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    Hi all,

    I hope the forum veterans don't mind me making a first post which asks for advice! If I've broken any forum rules please let me know.

    I was wondering if anyone here could provide me advice regarding my prospects at the bar.

    I have a place on the LPC at Kaplan, as well as a BPTC offer at BPP. As you know BPTC acceptances are due tomorrow.

    I am likely to get a 2:1 from a decent (not one of the best) universities.

    I am the president of the university law society. Have held positions on both the university law and bar societies. I have also been a student-staff liaison rep. I am the highest scoring mooter the university have had in a while.

    I run my own university Judo club, and have various coaching qualifications. I have entered various international competitions and won numerous medals.

    I have completed 2 mini pupillages, a work experience placement at a high street firm, and have one mini-p at the end of May. I also have some IT & Commercial experience at Bloomberg.

    My sixth form results were terrible.

    Sorry for the list of "I have"s but it's the clearest way to explain my position.

    I'm used to dishing out advice to other students due to my position as president but it's always harder when it's about yourself.

    Do I have a chance of success at the Bar? Should I pursue the LPC at Kaplan?

    I know I would rather do the BPTC. Having spoken to some very high ranking judges and QCs the general advice seems to be that the being successful at the bar is hard for everyone, but should not be beyond my reach if I really focus. Is it worth the risk? I shouldn't have a problem with finding the funds, but it will definitely be a burden.

    Thanks in advance for any advice & thanks to the users of the forum for making it a great source of knowledge!
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    (Original post by RyoHazuki)
    Hi all,

    I hope the forum veterans don't mind me making a first post which asks for advice! If I've broken any forum rules please let me know.

    I was wondering if anyone here could provide me advice regarding my prospects at the bar.

    I have a place on the LPC at Kaplan, as well as a BPTC offer at BPP. As you know BPTC acceptances are due tomorrow.

    I am likely to get a 2:1 from a decent (not one of the best) universities.

    I am the president of the university law society. Have held positions on both the university law and bar societies. I have also been a student-staff liaison rep. I am the highest scoring mooter the university have had in a while.

    I run my own university Judo club, and have various coaching qualifications. I have entered various international competitions and won numerous medals.

    I have completed 2 mini pupillages, a work experience placement at a high street firm, and have one mini-p at the end of May. I also have some IT & Commercial experience at Bloomberg.

    My sixth form results were terrible.

    Sorry for the list of "I have"s but it's the clearest way to explain my position.

    I'm used to dishing out advice to other students due to my position as president but it's always harder when it's about yourself.

    Do I have a chance of success at the Bar? Should I pursue the LPC at Kaplan?

    I know I would rather do the BPTC. Having spoken to some very high ranking judges and QCs the general advice seems to be that the being successful at the bar is hard for everyone, but should not be beyond my reach if I really focus. Is it worth the risk? I shouldn't have a problem with finding the funds, but it will definitely be a burden.

    Thanks in advance for any advice & thanks to the users of the forum for making it a great source of knowledge!
    Unless I've missed something in your post, you havent said what type of work i.e. criminal v chancery. I think then, and only then, can we begin to make assumptions :P
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    I realise that there will be a ceiling to my aspirations. I know the biggest and best firms and sets will be far out of my reach! I think that if I were to apply to chambers practicing in unglamorous or less lucrative fields then employers might pay more attention to my recent achievement rather than my sixth form grades.

    I do however have a fondness for Sport Law (due to my Judo & other sports), technology and Intellectual Property (I grew up around a family involved in IT and new technologies).
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    (Original post by RyoHazuki)
    Having spoken to some very high ranking judges and QCs the general advice seems to be that the being successful at the bar is hard for everyone, but should not be beyond my reach if I really focus. Is it worth the risk? I shouldn't have a problem with finding the funds, but it will definitely be a burden.
    I think you're being given sound advice. You may succeed but it's not guaranteed and does depend on how talented and focussed you are.

    I'd steer away from IP unless you have a science background. Sports law is a rather amorphous, nice practice area and I don't think your Judo achievements mark you out in any way for it. However, they are impressive and will stand you in good stead in being able to demonstrate self-reliance and a record of achievement.

    Reading between the lines it sounds as if your parents will fund the BPTC. If this is the case, you're in a fortunate position. Unless they're having to remortgage their house, I'd say you should thank them and go for it, on the understanding that you may not succeed but you'll give it a really good go.

    Good luck!
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    It is my impressions that things like being head of your university law society, running the judo club and being staff-student liaison are held in higher regard by solicitors firms than by chambers. This is because they demonstrate a capacity for organisational and people skills - skills more important for a solicitor.

