Prestige of GDL + BPTC in other professions?

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MC armani
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Just about to finish a history degree at a top 5 uni, predicted a high 2:1. Plan is to do a gap year and then complete the GDL and hopefully BPTC with the view of getting a pupillage.

That said, it's important to be realistic about this; I know about the statistics and the rigours of the admissions process for pupillage. So if I found myself consistently unable to get pupillage, what would be my other realistic career options?

It seems counter-intuitive but I've heard that the BPTC doesn't count for much outside the legal profession. Is this true?

Many thanks
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a_t
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No one cares if you've done a BVC or LPC unless you're going for those professions, they are highly vocational
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Kessler`
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BPTC is largely useless. GDL can have some interest to employers, if dealing with HR/or commercial business etc, but is not something that will have any sort of 'wow' factor. As a consequence of high numbers of BPTC/LPC grads without pupillage or training contract, there is a saturation within the paralegal/legal assistance market. Many have found that a completely fresh start in non-legal career is necessary.

Be very careful before embarking on this route. The road to pupillage is very tough. There are far more applicants than places. The publicly funded Bar is on the verge of drastic downsizing/change. You will need outstanding academic credentials (at least a first class degree) if you are to have a hope at accessing the safer commercial sets.

If you are determined that you want a career at the Bar, make sure you understand the realities of the life. Even after the stress and struggle of obtaining and surviving pupillage, as a junior tenant (such as I am) you will have very long hours - often in excess of 12 hours - with relatively little financial reward. You will often feel miffed when people realise you are a barrister and expect you to be rolling in money (a phrase I hear all too often!). On the plus side, you have a huge amount of freedom and variety in what you do. If you get the right chambers, it is a uniquely supportive and rewarding environment.

Finally, most important advice I can give is this: GET A SCHOLARSHIP. A lot of people strangely overlook the huge amounts of money on offer from the various Inns of Court. Some of them can cover your BPTC fees entirely. You may not appreciate it now, but it will have a massive impact on the future. Most scholarships will give decent financial assistance with the GDL and/or the BPTC. If you are going to do the GDL, get in your application asap. Another important aspect of scholarships is that they are decided/awarded by barristers after an assessment of whether you are likely to make it in the profession. It is an endorsement that can often make the difference between two candidates when applying for pupillage. If you have the time, look at the CVs of recent pupils/junior tenants on chambers' websites. Most will have a scholarship of some kind. Just to be clear, I'm not saying you are bound to fail without a scholarship, but if you are wise you will take every opportunity to increase your chances of pupillage and getting a scholarship massively increases those chances.


Good luck.
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MC armani
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(Original post by Kessler`)
BPTC is largely useless. GDL can have some interest to employers, if dealing with HR/or commercial business etc, but is not something that will have any sort of 'wow' factor. As a consequence of high numbers of BPTC/LPC grads without pupillage or training contract, there is a saturation within the paralegal/legal assistance market. Many have found that a completely fresh start in non-legal career is necessary.

Be very careful before embarking on this route. The road to pupillage is very tough. There are far more applicants than places. The publicly funded Bar is on the verge of drastic downsizing/change. You will need outstanding academic credentials (at least a first class degree) if you are to have a hope at accessing the safer commercial sets.

If you are determined that you want a career at the Bar, make sure you understand the realities of the life. Even after the stress and struggle of obtaining and surviving pupillage, as a junior tenant (such as I am) you will have very long hours - often in excess of 12 hours - with relatively little financial reward. You will often feel miffed when people realise you are a barrister and expect you to be rolling in money (a phrase I hear all too often!). On the plus side, you have a huge amount of freedom and variety in what you do. If you get the right chambers, it is a uniquely supportive and rewarding environment.

Finally, most important advice I can give is this: GET A SCHOLARSHIP. A lot of people strangely overlook the huge amounts of money on offer from the various Inns of Court. Some of them can cover your BPTC fees entirely. You may not appreciate it now, but it will have a massive impact on the future. Most scholarships will give decent financial assistance with the GDL and/or the BPTC. If you are going to do the GDL, get in your application asap. Another important aspect of scholarships is that they are decided/awarded by barristers after an assessment of whether you are likely to make it in the profession. It is an endorsement that can often make the difference between two candidates when applying for pupillage. If you have the time, look at the CVs of recent pupils/junior tenants on chambers' websites. Most will have a scholarship of some kind. Just to be clear, I'm not saying you are bound to fail without a scholarship, but if you are wise you will take every opportunity to increase your chances of pupillage and getting a scholarship massively increases those chances.


