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    Hi everyone,

    I'm an aspiring barrister, and I want to do commercial work more specifically. I know that competition for pupillage at the commercial bar is fierce, and everyone needs to do all they can to maximize their chances of success.

    Cutting to the chase, my academic profile is the following:
    -State school educated. 4 A-Levels A*-A, nationally highest grade in English.
    - BA in French, Cambridge. 2.1* Final year (starred first in French oral). 2.1 second year. 1 first year, 12 of 118 candidates, subject prize from my college.
    - MA in Linguistics, Queen Mary, Distinction. Possibility of having my thesis published in an/several academic journals.

    So I now plan to do the GDL at City, London and secure myself a strong distinction, and then hopefully the BPTC at City too.

    The question I have is this: will commercial chambers care about/be impressed if my MA thesis is published in academic journals at all? Or will it not really make any difference to my applications?

    Thank you!
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    You come across as a barrister already.
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    (Original post by Casisalive)
    You come across as a barrister already.
    Haha, how so?
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    (Original post by Shellbeach)
    The question I have is this: will commercial chambers care about/be impressed if my MA thesis is published in academic journals at all? Or will it not really make any difference to my applications?
    These sorts of questions are always difficult to answer. The reason for that is that it's difficult to say how any individual element would be viewed by individual Chambers or barristers. Ultimately your thesis being published may count less or more depending on the way that individual Chambers assess paper applications, and different barristers will always take different views on things like that. All applications have to deal with those two elements to some degree.

    Personally as an individual element I don't think that it is going to make or break an application, but it would certainly help to add to the overall picture of academic excellence. Let's put it this way; I read your post in the same way that I would read a pupillage application, and my reaction was that your academics (A*/A at A-Level, 2:1 Degree, Distinction MA) are very good, with a few features (highest national score in English, starred first in French oral exam, fact you went to Cambridge) helping to make you stand out from everyone else with very good academics. In recent pupillage rounds my Chambers has scored paper applications on a number of different criteria, including academic ability. I'd probably score you a 5 (out of 5) even without your thesis being published, but would be slightly more likely to do so if I see that your thesis has been published. I think most barristers from my Chambers would do the same, but there may be a few that would be tipped from a 4 to a 5 with your thesis being published.

    Ultimately the fact that your thesis has been published would be another individual element to help you to stand out. To that extent attempting to get it published is relatively easily done, I would certainly try to do that. If it is incredibly difficult to get it published, and would take up time or resources that could be better spent elsewhere, then I would think twice about it. Strictly speaking, if you want to absolutely give yourself the very best chance of securing pupillage, it certainly can't do any harm to have your thesis published.
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    I don't usually disagree with anything Crazy Jamie says (and even now that we do disagree to some extent, you should lend his views more credence than mine).

    You said that you are interested in commercial work. If by that you mean the top London commercial sets (the Essex, One Essex, Brick, 3VB types), then I wouldn't be surprised if your CV was towards the bottom, or at best the middle, of the range that would have a realistic shot of an interview. It would not be a 5/5, and there are a few London commercial sets that have not taken a pupil with a 2:1 for 10+ years. Those are not the only commercial sets, and no doubt there are many sets who do primarily or exclusively commercial work where you would be almost guaranteed an interview.

    Having your thesis published cannot possibly be anything other than an advantage. I agree with CJ that unless getting it published involves a monumental amount of work then doing so would plainly be worth your time (no matter what Chambers you apply to).
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    (Original post by Forum User)
    I don't usually disagree with anything Crazy Jamie says (and even now that we do disagree to some extent, you should lend his views more credence than mine).

    You said that you are interested in commercial work. If by that you mean the top London commercial sets (the Essex, One Essex, Brick, 3VB types), then I wouldn't be surprised if your CV was towards the bottom, or at best the middle, of the range that would have a realistic shot of an interview. It would not be a 5/5, and there are a few London commercial sets that have not taken a pupil with a 2:1 for 10+ years. Those are not the only commercial sets, and no doubt there are many sets who do primarily or exclusively commercial work where you would be almost guaranteed an interview.

