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    Hey!

    So I was just wondering how others gauge my chances of becoming a barrister.

    My A-Levels: BCD, History, Physics, Computing and A (AS Level) Biology

    Uni: Intl Relations with Mandarin, from Bath. Also note that I failed my first year (family issues). My second year was also not great due to wasting too much time on exta-curricular stuff, but my average this year is around 77%, i.e. I have improved massively. Basically I have not scored below 70% for the past two years. Unfortunately my previous year does not count to my degree (Erasmus), so rather than getting a First I will instead make a 2:1.

    My grades are obviously poor or average. I have though started an NGO, worked for a newspaper, managed a bar, and played a Sport.

    I have been on ERASMUS to Finland for a year. Took part in a two month long exchange to Taiwan as well.

    Do I stand any chance of making it to the Bar? Are my grades just too poor?

    Please be honest and critical. I do not want to waste money on the GDL and BPTC and end up failing due to things that are now beyond my control.

    Thanks for any advice and critique!
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    Even if your academics were stellar, you'd be spending the better part of £25k on what would effectively be a lottery ticket.
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    Yes, thats true Clip. But I just want to know if my grades will automatically result in my application being binned instantaneously
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    It won't be binned automatically, as most chambers set a 2:1 as their lowest requirement.

    On the pupillage "gateway" you can't even put in individual scores for your exams, simply the overall mark.

    Of course you will be binned by some chambers because you didn't go to oxbridge, but lots of people are in that position.

    What are you chances of becoming a barrister?

    Same as the majority of other people who didn't go to oxbridge.

    You are competing with around 3,000 people for about 300 positions.

    So about a 1 in 10 chance. (I think it is worse than that but not by much)

    - Some will tell you that figure is wrong, that there are in fact 450 pupillages offered and only 2,300 BPTC Grads, some of whom go abroad.

    Reality is, about 150 of those pupillages were never open to you to apply to anyway, cause you didn't go to the right schools or have the right background.

    Some will be Chancery, Admiralty, Family, Crime, Commercial, Civil, IP, Sport etc etc etc...whatever you choose to do, there will be a load of pupillages in areas that you aren't apply for.

    There are grads from previous years, still looking for pupillage. I was at a pupillage evening for a big criminal set and there was a guy there who had been seeking pupillage for 3 years.
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    (Original post by jamesrobbo1)
    Hey!

    So I was just wondering how others gauge my chances of becoming a barrister.

    My A-Levels: BCD, History, Physics, Computing and A (AS Level) Biology

    Uni: Intl Relations with Mandarin, from Bath. Also note that I failed my first year (family issues). My second year was also not great due to wasting too much time on exta-curricular stuff, but my average this year is around 77%, i.e. I have improved massively. Basically I have not scored below 70% for the past two years. Unfortunately my previous year does not count to my degree (Erasmus), so rather than getting a First I will instead make a 2:1.

    My grades are obviously poor or average. I have though started an NGO, worked for a newspaper, managed a bar, and played a Sport.

    I have been on ERASMUS to Finland for a year. Took part in a two month long exchange to Taiwan as well.

    Do I stand any chance of making it to the Bar? Are my grades just too poor?

    Please be honest and critical. I do not want to waste money on the GDL and BPTC and end up failing due to things that are now beyond my control.

    Thanks for any advice and critique!
    Read the profiles of junior barristers that have just been accepted to the that chambers you would think of applying. Measure yourself against them and see how you stand.
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    Thanks for the comments so far. My primary concern is that I failed my first year at first attempt - Is this going to be highly prohibitive?
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    (Original post by jamesrobbo1)
    Thanks for the comments so far. My primary concern is that I failed my first year at first attempt - Is this going to be highly prohibitive?
    Not in isolation, no. But this failure is combined with poor A-levels, not getting a 1st and not having exceptional EC activities.

    Put yourself in the position of the junior barrister who is sifting your application. He/she will not be getting paid for this delight and will likely view this as a waste of his/her precious time. He/she might have 200 applications in front of him/her (with 300 other applications being marked by other tenants) . Their primary objective might be to get through this tedious process as quickly as possible while making sure his/her arse is covered if questioned by a senior barrister on his/her choice of applicant they have recommended. He/she will review your application for 90 secs approx. In that short space of time, they will look at the headline features of your application. i.e. academics/EC activities/grammar etc and make a snap judgment on the type of person you may or may not be.

