasoning behind that change. Do you know why they are doing that?

    I don't think the information you are sharing is off-putting, rather it solidifies my thoughts on how realistic I already am. I can understand there are many on this site who would not be put off by anything they read, thinking they will be the one to make it, but I do think it's worthwhile pointing out areas that might not always be apparent. Some people do make it...determination is a part of that, as is self-belief, but those are just small factors that are required, and who knows what any given interview panel is going to be looking for on any given day?

    Are you going to keep on applying? Are you regional or in London?
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    I suppose not all work experience will be relevant...as I said before, who knows what any given panel is looking for on any given day.

    I suspect all those of us who aspire to the Bar can do, is do the best we can, present the best we can, and hope that we gain the opportunity we're seeking. And if that doesn't happen within a reasonable amount of time then it's up to us as individuals to take a step back and say "okay, time to move on to plan B, C or whatever". That's where the realism really lies...and knowing that before you get to that stage is possibly quite key.

    As for the determination and self belief...I did say those were small factors, so I concur they're not enough, nor should they be. I still look forward to the challenge...it's exciting. Though that four person panel still causes some consternation.

    Like you, I don't want to sell up and leave London as my life is here, but when all is said and done, if I have to move somewhere else to do a pupillage then I will.
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    Keep up the rapport guys! Interesting stuff.
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    Hi SevenStars,

    I thought I would try and help re your original question. I had my scholarship interview at Middle, it was less than 10 mins and I tried to walk out of the wrong door at the end of the interview (doh!) but that didn't seem to effect the outcome.

    Re Inner, there are two people in my group on the BVC who had scholarship interviews there. One got one and the other didn't (although I think they deserved one). I know that Inner do an 'exercise.' They give you a choice of 3 topics (crime, land law and something else I think) and give you the relevant case to read pre interview. You then get about 5 mins to talk about it and they ask you qs about it. The last 5 mins is spent talking about you and your application etc.
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    Thanks for that Dillontroy. My interview letter detailed what the preliminaries were, I was hoping for people's personal experiences, like yours being 10 minutes long! I've been told my interview will be approximately 20 mins, plus 30 mins to read the case.

    Sounds like you did okay despite trying to walk out of the wrong door! I take it you got an award? Did you know about the award before last year's pupillage applications? If so, do you think it made a difference? In other words, do you have a pupillage?
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    Hi. Yeah I did get a scholarhsip. I didn't know the outcome before the OLPAS deadline but I did know in time for some non-OLPAS apps. On the OLPAS apps I put that I was awaiting the outcome. Last year I had 4 interviews through my OLPAS apps and 4 from my non-OLPAS apps. I don't think it made a huge difference to my OLPAS apps as they know that you don't usually get the results in time but as the interviews are usually in June/July you can tell them the results in interviews if they ask. However, I do not yet have a pupillage. I think that the main reason for this was lack of proper legal work experience (not including minis and law firm work experience). What they really seem to want is experience with FRU or a legal advice clinic where you are advising and representing real clients (which I am busy doing this year)!
 
 
 
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