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Is it realistic for me to aspire to a career at the Bar? watch

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    Hello everyone.

    I have a First in my degree from Newcastle, and a Masters Degree in Philosophy from Durham. My A-Level grades are AAB. I have secured a place on the GDL, however, I know competition for pupilages is fierce. I am having trouble gaining any form of legal experience. I am in the position to fund myself through the BPTC, however, given my academic credentials, how realistic is it for me to aspire to a career at the Bar?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
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    *watching this thread*
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    I should point out I am not hearing back from law firms I am approaching for work experience/ shadowing etc.
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    (Original post by Angel-Moth)
    I should point out I am not hearing back from law firms I am approaching for work experience/ shadowing etc.
    Hi what subject is your first degree in? Do you have any legal experience at all?

    If you can bump up your experience (maybe vac schemes, marshalling, mini-pupillages, legal related charities) you would definitely be in the bracket of people that stand a chance - I agree with Simon Myerson's assessment of the odds for someone like you so have a look at his site - http://pupillageandhowtogetit.wordpress.com/.

    Even without legal experience you're not in the bracket of people that think that the Bar owes them something and are wasting their time and living in a dream world. If you get a reasonable amount of experience and interview well I don't see why you wouldn't have a chance.

    Which area of law are you thinking of going into?
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    Oh I should add that even for people with a chance success is not guaranteed. As per Simon Myerson's blog I'd say you'd be looking at 1 in 4. Certainly don't let anything anyone says on this forum sway you from what you want to do (to be honest if you did, you're not cut out for the Bar anyway).
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    Thanks for the response.

    I have worked with North Tyneside Women's Aid, and so I have an insight into complex issues which involve the interplay of legal assistance, solicitors who specialise in domestic violence, social workers etc. I know it's not direct experience, but it's certainly insight.

    Equally, as I want to specialise in either Criminal Law, Prison Law, or Human Rights, I have experience with prisoners on Death Row in the States. Again, I know it's not direct work experience with a legal representative, but it's experience with people who I would potentially be defending etc.

    Thanks for the link to that website, I will look at it now.

    P.S My degrees are in Philosophy, with one of my areas of interest being Rawls' Theory of Justice.
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    (Original post by Angel-Moth)
    Thanks for the response.

    I have worked with North Tyneside Women's Aid, and so I have an insight into complex issues which involve the interplay of legal assistance, solicitors who specialise in domestic violence, social workers etc. I know it's not direct experience, but it's certainly insight.

    Equally, as I want to specialise in either Criminal Law, Prison Law, or Human Rights, I have experience with prisoners on Death Row in the States. Again, I know it's not direct work experience with a legal representative, but it's experience with people who I would potentially be defending etc.

    Thanks for the link to that website, I will look at it now.

    P.S My degrees are in Philosophy, with one of my areas of interest being Rawls' Theory of Justice.
    It doesn't really matter what your first degree was in with a GDL. Newcastle is a decent uni too. I just wanted to make sure you hadn't done something outrageously silly like something ending in 'studies'.

    The experience you have is fine. Just make sure you get direct experience in the area you want to work e.g. criminal mini-pupillages. Saying you want to be a barrister without having done a mini-pupillage won't fill the person looking at your CV with too much confidence. Equally work experience at a law firm will help, even if it's only so you can say "No it was rubbish and solicitor's work is entirely boring.*" in a convincing way.

    * Don't actually say that!
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    (Original post by Angel-Moth)
    Thanks for the response.

    I have worked with North Tyneside Women's Aid, and so I have an insight into complex issues which involve the interplay of legal assistance, solicitors who specialise in domestic violence, social workers etc. I know it's not direct experience, but it's certainly insight.

    Equally, as I want to specialise in either Criminal Law, Prison Law, or Human Rights, I have experience with prisoners on Death Row in the States. Again, I know it's not direct work experience with a legal representative, but it's experience with people who I would potentially be defending etc.

    Thanks for the link to that website, I will look at it now.

    P.S My degrees are in Philosophy, with one of my areas of interest being Rawls' Theory of Justice.
    I think you have an extremely good chance of success. You have a degree from a Russell group university in a subject that requires critical analysis to be communicate in the form of a cogent argument; Chambers will recognise this. In the way of work experience, you seem to be doing well, just keep it up.