    Ask yourself whether you have done enough to be put through to the shortlisting stage over a gal/guy with a first, great a-levels, exceptional EC work, scholarships coming out the a*rse etc etc. Out of 500 applications, they might shortlist only 20. Are you going to be good enough to beat 480 others, many of whom, have exemplary records to date? It is not for me to say point blank you’re not going to make it because no one has that prerogative.

    Barristers are keen to progress candidates on merit. At this stage, my opinion would be that any barrister looking at your application will be taking a chance on you if they recommend your application. They will not want to take a chance on your application unless the narrative of your application is sufficiently strong enough to appeal to their core beliefs (i.e. overcoming serious adversity/demonic ambition/entrepreneurial. From what you said, I would suggest that your narrative is work in progress. It looks like you have ****ed up academically but just beginning to repent and put things right. This is not enough. You need more and this is what you should be asking. However, I must stress that most of the time a strong narrative will not be enough because pupillage committee will just put the best person on paper through to the first round interview.

    Being a barrister is first and foremost about using your own judgment. Ask yourself whether you deserve to beat your contemporaries with your less than stellar paper application. Don’t just keep asking “am I good enough” to people over and over again, because if you keep seeking an opinion from enough people, you will eventually get an answer which validates your hopes (which will of course be “yes, go for it”). It is you, not them that will be sweating blood for a less than certain career at the bar – so use your judgement, it is the only thing of value in this world.
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    (Original post by Luckypupil)
    Not in isolation, no. But this failure is combined with poor A-levels, not getting a 1st and not having exceptional EC activities.

    Put yourself in the position of the junior barrister who is sifting your application. He/she will not be getting paid for this delight and will likely view this as a waste of his/her precious time. He/she might have 200 applications in front of him/her (with 300 other applications being marked by other tenants) . Their primary objective might be to get through this tedious process as quickly as possible while making sure his/her arse is covered if questioned by a senior barrister on his/her choice of applicant they have recommended. He/she will review your application for 90 secs approx. In that short space of time, they will look at the headline features of your application. i.e. academics/EC activities/grammar etc and make a snap judgment on the type of person you may or may not be.

    Ask yourself whether you have done enough to be put through to the shortlisting stage over a gal/guy with a first, great a-levels, exceptional EC work, scholarships coming out the a*rse etc etc. Out of 500 applications, they might shortlist only 20. Are you going to be good enough to beat 480 others, many of whom, have exemplary records to date? It is not for me to say point blank you’re not going to make it because no one has that prerogative.

    Barristers are keen to progress candidates on merit. At this stage, my opinion would be that any barrister looking at your application will be taking a chance on you if they recommend your application. They will not want to take a chance on your application unless the narrative of your application is sufficiently strong enough to appeal to their core beliefs (i.e. overcoming serious adversity/demonic ambition/entrepreneurial. From what you said, I would suggest that your narrative is work in progress. It looks like you have f*ucked up academically but just beginning to repent and put things right. This is not enough. You need more and this is what you should be asking. However, I must stress that most of the time a strong narrative will not be enough because pupillage committee will just put the best person on paper through to the first round interview.

    Being a barrister is first and foremost about using your own judgment. Ask yourself whether you deserve to beat your contemporaries with your less than stellar paper application. Don’t just keep asking “am I good enough” to people over and over again, because if you keep seeking an opinion from enough people, you will eventually get an answer which validates your hopes (which will of course be “yes, go for it”). It is you, not them that will be sweating blood for a less than certain career at the bar – so use your judgement, it is the only thing of value in this world.
    Thank you luckypupil for the excellent, if admittedly sobering, advice. You are right my poor academics are quite frankly inexcusable. I do though feel that I have overcome adversity to some extent; though the adversity is of course subjective.

    Reflecting on my position, I am aware that I have a hell of a lot to make up for. How though would you advise I do that? I have had a fair amount of managerial/entrepreneurial experience i.e. manager of a bar as well as being the founder of an international NGO.

