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    Hello!

    I am new to TSR (relatively - somewhat of a lurker!) and I am very sorry to bother you with a query that I am sure has been posted many a time before in one form or another. But I am a second year History undergrad at Warwick and have set my sights on a career at the bar. This is not just a passing fancy, it is something I have been considering for a while and have endlessly researched. I am attracted in particular to civil liberties/human rights (which according to my father is laughably common among aspiring lawyers). Anyway, anyway, I know I am going to need to do the GDL when I graduate from Warwick but I sort of don't just want to sit back and wait. I want to be doing lots of different things to help me get to the bar... now! I trawled the internet for mini-pupillages and did apply to the few I came across in the areas I am interested in that accepted apps from non-law undergrads but they don't appear to have come to anything as of yet. So outside of mini-pupillages... what else could I be doing? Anyone who has been in a similar position with any advice would be wonderful.

    I have some informal work experience lined up at a top set chambers next week which I am very very very lucky to get. But what else could I be doing, aside from informal work exp like this that is not exactly easy to come by anyway...?

    Perhaps there is not a great deal to be doing at the moment and I should concentrate on getting a good degree instead of endlessly googling 'how to become a barrister'...

    Thank you for your time.
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    (Original post by Ally G)
    Hello!

    I am new to TSR (relatively - somewhat of a lurker!) and I am very sorry to bother you with a query that I am sure has been posted many a time before in one form or another. But I am a second year History undergrad at Warwick and have set my sights on a career at the bar. This is not just a passing fancy, it is something I have been considering for a while and have endlessly researched. I am attracted in particular to civil liberties/human rights (which according to my father is laughably common among aspiring lawyers). Anyway, anyway, I know I am going to need to do the GDL when I graduate from Warwick but I sort of don't just want to sit back and wait. I want to be doing lots of different things to help me get to the bar... now! I trawled the internet for mini-pupillages and did apply to the few I came across in the areas I am interested in that accepted apps from non-law undergrads but they don't appear to have come to anything as of yet. So outside of mini-pupillages... what else could I be doing? Anyone who has been in a similar position with any advice would be wonderful.

    I have some informal work experience lined up at a top set chambers next week which I am very very very lucky to get. But what else could I be doing, aside from informal work exp like this that is not exactly easy to come by anyway...?

    Perhaps there is not a great deal to be doing at the moment and I should concentrate on getting a good degree instead of endlessly googling 'how to become a barrister'...

    Thank you for your time.
    Most importantly, you should concentrate on getting a first. If you think a first is beyond you, the Bar may not be for you. Academic ability is valued above all else.

    It's good you're applying for mini-pupillages. Keep at it.

    Any informal work experience you get at this stage is putting you well ahead of the competition. If you have any judicial contacts, spending a day or two marshalling (this means shadowing a judge) is great.

    You can also just turn up at your local criminal/county court and watch some cases. All this experience goes on your CV and makes you more likely to get minis.

    Do any form of debating, public speaking activities you can think of. You're going to need to demonstrate the ability to orally present arguments.

    You're going to have to do the GDL after university. Be prepared for a hard and expensive year.

    Finally, the fact that you're thinking about all this in your second year at university means you are committed and well ahead of the game. This puts you in a strong position. Hope the above advice is useful and hasn't put you off and good luck!
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    Thanks ever so much for your advice!

    The first is going to be the tricky part but I will work my socks off to get it! The costs I hope will be worth it all in the end - they are rather worrying though.

    I hadn't thought of the public speaking thing, the uni's debating society will be my next stop. I'll also look into sitting in on some local court cases.

    Thanks again for replying, I really appreciate it!
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    Howdy
    I'm currently on the GDL, there are some scholarships available from the 4 Inns of Court for this course that you should look at. Aside from that I can only echo what the previous guy said, try to make sure you get a strong degree, ideally a first or a very high 2:1 and try to get a few minis under your belt before you start the GDL.
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    Hi Ally G,

    I'm at Warwick too so can give you some specific info - first, it may be a good idea to get involved in mooting. The law society runs an internal competition each year, sign ups are early in the first term and it's open to all students, law or otherwise. The law society has quite a lot of information for aspiring barristers, there are a lot of talks etc. that you may like to attend and then there's other legal work to get involved in such as pro bono. Also, I think there's a law module (human rights in practice or comparative human rights) that non-law students can take as an option module so if you're interested in that particular area, then maybe you could try to take it in your final year.

    Hope this helps!
 
 
 
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