Pupillage without inn of court scholarship?Watch
I suspect not having an Inn scholarship will be a relatively minor negative factor (or a lack of a positive factor, if you prefer) in your application if you apply for pupillage during your BPTC year. I am virtually certain that there are no sets who would refuse to consider an application from a student on the BPTC who did not have a scholarship. That would be particularly odd as I understand that the Gateway timetable has now changed (I'm a couple of years out of date) so that anyone applying pre-BPTC cannot possibly have an Inn scholarship at the time they submit their application. That always used to be true for the Chancery sets with deadlines very early in the year.
None of the above tells you whether it is worth gambling your own £17,000 plus living expenses plus a year of your life to do the BPTC without either a pupillage or an Inn scholarship. I don't think except you can answer that. Your CV looks to me like you would be in with good prospects of getting a few interviews with a well-drafted application (not that I have any experience of regional PI sets).
I'm aiming for one of the regional sets, in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester etc, I was just wondering if people had any honest, blunt advice about whether it was worth applying for pupillage without a prestigious scholarship?
I'm always intrigued as to how it is people get ideas that the presence or absence of a certain feature on a CV will doom any pupillage application. There are, of course, examples in that respect that seriously damage an application to the point where a person should think long and hard about pouring resources into trying to secure pupillage (such as having a 2:2), but with the more nuanced individual elements of applications I do find myself wondering where people get the impression that any one thing can be such a deal breaker.
For the record, as with many other individual elements of an application, an Inn scholarship is nice to have, but by no means essential. I can't say that in any pupillage application I even noticed the absence of a scholarship. Pupillage applications are generally assessed against some sort of criteria, but it won't be an exercise that ticks individual boxes for individual elements. The assessment, albeit on the basis of different elements, will be more holistic than that.
I can't say how your pupillage application would come across to me if I was to read it, but you certainly do seem to have plenty on there already. Having a 2:1 from Oxbridge is a bonus, and you seem to tick plenty of other boxes in terms of experience that I might expect to see on a pupillage application. There's certainly nothing that you've said that would make me think that you are at any sort of disadvantage compared to other applicants, so providing you're aware of and have accepted the general risks I don't see why you wouldn't continue onto the BPTC and start applying for pupillages at this stage.
I therefore suggest that you take a year out (paralegal, masters, whatever) and get that scholarship.