    What else can I do aside from the obvious such as mini-pupillage? Would gaining top marks on the GDL/Snr. Status LLB offset other poor performances thus far? What can I do that no one else is doing?
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    (Original post by jamesrobbo1)
    Please be honest and critical.
    Nothing is impossible, but some things are nearly impossible. I would say that almost everything is going against you in a field where there is a significant investment to be made with no prizes for second place.

    If it were me, I would save myself the angst and frustration, the disappointment, humiliation and money - and go off and be happy doing something else.
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    Whilst it's not impossible it's very unlikely, I want to study law and did look at becoming a barrister but personally I think it's a hell of a lot of money to spend on something where the odds are against you so significantly. Barristers have the luxury of choice and will only take on the best.
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    I know nothing about law to be honest, I did toy with GDLs etc a while ago though but never intended on the bar.

    My bro is doing Law at the minute and says that you'd need to be Oxbridge standard to make it. Also, a judge said something like that once also.

    You seem to have a great profile though, plenty of other great careers you can do.

    I mean, when you think about it. Why do you want to be a barrister? Fair enough you may respond with 'wanted to for many years' or along those lines. But ask yourself the real reason why you want this career.

    I would be willing to be a high wage will be at the source of this, not far behind would be a prestigious 'I did well for myself' career. Nothing wrong with either of those. However is it really a good idea to follow those? One day you'll wake up and you're 60 and you'll want to make sure when you look at the years that lay behind you that you damn well enjoyed it. Only got one shot at it, don't blow it chasing things you don't really want. So instead of asking 'am I good enough of the bar' ask yourself, 'Do I really want to go into the bar'.
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    (Original post by jamesrobbo1)
    Hey!

    So I was just wondering how others gauge my chances of becoming a barrister.

    My A-Levels: BCD, History, Physics, Computing and A (AS Level) Biology

    Uni: Intl Relations with Mandarin, from Bath. Also note that I failed my first year (family issues). My second year was also not great due to wasting too much time on exta-curricular stuff, but my average this year is around 77%, i.e. I have improved massively. Basically I have not scored below 70% for the past two years. Unfortunately my previous year does not count to my degree (Erasmus), so rather than getting a First I will instead make a 2:1.

    My grades are obviously poor or average. I have though started an NGO, worked for a newspaper, managed a bar, and played a Sport.

    I have been on ERASMUS to Finland for a year. Took part in a two month long exchange to Taiwan as well.

    Do I stand any chance of making it to the Bar? Are my grades just too poor?

    Please be honest and critical. I do not want to waste money on the GDL and BPTC and end up failing due to things that are now beyond my control.

    Thanks for any advice and critique!
    Being a barrister is a highly ambitious goal, but respective to that, highly rewarding.

    A levels are the key into university. you're LLB degree is what's most important. I know a lawyer who handed in around 500 to 700 CV's to get about 3 interviews, that's how competitive it is; getting into the law profession these days is more about luck and / or who you know. Some people will disagree with me on that, but having lawyers as friends I'm inclined to go by what they say.

    Is becoming a barrister realistic? Yes. Definitely.
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    How did you get from here:

    (Original post by Enavor)
    I know a lawyer who handed in around 500 to 700 CV's to get about 3 interviews, that's how competitive it is; getting into the law profession these days is more about luck and / or who you know.
    To here:

    Is becoming a barrister realistic? Yes. Definitely.
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    Maybe raise yourself less ambitious goal: become someone which has less competition to enter. Then gain experience, work hard and beat all the other people. Barrister is an ambitious goal and as some have already told you, it takes luck, contacts, and great academic record in order to have a chance. I don't see any problem if you settle in lower position and then work hard to achieve what you want. Most of the barristers made it this way, I have no doubts.
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    (Original post by Clip)
    How did you get from here:



    To here:
    By typing using the keyboard. How else?
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    I did a mini-pupillage and barristers said that potential pupils needed a 1st to be considered. This, obviously, doesn't reflect all sets but I should add, the chambers I visited was not even "top 15" if you want to use that kind of analogy.
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    (Original post by bestofyou)
    I know nothing about law to be honest, I did toy with GDLs etc a while ago though but never intended on the bar.

    My bro is doing Law at the minute and says that you'd need to be Oxbridge standard to make it. Also, a judge said something like that once also.

    You seem to have a great profile though, plenty of other great careers you can do.