    I'm not sure if you need to have an interview when applying for a pupillage, although I assue you do so you'll have another chance to impress there as well.
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    (Original post by DrSwitched)
    I think you have an extremely good chance of success. You have a degree from a Russell group university in a subject that requires critical analysis to be communicate in the form of a cogent argument; Chambers will recognise this. In the way of work experience, you seem to be doing well, just keep it up.

    I'm not sure if you need to have an interview when applying for a pupillage, although I assue you do so you'll have another chance to impress there as well.
    Sorry if I come across as rude (which basically means I'm about to offend you) but if you don't know whether or not an interview is required for pupillage applications, I really don't think you're in the best position to comment on a person's chance of getting a pupillage.
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    (Original post by LibraryHomeCinema)
    Sorry if I come across as rude (which basically means I'm about to offend you) but if you don't know whether or not an interview is required for pupillage applications, I really don't think you're in the best position to comment on a person's chance of getting a pupillage.
    I'm not offended, it's a valid point. Logic suggests that an interview would be required given the competitiveness of pupillage, yet I do not know for sure. However, I am also aspiring for a career at the Bar and although I have not researched that particular aspect of the process, I have done extensive research into what type of work experience is relevant, whether degrees other than Law are acceptable etc.

    So I think I was correct to advise the OP in that respect....
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    Thank you all for your comments and advice.
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    (Original post by Angel-Moth)
    Thank you all for your comments and advice.
    No problem, good luck and try not to doubt yourself
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    I'll have a martini, shaken not stirred on rocks. Cause I'm just so cool and I roll like that bish.
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    (Original post by DrSwitched)
    No problem, good luck and try not to doubt yourself
    You mean well, I'm sure--but you haven't sat your GCSEs yet, so I'm not sure you're in a position to give advice about chances at a pupillage. This is reflected in the fact that your advice is inaccurate and misleading. Very few candidates straight out of uni have an extremely good chance of success--the OP's paper record is strong, but there will be plenty of candidates with a better record than hers. Is she likely to get some interviews with appropriate experience and well-targeted applications? Yes. Beyond that it's to a certain extent based on dumb luck.

    (Original post by Limitless)
    I'll have a martini, shaken not stirred on rocks. Cause I'm just so cool and I roll like that bish.
    You're hilarious.
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    (Original post by jjarvis)
    You're hilarious.
    And you have no sense of humour.
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    (Original post by Limitless)
    And you have no sense of humour.
    Bar/bar jokes pall after the thirtieth time.
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    (Original post by jjarvis)
    but you haven't sat your GCSEs yet
    Classic!
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    (Original post by DrSwitched)
    I'm not offended, it's a valid point. Logic suggests that an interview would be required given the competitiveness of pupillage, yet I do not know for sure. However, I am also aspiring for a career at the Bar and although I have not researched that particular aspect of the process, I have done extensive research into what type of work experience is relevant, whether degrees other than Law are acceptable etc.

    So I think I was correct to advise the OP in that respect....
    Best post i have ever read on the student room. One would have thought the ever present pupillage INTERVIEW thread would have been somewhat of a hint but clearly not.
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    There's some excellent work on this thread.

    OP, don't get disheartened by people not replying
    when you ask for work experience. You might want to approach some local chambers.

    You'll get mini-pupillages if.you're persistent and write concise, elegant and persuasive covering letters.
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    (Original post by FMQ)
    Best post i have ever read on the student room. One would have thought the ever present pupillage INTERVIEW thread would have been somewhat of a hint but clearly not.
    Stop denigrating me! I came to this thread via it being advertised as "Latest" on 'My TSR'. Perhaps my advice was a little too positive and needed to be more objective however there is no need to insinuate that because I haven't even done my GCSEs yet that I am stupid.

    Yes, I made a mistake. Yes, I should have done my research. Yes, I should have been more objective. BUT with the exception of the advice being overly suggestive, the fact remains that the OP is a strong candidate of paper and thus the advice is somewhat accurate. Fine, I defer to the knowledge of other posters regarding the process of pupillage. There is simply no need to denigrate me any further!
 
 
 
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