    I second the comments re: IP. There are only four chambers in London and from their websites it appears that they don't take on tenants very often and when they do they have science degrees.

    Don't cite an interest in playing sport as a reason for an interest in sports law (even if that's true). That's like saying I enjoy reading about car crashes in the newspaper as a reason for an interest in personal injury law (even if it's true!).

    Have a read of this: http://www.legalweek.com/legal-week/...life-solicitor
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    (Original post by GoalMachiner)
    It is my impressions that things like being head of your university law society, running the judo club and being staff-student liaison are held in higher regard by solicitors firms than by chambers. This is because they demonstrate a capacity for organisational and people skills - skills more important for a solicitor.
    Agreed re: clubs and societies in general.

    However, head of the university law society would indicate an enthusiasm for law. This may very well impress chambers.

    Competing in a sport to national level, as the OP has, especially an individual sport such as judo, demonstrates well the ambition, competitiveness, drive and self-reliance required for life at the Bar.
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    (Original post by RyoHazuki)
    I know I would rather do the BPTC. Having spoken to some very high ranking judges and QCs the general advice seems to be that the being successful at the bar is hard for everyone, but should not be beyond my reach if I really focus. Is it worth the risk?
    I agree with others in that this is sound advice, and probably sums it up more or less perfectly in one line. Certainly your A-Level results will be a weakness, but you seem to have a nicely developing CV other than that. Focus and tenacity play a big part in this process. The going really is very tough, but whether or not it is worth the risk depends on how much you want it. If you genuinely have the desire to secure pupillage and succeed at the Bar, then I would go for it. But only you know whether or not you do have that desire.

    On a final point I would also agree with the advice regarding IP law. At least for now it makes little sense to focus on that one niche area, not least because the barrister who practice in it are often highly specialist with numerous extra qualifications to back them up. Similar thinking with sports law; it is a niche area, and even if you get into it later on, you don't want to confine yourself to it at this stage. By advice would be to by all means retain those interests, but keep an open mind. You may well find that your preferences change between now and the end of the BPTC, indeed they almost certainly will one way or the other.
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    Honest advice. Of the 400 or so pupillage applications we had last year, 200 or so had a CV like yours. We interviewed 25 candidates.

    Your CV certainly won't make it into the automatic reject pile, and it's definitely above the minimum standard, but it's also not in the invited to interview pile either. As I'm sure you're aware, you need to work on distinguishing your CV from the herd.

    Our candidates selected for interview have some very impressive achievements on their CVs aside from their academics – mooting success, lecturing, stints at the Hague / Strasbourg / assisting at the Court of Appeal, running advice clinics, FRU / other pro bono work, acting as a McKenzie friend and then there are the candidates with impressive prior careers in industry, the armed forces etc.
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    I hope the OP doesn't mind me getting involved in the thread as well.

    Fairly similarly, I got ABB at A-Level. I maintain this is not a reflection of my academic ability, and more a reflection of where I was a person at 16-18. I like to think this is evidenced by the fact that I am very close to getting a First from King's.

    Apart from this I have an extremely comprehensive CV and VS's from 3 top firms. Yet I still have a nagging feeling that advocacy is what I really want to do. However my A-Level results combined with the such slim ratios of those who make it to the bar place huge doubt in my mind.

    Any thoughts/tips/encouragement appreciated!
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    (Original post by ninon)
    Honest advice. Of the 400 or so pupillage applications we had last year, 200 or so had a CV like yours. We interviewed 25 candidates.

    Your CV certainly won't make it into the automatic reject pile, and it's definitely above the minimum standard, but it's also not in the invited to interview pile either. As I'm sure you're aware, you need to work on distinguishing your CV from the herd.

    Our candidates selected for interview have some very impressive achievements on their CVs aside from their academics – mooting success, lecturing, stints at the Hague / Strasbourg / assisting at the Court of Appeal, running advice clinics, FRU / other pro bono work, acting as a McKenzie friend and then there are the candidates with impressive prior careers in industry, the armed forces etc.
    And sols crossing? :p:
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    Hey everyone, thanks for the replies so far! All very helpful!

    Would you suggest that I have a better chance of training and qualifying as a solicitor or finding work elsewhere for a few years, and then giving the bar a go with a bit more "life experience"? I realise whichever path I take will be a hard one, but I'm looking forward to it! I know the bar is where I want to be, eventually. I just wish I had been given more career guidance earlier, so that I could have focused myself during sixth form!
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    In my opinion, you can't really afford to have any major drawbacks on your application - there are just too many candidates.

    I would think about becoming a solicitor. The BPTC would probably (more than 50% likely) be a waste of money.
 
 
 
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