    I mean, when you think about it. Why do you want to be a barrister? Fair enough you may respond with 'wanted to for many years' or along those lines. But ask yourself the real reason why you want this career.

    I would be willing to be a high wage will be at the source of this, not far behind would be a prestigious 'I did well for myself' career. Nothing wrong with either of those. However is it really a good idea to follow those? One day you'll wake up and you're 60 and you'll want to make sure when you look at the years that lay behind you that you damn well enjoyed it. Only got one shot at it, don't blow it chasing things you don't really want. So instead of asking 'am I good enough of the bar' ask yourself, 'Do I really want to go into the bar'.
    As unbelievable as it sounds, I am genuinely not motivated by the money. The principal area of the Law that interests me is Criminal, and as you all know that is an area wherein the scope for employment and compensation is decreasing. This is being reiterated ad nauseum by the press at large, and it certainly seems to be true.

    I have had the opportunity at uni to make a fair bit of money for certain projects that I have undertaken such as creating a few apps and websites for some NGOs; all of which I did for free as as I just believed in the cause(s); whether that will mean much at the bar is another question.

    I suppose the principal interest of the Law for me revolves around the intellectual pursuit of it, and the ability to defend those that really need it. Perhaps slightly idealistic!

    To say I am 100% sure I want to go to the bar would be a lie. I am also interested in intelligence and/or military work. Or failing that, diplomacy. If worst comes to worst then I suppose I could do interpretation or language teaching, as I am fluent in 8 languages (although perhaps 5 if I am pedantic about the term 'fluent'). From what I have heard, this does not seem to be much of an asset at the bar. A few people have advised me to consider the solicitor route, but to be honest advocacy is what most interests me...
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    (Original post by jamesrobbo1)
    As unbelievable as it sounds, I am genuinely not motivated by the money. The principal area of the Law that interests me is Criminal, and as you all know that is an area wherein the scope for employment and compensation is decreasing. This is being reiterated ad nauseum by the press at large, and it certainly seems to be true.

    I have had the opportunity at uni to make a fair bit of money for certain projects that I have undertaken such as creating a few apps and websites for some NGOs; all of which I did for free as as I just believed in the cause(s); whether that will mean much at the bar is another question.

    I suppose the principal interest of the Law for me revolves around the intellectual pursuit of it, and the ability to defend those that really need it. Perhaps slightly idealistic!

    To say I am 100% sure I want to go to the bar would be a lie. I am also interested in intelligence and/or military work. Or failing that, diplomacy. If worst comes to worst then I suppose I could do interpretation or language teaching, as I am fluent in 8 languages (although perhaps 5 if I am pedantic about the term 'fluent'). From what I have heard, this does not seem to be much of an asset at the bar. A few people have advised me to consider the solicitor route, but to be honest advocacy is what most interests me...
    Well you asked for my honest and critical opinions, so I'll be frank and honest here and say that I think you are going to be wasted in the bar.

    What languages might I ask?
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    Serbian, French, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, English, German, and Italian. I have tried my hand at a fair few others including Arabic, Catalan, Ukranian etc. but more as hobbies than anything else. It seems that these particular skills could be useful with a City firm as a solicitor, but to be honest that sort of thing I am utterly averse to. Having attended workshops with finance oriented firms (I am not talking about law), such as Bank of America etc I am certain I do not want to be in that world. I think the City and many "grad-schemes" are totally devoid of any intellectual orientation. Perhaps I am jumping the gun somewhat, but most people who I know that go into the City are just money-hungry people, who seem to be devoid of any real intellectuality.
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    (Original post by jamesrobbo1)
    Serbian, French, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, English, German, and Italian. I have tried my hand at a fair few others including Arabic, Catalan, Ukranian etc. but more as hobbies than anything else. It seems that these particular skills could be useful with a City firm as a solicitor, but to be honest that sort of thing I am utterly averse to. Having attended workshops with finance oriented firms (I am not talking about law), such as Bank of America etc I am certain I do not want to be in that world. I think the City and many "grad-schemes" are totally devoid of any intellectual orientation. Perhaps I am jumping the gun somewhat, but most people who I know that go into the City are just money-hungry people, who seem to be devoid of any real intellectuality.
    Haven't you looked into the like of WHO, UN roles eg UNICEF or things like that?
 
 
 
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