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London Pupilage with LLB from Non- Oxbridge Univ? watch

    • Thread Starter

    I want to be as well informed as possible before starting University. I would like to have a career at the Bar in London, but I feel I might be rejected on the basis of not having a competitive enough application.

    - I'm starting my LLB at Univ. of Nottingham
    - I have good credentials and work experience
    - Have good A levels.

    Would I have a decent shot at securing mini-pupilages in London? I imagine being up against someone from Oxbridge, they would favour them over me all things considered. So I'm not sure exactly how one in my position, coming from a humble background with no contacts, might be able to access pupilages.

    Is the School I am going to good enough? - I think I can make a good written application as I believe it's one of the areas I excel in. I want a realistic view of what to expect please.


    You should be able to get Minis but your trouble may come when you try and get an actual pupilage.

    It very much depends on what kind of set/chambers you're aiming for. The top commercial/chancery sets almost exclusive recruit individuals who have gone to Oxbridge either for undergrad or post grad or usually both, if not they'll have done an LLM or something similar at Harvard or one of the other Ivy League universities.

    This is not to say that there aren't individuals from other universities at those chambers but it is incredible rare.

    If however, you are looking to join a lower band set then by all means go for it. It will still be really hard but so as long as you get a high 2.i or better still a first with a raft of minis under your belt, mooting and even some vac schemes you should be fine. Try and do some work for the Law Commission or something similar - that would definitely put you at an advantage. Failing that, try and organise clerking with a judge - that always looks good too.

    Oxbridge is definitely a massive benefit in the Bar but that does not mean your chances are non-existent. You will just have to work harder and be prepared to commit some serious time and energy into the process.

    Hope this helps .

    If you are serious about wanting to know the stats then look at the following - if you really want to narrow your search for info to London you might have to dig around and make some decuctions (as I have tentaitively done).

    Chambers Student - in 2010/11 35% of pupils were Oxbridge - but this includes non-London sets. 35% is a lot but the bar is a long way from being exclusively Oxford & Cambrdge : http://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/the...eer-at-the-bar

    Similar stats in the bsb barometer report (google it) which says: Most pupils, 28.4% (87), attended either Oxford or Cambridge for their first degree, and 35.8%
    (110) of pupils attended another Russell Group University. Some 25.1% (77) of pupils had attended some other university for their first degree and 10.7% (33) of pupils did not disclose their university.

    Neither of the above distinguish London and non-London. BSB stats on Chambers very roughly indicate that it's about 50:50 London/non-London - but that's the number of chambers - not barristers. It's almost certainly the case that the London bar has higher levels of Oxford/Cambridge than the non-London bar but if 65% of pupils are Oxbridge they're vey unlikely to all be non-London, if you see what I mean. : https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk...tics/chambers/.

    Chambers - you can use this link to identify the top London sets then go to their individual websites and look at barristers' profiles. 39 Essex Chambers doesn't say much about educational background, but Blackstones does - lots of Oxbridge but others too. Having found barristers from Glasow, Nottingham and Adelaide in about 2 minutes I would say it's wrong to describe top sets as almost exclusively recruiting from Oxford and Cambridge and that it's incredibly rare for others to make it. Looking at barristers' profiles is a good way to get a feel for whether you've got/can get what's needed. http://www.chambersandpartners.com/u...ngs#blackstone.

    You are wise to be cautious and to look into this carefully - but make decisions on the basis of facts - not preconceptions. The Bar wants and needs to diversify. Oxford and Cambridge are strongly represented - but this is in large part because they are indicators of the required strong academic ability - but they are not the only indicators of such ability. Further, academic ability is not the only thing Chambers look for - it's certainly required but further skills are also required. Work hard, aim for a first, and get experience that shows other skills and you stand a chance - but be honest with yourself - and assess your chances realistically - it's a very long, difficult, competitive (and expensive) haul. Many many people don't make it.

    CORRECTION "but if 65% of pupils are Oxbridge they're vey unlikely to all be non-London, if you see what I mean" that should have said NON-OXBRIDGE


    ....Would I have a decent shot at securing mini-pupilages in London? .....
    Is the School I am going to good enough........[/QUOTE]

    I have a first from an ex poly - yes that's right an ex poly I have secured minis at the London sets I have applied to and at the time I applied I had not graduated.
    I was placed with a QC for a mini at Essex Court who was really approachable and gave me some decent advice. He explained the reason for obtaining the mini was that my application was interesting to them. I had worked in different areas and managed to relate that back to core areas of chambers work. I had done a lot of advocacy but managed to show how that was a benefit in the application.
    Nothing wrong with Nottingham and of course Oxbridge will have the edge for many reasons when it comes to actual pupillage time. There may be chambers who are less inclined to bother with candidates from other universities, I have never come across that attitude though.
    However, it does not matter where you study or what you have on your application if it is not well written. Look critically at what you have done and think 'why is that interesting/useful' for chambers. Seemed to work for me. x

    ' I think I can make a good written application as I believe it's one of the areas I excel in. I want a realistic view of what to expect please.'

    No chance if you can't spell 'pupillage.' Your application will be in the bin in under 2 seconds.

    Your application is all they have to go on and you are advertising your lack of attention to detail. Pretty lethal for an aspiring barrister.

    You are aiming for one of the most competitive careers. You have to stand out for the excellence of your academics, experience, personal qualities etc. etc. Read a good book on the subject like 'Bewigged and Bewildered?: A Guide to Becoming a Barrister in England and Wales,' by Adam Kramar.
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