Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Have been asked by a friend to help her decide whether a career at the Bar is attainable and I've decided to turn to the wise-r heads on Studentroom

    Academically:
    AAB at Alevel
    11GCSE's ranging from A*-B.
    Final year law student currently averaging 67% (although she's confident she can achieve a first) at a a top 15 university.

    Extra curricular wise:
    She debates regularly and was a finalist in a large debating competition recently.
    Works as a fundraiser for the local church.
    Volunteers for CAB
    Works as an advocate for clients with learning disabilities in disputes.
    Has undertaken two mini-pupillages.
    Worked for a year during sixth form, helping with the administration of a combined barrister/solicitor practice.
    Established a small photography magazine.
    Took part in DofE, Young Enterprise etc.
    Set up the Public Speaking society at her college.

    So the question is, does she stand a chance? If not, what is she doing wrong/should try to improve on? Brutally honest opinions are welcome.

    Oh, and if it helps she has aspirations to work within Employment Law.

    Thanks in advance,

    Ben
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Benjamin1989)
    Have been asked by a friend to help her decide whether a career at the Bar is attainable and I've decided to turn to the wise-r heads on Studentroom

    Academically:
    AAB at Alevel
    11GCSE's ranging from A*-B.
    Final year law student currently averaging 67% (although she's confident she can achieve a first) at a a top 15 university.

    Extra curricular wise:
    She debates regularly and was a finalist in a large debating competition recently.
    Works as a fundraiser for the local church.
    Volunteers for CAB
    Works as an advocate for clients with learning disabilities in disputes.
    Has undertaken two mini-pupillages.
    Worked for a year during sixth form, helping with the administration of a combined barrister/solicitor practice.
    Established a small photography magazine.
    Took part in DofE, Young Enterprise etc.
    Set up the Public Speaking society at her college.

    So the question is, does she stand a chance? If not, what is she doing wrong/should try to improve on? Brutally honest opinions are welcome.

    Oh, and if it helps she has aspirations to work within Employment Law.

    Thanks in advance,

    Ben
    Define "top 15" - which uni?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Nononsense)
    Define "top 15" - which uni?
    University of Leicester
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Benjamin1989)
    Have been asked by a friend to help her decide whether a career at the Bar is attainable and I've decided to turn to the wise-r heads on Studentroom

    Academically:
    AAB at Alevel
    11GCSE's ranging from A*-B.
    Final year law student currently averaging 67% (although she's confident she can achieve a first) at a a top 15 university.

    Extra curricular wise:
    She debates regularly and was a finalist in a large debating competition recently.
    Works as a fundraiser for the local church.
    Volunteers for CAB
    Works as an advocate for clients with learning disabilities in disputes.
    Has undertaken two mini-pupillages.
    Worked for a year during sixth form, helping with the administration of a combined barrister/solicitor practice.
    Established a small photography magazine.
    Took part in DofE, Young Enterprise etc.
    Set up the Public Speaking society at her college.

    So the question is, does she stand a chance? If not, what is she doing wrong/should try to improve on? Brutally honest opinions are welcome.

    Oh, and if it helps she has aspirations to work within Employment Law.

    Thanks in advance,

    Ben
    Short answer, yes she does stand a chance. How about some mooting? Worth the extra graft to bump her grades up to a first.
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    Final year law student currently averaging 67% (although she's confident she can achieve a first
    In most subjects there is a world of difference between 67% and 72%. I reckon I had to do about a third more work to raise my marks by that slim margin and then come up with a really good argument.

    If your friend is in/about to start her final year, I wonder how much weight is put on second year results? If it's 50% to make the maths easy, she will need an average of 73% to bring her up to the first threshold.

    I think a first from Leicester would make a big difference though, so the extra effort required would be worthwhile.

    Can't comment further on prospects as a barrister, as I am following the solicitor path.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by peachmelba)
    In most subjects there is a world of difference between 67% and 72%. I reckon I had to do about a third more work to raise my marks by that slim margin and then come up with a really good argument.

    If your friend is in/about to start her final year, I wonder how much weight is put on second year results? If it's 50% to make the maths easy, she will need an average of 73% to bring her up to the first threshold.