    Having your thesis published cannot possibly be anything other than an advantage. I agree with CJ that unless getting it published involves a monumental amount of work then doing so would plainly be worth your time (no matter what Chambers you apply to).
    For clarification, if the OP is talking about the elite London commercial sets, then you are correct. I just generally assume that when students talk about having aspirations of practising at the commercial bar, they either realise at that point or will eventually realise that those elite sets are far from the be all and end all of such a practice. They are only a realistic aspiration for a small minority of applicants, so I usually don't find it helpful to talk about pupillage prospects in the context of such sets. But yes, if that is the OP's aspiration then the academics from the first post are certainly not a 5/5. I do think they would be for a 4 or 5 for the vast majority of sets though, including those that do commercial work. Of course that all depends on the individual scoring systems of individual chambers, and most chambers (including mine) only have pure academics as a relatively minor part of that in any event.
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    (Original post by Forum User)
    I don't usually disagree with anything Crazy Jamie says (and even now that we do disagree to some extent, you should lend his views more credence than mine).

    You said that you are interested in commercial work. If by that you mean the top London commercial sets (the Essex, One Essex, Brick, 3VB types), then I wouldn't be surprised if your CV was towards the bottom, or at best the middle, of the range that would have a realistic shot of an interview. It would not be a 5/5, and there are a few London commercial sets that have not taken a pupil with a 2:1 for 10+ years. Those are not the only commercial sets, and no doubt there are many sets who do primarily or exclusively commercial work where you would be almost guaranteed an interview.

    Having your thesis published cannot possibly be anything other than an advantage. I agree with CJ that unless getting it published involves a monumental amount of work then doing so would plainly be worth your time (no matter what Chambers you apply to).
    I was not aiming for the "elite" commercial sets, no, but the less famous ones.
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    (Original post by Crazy Jamie)
    These sorts of questions are always difficult to answer. The reason for that is that it's difficult to say how any individual element would be viewed by individual Chambers or barristers. Ultimately your thesis being published may count less or more depending on the way that individual Chambers assess paper applications, and different barristers will always take different views on things like that. All applications have to deal with those two elements to some degree.

    Personally as an individual element I don't think that it is going to make or break an application, but it would certainly help to add to the overall picture of academic excellence. Let's put it this way; I read your post in the same way that I would read a pupillage application, and my reaction was that your academics (A*/A at A-Level, 2:1 Degree, Distinction MA) are very good, with a few features (highest national score in English, starred first in French oral exam, fact you went to Cambridge) helping to make you stand out from everyone else with very good academics. In recent pupillage rounds my Chambers has scored paper applications on a number of different criteria, including academic ability. I'd probably score you a 5 (out of 5) even without your thesis being published, but would be slightly more likely to do so if I see that your thesis has been published. I think most barristers from my Chambers would do the same, but there may be a few that would be tipped from a 4 to a 5 with your thesis being published.

    Ultimately the fact that your thesis has been published would be another individual element to help you to stand out. To that extent attempting to get it published is relatively easily done, I would certainly try to do that. If it is incredibly difficult to get it published, and would take up time or resources that could be better spent elsewhere, then I would think twice about it. Strictly speaking, if you want to absolutely give yourself the very best chance of securing pupillage, it certainly can't do any harm to have your thesis published.
    Thanks Jamie. Which Chambers are you from, if you don't mind saying?
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    (Original post by Shellbeach)
    Thanks Jamie. Which Chambers are you from, if you don't mind saying?
    Unfortunately I've limited certain information about myself deliberately so that people cannot easily figure out who I am, and my Chambers is one of those pieces of information, because if people knew it would become far too easy to figure out who I am with the other information that's out there. It's common knowledge that I don't practise in London, but I'm afraid that's as far as I'm willing to let it go at the moment.
 
 
 
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