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    On most websites of legal firms, they seem to make their requirements very clear:

    - 2.1 and above.
    - ABB at A-level.
    - Sometimes refer to having attended a good university.
    - Regional firms sometimes make reference to having a connection with the area.
    Etc.

    But, on most websites of chambers, I rarely see any strict requirements set out (apart from the odd mentioning of a 2.1 requirement). None of the websites I have looked at make reference to A-level grades.

    So why is this? Is the bar still as picky as these firms, but just less clear on the outset as to what A-levels and the like they will accept? Or does the bar look at applications on a case-by-case basis; whereas legal firms will automatically throw any applications that don't meet A-level requirements and the like in the bin?
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    (Original post by HarmanFan)
    On most websites of legal firms, they seem to make their requirements very clear:

    - 2.1 and above.
    - ABB at A-level.
    - Sometimes refer to having attended a good university.
    - Regional firms sometimes make reference to having a connection with the area.
    Etc.

    But, on most websites of chambers, I rarely see any strict requirements set out (apart from the odd mentioning of a 2.1 requirement). None of the websites I have looked at make reference to A-level grades.

    So why is this? Is the bar still as picky as these firms, but just less clear on the outset as to what A-levels and the like they will accept? Or does the bar look at applications on a case-by-case basis; whereas legal firms will automatically throw any applications that don't meet A-level requirements and the like in the bin?
    The reason for this is that most chambers don't have HR departments.

    If you've got dodgy A-Levels you're going to have exactly the same problems attempting to enter either branch of the profession.
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    I have very limited experience having never made applications for pupillage myself, but I am relatively sure the bar is in fact MORE picky about grades.

    Many of those I went to university with, who were aiming to get into the bar, essentially viewed anything less than a first class as inadequate. From this you can probably suggest that AAB/AAA at A-level is standard for pupillage applications, and anything less is "dodgy".
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    They are just as, if not more, particular about your academic achievements. But as you suggest, it's probably more that they consider applicants on a case-by-case basis - it's just that if your grades/degree/uni is poor, your 'case' is going to be thrown out very quickly.
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    I was under the impression it was more difficult to gain pupillage than to gain a TC. Obviously, if you're aiming for the magic circle/silver circle Law firms you're not in for an easy ride either. I heard the bar is rather more elitist than many law firms. The bar is saturated with Oxbridge graduates from Private and Public schools. From what I've seen of City firms, this is a less prominent trend. Financial burden is considerably more also. I think there still exists an element of class-orientated prejudice at the bar and it doesn't have to comply with as many stipulations about allowing certain 'backgrounds' into it's ranks.

    Clearly I've not experienced this first-hand , just from what I've read, so allow for some of the inaccuracy inherent in any conjecture. Correct me if you wish.
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    Resipsaloq was right first time. Most Chambers are run without huge, corporate HR departments to come up with the sort of meaningless drivel you see on most Solicitors firms sites.
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    As has already been intimated, just because the requirements aren't explicitly stated, it doesn't mean that they aren't there.
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    You're more likely to get your poor A-Levels overlooked in a pupillage application, provided you have an excellent degree (first in a proper subject from a proper university). This is because there is no HR filter on the application.

    However, to a far greater degree than TC apps. your chances are proportionately greater the better your overall academic record. The Bar prizes academic excellence above all else.

    Are they right to do so? I believe they are. Getting a first is the best demonstration of a candidate's intelligence and application.
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    (Original post by resipsaloq)
    The Bar prizes academic excellence above all else.


    You haven't met many members of the family bar then have you?

    Some criminal law hacks might have trouble if you asked them to walk as well as talk.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    You haven't met many members of the family bar then have you?

    Some criminal law hacks might have trouble if you asked them to walk as well as talk.
    Criminal sets do require decent grades nowadays though, don't they?
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    (Original post by resipsaloq)
    Criminal sets do require decent grades nowadays though, don't they?
    Yes they do.

    But not generally the stellar academics of some of the civil sets.
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    (Original post by resipsaloq)
    Criminal sets do require decent grades nowadays though, don't they?
    Compare a leading criminal set like 23 ES--lots of non-Oxbridge, some postgrad but not Oxbridge and not necessarily a distinction, mix of 2:is and firsts--with a leading commercial chambers like OEC--almost exclusively Oxbridge firsts, academic scholarships and prizes, BCL/Cambridge LLM. Big difference, though obviously there's a definite minimum at criminal sets.
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    (Original post by jjarvis)
    Compare a leading criminal set like 23 ES--lots of non-Oxbridge, some postgrad but not Oxbridge and not necessarily a distinction, mix of 2:is and firsts--with a leading commercial chambers like OEC--almost exclusively Oxbridge firsts, academic scholarships and prizes, BCL/Cambridge LLM. Big difference, though obviously there's a definite minimum at criminal sets.
    Indeed. I made the mistake of looking at recent Brick Court tenants in advance of my assessed mini-pupillage interview. Gulp.
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    (Original post by resipsaloq)
    Indeed. I made the mistake of looking at recent Brick Court tenants in advance of my assessed mini-pupillage interview. Gulp.
    Fear not! Congrats on the interview there. They obviously think your CV's good enough, so don't stress if it's not quite identical to the tenants'. Best of luck!
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    (Original post by jjarvis)
    Fear not! Congrats on the interview there. They obviously think your CV's good enough, so don't stress if it's not quite identical to the tenants'. Best of luck!
    Thanks! Interestingly enough this subject came up at today at the Brick Court Open Day.

    For them, an Upper Second alone is insufficient. You don't necessarily need a First, but you do need 'some evidence of first-class ability.'

    It would be a fair assumption that this is the realistic minimum for the Commercial Bar. If you have a 2.i, you either better have a fantastic GDL mark or a First-equivalent grade in a Masters from a good university.
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    Some criminal law hacks might have trouble if you asked them to walk as well as talk.[/QUOTE]

    Really? I assumed the criminal bar was saturated with Oxbridge grads with it being competitive and well paid?
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    (Original post by JE55)
    Some criminal law hacks might have trouble if you asked them to walk as well as talk.
    Really? I assumed the criminal bar was saturated with Oxbridge grads with it being competitive and well paid?[/QUOTE]

    Certainly you're right about where they come from.

    Looking here:

    http://www.2harecourt.com/members/spr.htm

    over 50% seem to be from Oxbridge.

    At 24k for a pupillage it's hardly well paid though.
 
 
 
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