    I think a first from Leicester would make a big difference though, so the extra effort required would be worthwhile.

    Can't comment further on prospects as a barrister, as I am following the solicitor path.
    I think she's pretty confident because two of her four modules are 100% essay based (something she much prefers.) Also I think Leicester has a strange policy as to firsts, as in it's something like you have to get fours firsts and a 65%? I don't really know.

    (On a side note, how's the solicitor route going? Am anxiously waiting for the tc deadline to pass now lol)
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    On a side note, how's the solicitor route going?
    I was lucky enough to get a TC just before Christmas in my GDL year.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by peachmelba)
    I think a first from Leicester would make a big difference though, so the extra effort required would be worthwhile.
    I think this is one of the things that worries her, the idea that being a graduate from Leicester may be a disadvantage compared to other 'more respected' unis...
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    It's fairly well known in the profession that Leicester runs a good law degree
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ninon)
    Short answer, yes she does stand a chance. How about some mooting? Worth the extra graft to bump her grades up to a first.
    I might be wrong but mooting is pretty much mandatory
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Benjamin1989)
    I think this is one of the things that worries her, the idea that being a graduate from Leicester may be a disadvantage compared to other 'more respected' unis...
    It is, or at least it's not an advantage and in the pupillage hunt you need all the advantages you can get. She will be at a disadvantage compared to say someone with an LSE first, but that's not to say it's impossible that she could beat that person to a pupillage. The first really is necessary though, it makes a world of difference, and I personally wouldn't advise her to go for the Bar with a Leicester 2.1.
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by aziz89)
    I might be wrong but mooting is pretty much mandatory
    Yes, that was my point. The vast majority of pupillage applicants that we have seen this season have mooted; however, it is the degree of success that is important.

    I don't agree with the views expressed above concerning the importance of institution.

    Most practitioners will have a vague notion that, outside of Oxbridge, LSE, Kings and Durham have particularly good reputations for law. As for the rest, if it's a respectable redbrick, they are unlikely to either know or care where a given university is ranked in the league tables.

    I have stood on all sides of this issue - as a candidate, as a lecturer writing references for my graduate students (who had completed their undergraduate studies at a broad spectrum of institutions) and now as recruiter.

    Institution is one very small factor in an application. If anything it simply reflects a candidate's success at A Level. There may be a correlation between institution and prospects, but that is not to say that institution has a causative influence upon an applicants prospects of success - institutions with more demanding entrance requirements will filter through brighter candidates.

    In my experience, the determining factors that shape a candidate's prospects are their degree of intellect, their academic achievements, degree class, prizes, further study, how articulate they are, ability to think quickly under pressure, perseverance, their capacity for hard graft, charm, likeability, the efforts they have put into CV building, interesting previous careers, relevant work experience, mooting, an enthusiasm for rock climbing, a stint in the TA, charitable endeavours etc, etc, etc.

    Institution, in my view, is rapidly eclipsed by the above factors. Moreover, so long as you make it through the paper sift, interview is everything. Our worst performers this year were both Oxford graduates.

    My recollection is that the BSB/Bar Council statistics on pupillage indicated that the majority of pupils (taking the bar as a whole) were redbrick graduates and that most pupils had a 2.1 degree classification. Before we start pronouncing that a candidate with a 2.1 from Leicester should not contemplate the bar, perhaps we should ask where her interests lie.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ninon)
    Yes, that was my point. The vast majority of pupillage applicants that we have seen this season have mooted; however, it is the degree of success that is important.
    Perhaps an aside, but I was wondering if actual appearances in court on a regular basis would count more than mooting and/or mooting success? Or would the mooting success still be seen as a necessity?
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SevenStars)
    Perhaps an aside, but I was wondering if actual appearances in court on a regular basis would count more than mooting and/or mooting success? Or would the mooting success still be seen as a necessity?
    I suppose that may depend upon the nature of the court appearances - i.e. having conduct of a contested case as opposed to appearing in uncontested interim hearings. If someone is able to set out their success rate in the ET as a FRU representative and list the levels of compensation they have achieved, or something along those lines, that is extremely impressive.