Good luck.
Very helpful reply, thanks.

My plan at the moment is to take a gap year to raise some funds for law school and to gain some more experience. In the past, I've managed to do some marshalling and other work experience with a barrister. What sort of other experience would a prospective chambers be expecting from a non-law graduate taking a gap year?

Also, am I right in thinking that I'd need to have completed the GDL to be eligible for inns of court scholarships?
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ManchesterW
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(Original post by Kessler`)
Be very careful before embarking on this route. The road to pupillage is very tough. There are far more applicants than places. The publicly funded Bar is on the verge of drastic downsizing/change. You will need outstanding academic credentials (at least a first class degree) if you are to have a hope at accessing the safer commercial sets.
Are you practising in London or in the provinces?
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Kessler`
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(Original post by MC armani)
Very helpful reply, thanks.

My plan at the moment is to take a gap year to raise some funds for law school and to gain some more experience. In the past, I've managed to do some marshalling and other work experience with a barrister. What sort of other experience would a prospective chambers be expecting from a non-law graduate taking a gap year?

Also, am I right in thinking that I'd need to have completed the GDL to be eligible for inns of court scholarships?

If you want to take a gap year, and you can afford it, then fine. Do something interesting though - don't just work in a shop. When you get to pupillage apps, provided you get through the academic sift, chambers will be looking for something interesting. Something you can talk about and that will cause them to remember you. A friend of mine, who was quite well off, learned to fly and got his private pilot's license. He got a couple of second rounds off that.

However, there are scholarships available for GDL - look through the Inns' brochures on scholarship/awards. You need to start applying now. If you get one, I'd crack on and get the GDL under your belt.


(Original post by ManchesterW)
Are you practising in London or in the provinces?
I'm in 'the provinces'. Be very careful of using that phrase - it doesn't really bother me at all, but there are plenty on the various circuits who take offence at the phrase. It comes from a time when London was the only place to be and barristers travelled out to local assizes etc. It's a different world now, and if you go into an interview talking about the 'provinces' you'll get short shrift. Especially somewhere like Manchester, which rightly regards itself as the clin neg capital at the moment.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Kessler`)
which rightly regards itself as the clin neg capital at the moment.
Given what has happened to several of its solicitors firms, it ought to regard itself as the insolvency capital.
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ManchesterW
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(Original post by Kessler`)
I'm in 'the provinces'. Be very careful of using that phrase - it doesn't really bother me at all, but there are plenty on the various circuits who take offence at the phrase. It comes from a time when London was the only place to be and barristers travelled out to local assizes etc. It's a different world now, and if you go into an interview talking about the 'provinces' you'll get short shrift. Especially somewhere like Manchester, which rightly regards itself as the clin neg capital at the moment.
I would only ever say it with an ironic smile on my face, though that, admittedly, translates rather poorly to the internet. I take your advice on board though.
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a_t
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(Original post by Kessler`)
If you want to take a gap year, and you can afford it, then fine. Do something interesting though - don't just work in a shop. When you get to pupillage apps, provided you get through the academic sift, chambers will be looking for something interesting. Something you can talk about and that will cause them to remember you. A friend of mine, who was quite well off, learned to fly and got his private pilot's license. He got a couple of second rounds off that.

However, there are scholarships available for GDL - look through the Inns' brochures on scholarship/awards. You need to start applying now. If you get one, I'd crack on and get the GDL under your belt.




I'm in 'the provinces'. Be very careful of using that phrase - it doesn't really bother me at all, but there are plenty on the various circuits who take offence at the phrase. It comes from a time when London was the only place to be and barristers travelled out to local assizes etc. It's a different world now, and if you go into an interview talking about the 'provinces' you'll get short shrift. Especially somewhere like Manchester, which rightly regards itself as the clin neg capital at the moment.
Nonsense
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Kessler`
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
Given what has happened to several of its solicitors firms, it ought to regard itself as the insolvency capital.
Well hello there nulli! Nice to see you are still around on here! Yep, take your point - sadly happening all across the country. More so in the firms that rely on publicly funded work!

Another strike on Friday. Feels like trying to build a wall of sand in front of a tsunami
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