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    Hi there

    I'm currently in my third and final year classics, predicted to graduate with a 2:1.
    Over the summer I completed mini pupillage with a chambers in Sussex, which made up my mind that law is definitely the route for me - however, I have no idea how to get started!!
    From my readings I know I need to apply for a GDL, and many barristers have advised that I train in London. Thus, where is the best London establishment to apply for this? How do I apply for this? When should I join an inn (everyone has told me to join inner temple!)? How do I go about applying? Can I get financial support?So many questions - I intend to talk to my careers office first thing Monday morning, as well as emailing some of the barristers with whom I worked over Summer. Just thought I'd post here for some food for thought over the weekend.

    Thanks guys!Lydia
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    Hey so once you secure a training contract, they will pay for your GDL, and all of that stuff. I don't really know much about the Barrister route though, I'm looking to be a solicitor.
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    (Original post by liquidconfidence)
    Hey so once you secure a training contract, they will pay for your GDL, and all of that stuff. I don't really know much about the Barrister route though, I'm looking to be a solicitor.
    You need to add the word "hopefully" to that first sentence.*

    OP, your GDL can be done virtually anywhere or anywhere virtually, come to that, as it can be completed online. Doing it online and from home may actually be preferable as you can save money to go towards getting work experience and doing the BPTC. However, that said, if you did the GDL at somewhere like BPP or the University of Law you may gain access to getting into free legal clinics etc. So you need to research that.*

    Regarding funding, it is not very likely that you will be sponsored for this if you go for the Bar so you should plan on funding it yourself. If you aim for the solicitor route, it is more likely that you would get access to funding for this and for the LPC but this is not guaranteed. You should plan on funding it yourself, possibly with a postgraduate student loan, which provides up to £10,000 funding over two years.
    *
    Regarding the BPTC (Bar Professional Training Course), I know people who would say don't touch it unless you have an offer of a pupillage. It costs a bomb and far more people do it than there are pupillages available. A friend of mine had a pupillage secured in chambers who forwarded some of her salary and paid for her training. She was exceptional and had more or less been training for the bar since she was in high school with multiple awards, scholarships and accomplishments to boast about before she even got to Oxford to study law. She was a rare case and there were people there who were failing for spreading their time too thinly because they had to work. She was called to the bar with a number of others, a significant number of whom never went on to secure pupillages. You need to evaluate your competition and be realistic. Have a look at the CVs of newly qualified barristers, which are often available on chambers' websites. If you can't compete with them, you need to consider very carefully if this is worth the investment of time and money.*
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    (Original post by giella)

    OP, your GDL can be done virtually anywhere or anywhere virtually, come to that, as it can be completed online. Doing it online and from home may actually be preferable as you can save money to go towards getting work experience and doing the BPTC. However, that said, if you did the GDL at somewhere like BPP or the University of Law you may gain access to getting into free legal clinics etc. So you need to research that.*

    OP I would advise you not fund the GDL yourself, it is very difficult to secure a training contract and if you do not or decide that you would like to pursue another profession you would have wasted money. On the bright side, if you do secure a training contract the Law firm will pay for your GDL as I mentioned. I say this because I recently completed a 2 week internship at Jones Day's international Law firm and they specifically advised us not to fund the GDL ourselves if we are doing a non-law degree. You usually apply for training contracts in your second year of university, but of course you can start now.

    Furthermore, although they are solicitors, we spoke a lawyer who originally trained to be a Barrister and switched. I quote, he said that 'The bar is a very elite and competitive profession' so he advised that it may be better to train as a solicitor first (and you may decide that it's your preference) and then work towards being a Barrister. This is because in order to be successful you need to have a very good reputation and contacts i.e: know solicitors etc who will specifically choose you to represent them. However, I can understand if you do not want to do this.

    Therefore, if you would like, you can private message me and I can send you the email address of the former Barrister I spoke to at Jones Day as he can offer you a lot more professional advice. I'm sure if I give you my name and you just mention that you've spoken to me so he knows how you found/knew of him, he will be more than happy to answer your questions. Alternatively, my SMF mentor is actually a Barrister herself So it might just be easier if you private message me specific questions and I will email them to her as soon as I can, then when she replies I can send you a screenshot of her reply. I know that she didn't do a Law degree like you, and that she actually studied at UCL. I guess you were both in the same predicament once!

    Good Luck
 
 
 
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