    It perhaps isn't entirely accurate to say that mooting is an absolute necessity (I myself did not moot but had significant lecturing experience). The vast majority of applicants have mooted, however, and there is no doubt that mooting success is an achievement that we place weight upon.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Many thanks to the person who anonymously gave neg rep and some interesting comments.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Benjamin1989)
    Many thanks to the person who anonymously gave neg rep and some interesting comments.
    ?? Do tell?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ninon)
    Yes, that was my point. The vast majority of pupillage applicants that we have seen this season have mooted; however, it is the degree of success that is important.

    I don't agree with the views expressed above concerning the importance of institution.

    Most practitioners will have a vague notion that, outside of Oxbridge, LSE, Kings and Durham have particularly good reputations for law. As for the rest, if it's a respectable redbrick, they are unlikely to either know or care where a given university is ranked in the league tables.

    I have stood on all sides of this issue - as a candidate, as a lecturer writing references for my graduate students (who had completed their undergraduate studies at a broad spectrum of institutions) and now as recruiter.

    Institution is one very small factor in an application. If anything it simply reflects a candidate's success at A Level. There may be a correlation between institution and prospects, but that is not to say that institution has a causative influence upon an applicants prospects of success - institutions with more demanding entrance requirements will filter through brighter candidates.

    In my experience, the determining factors that shape a candidate's prospects are their degree of intellect, their academic achievements, degree class, prizes, further study, how articulate they are, ability to think quickly under pressure, perseverance, their capacity for hard graft, charm, likeability, the efforts they have put into CV building, interesting previous careers, relevant work experience, mooting, an enthusiasm for rock climbing, a stint in the TA, charitable endeavours etc, etc, etc.

    Institution, in my view, is rapidly eclipsed by the above factors. Moreover, so long as you make it through the paper sift, interview is everything. Our worst performers this year were both Oxford graduates.

    My recollection is that the BSB/Bar Council statistics on pupillage indicated that the majority of pupils (taking the bar as a whole) were redbrick graduates and that most pupils had a 2.1 degree classification. Before we start pronouncing that a candidate with a 2.1 from Leicester should not contemplate the bar, perhaps we should ask where her interests lie.
    This is a very nice post, but you are arguing with yourself because I have not made any of the points you appear to be attempting to dispute. What I have put in bold above is effectively what I said - I said that someone with say an LSE 1st would be at an advantage compared to someone with a Leicester 1st. You don't seem to dispute this. Nor did I say that this was in any way conclusive. It is simply one of a multitude of factors, and not by any means one of the more important ones. But it remains the case that where candidate A and candidate B are identical save that candidate A has ABB and a Leicester 1st and candidate B has AAA and an LSE 1st, the latter is at an advantage. That is all I was saying.

    As to her interests - the OP said she was interested in employment law. I did not say that someone with a Leicester 2.1 should not contemplate the Bar - I said I wouldn't do it. She would be betting £15,000 on a 20% chance or less. I personally wouldn't do that. It is a logical fallacy for you to say that most pupils have 2.1s from redbricks, therefore the OP has a good chance of pupillage. One can only assume from the statistics that the great majority of people with 2.1s from redbricks who apply do not get pupillage. Your reasoning is along the lines of "Most women have children, I have children, therefore I am a woman."
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ninon)
    I suppose that may depend upon the nature of the court appearances - i.e. having conduct of a contested case as opposed to appearing in uncontested interim hearings. If someone is able to set out their success rate in the ET as a FRU representative and list the levels of compensation they have achieved, or something along those lines, that is extremely impressive.

    It perhaps isn't entirely accurate to say that mooting is an absolute necessity (I myself did not moot but had significant lecturing experience). The vast majority of applicants have mooted, however, and there is no doubt that mooting success is an achievement that we place weight upon.
    Thank you kindly for your response. I'd ask further questions but I don't want to hijack the OP's thread, so will hold onto them for now.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Attainable? Yes
    Difficult? Also yes.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Just wanted to pass on my friend's thanks for all the comments. Has been really really helpful.
 
 
 
Poll
Brexit: Given the chance now, would you vote leave or remain?
Useful resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.