Is it worth going down the Barrister route? Watch

SYL22
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#1
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#1
Hi,

I am new to this site, so apologies if this has been talked about at length elsewhere.

I am set to graduate from a UK top five university with a strong 2:i (65-68%) degree in Politics this academic year.

Specifically: are my grades good enough to be competitive, and what sort of experience and extra curricular activities look attractive on pupillage applications?

I am interested in both the Government Legal Service scheme and practicing in family law to give two options...

Thank you for your help.

Best wishes
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999tigger
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(Original post by SYL22)
Hi,

I am new to this site, so apologies if this has been talked about at length elsewhere.

I am set to graduate from a UK top five university with a strong 2:i (65-68%) degree in Politics this academic year.

Specifically: are my grades good enough to be competitive, and what sort of experience and extra curricular activities look attractive on pupillage applications?

I am interested in both the Government Legal Service scheme and practicing in family law to give two options...

Thank you for your help.

Best wishes
If its your interest then give it a go plus do several mini pupillage and see if you can get a scholarship.
Also talk to as many in the family bar as possible.

Plenty of time to follow your dreams.
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Crazy Jamie
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(Original post by SYL22)
Specifically: are my grades good enough to be competitive, and what sort of experience and extra curricular activities look attractive on pupillage applications?
Yes, your grades thus far are good enough in that they tick a box for you. In terms of experience and extra curricular activities, at a higher education level you should certainly be looking to mini pupillages in family law if that is your calling, but I'd recommend securing one or two in other areas as well, just because as common as it is for students to have a burning passion for a particular area of practice whilst they're studying, it is also common for them to completely change their mind about that once they realise what practising in that area of law actually entails. It is not unusual for your chosen area of law to become less appealing and/or for other areas to become more appealing once you become better informed, so be careful not to close doors before you have to.

Beyond mini pupillages, you can look at things like mooting and debating within university, or really any sort of club or activity that gives you advocacy experience. Their are a variety of schemes that allow law students to undertake pro bono work. I don't know if any of them are open to non law students with an interest in the law, but it is worth looking at. Outside of university, look for marshalling (which is spending time with a judge) and scholarships (which look good on a CV and help with the funding side of things).

That is a generic list of things that regularly appear on pupillage applications, but there is plenty of scope to become engaged in other activities that show or develop relevant skills. Those change every year, so it is somewhat on you to make yourself stand out in that respect.
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SYL22
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Hi,

Huge apologies for taking so long to reply, I had pushed this to the back of my mind until now owing to being so busy with finishing university.

Thank you very much for the advice and pointers, it is appreciated!

I have another question:

Whilst I am set to graduate with a good 2:i from a top five university, my A-Level results leave something to be desired. I came away with ABC but I believe this is mitigated by the fact that I was dealing with the sudden and unexpected death of a parent.

How much will my A-Level results be taken into consideration and is there an opportunity to offer an explanation when applying to one of the Inns of Court and for pupillage's?

Many thanks and, again, so sorry for taking so long to respond! You have been very helpful

Best wishes


(Original post by Crazy Jamie)
Yes, your grades thus far are good enough in that they tick a box for you. In terms of experience and extra curricular activities, at a higher education level you should certainly be looking to mini pupillages in family law if that is your calling, but I'd recommend securing one or two in other areas as well, just because as common as it is for students to have a burning passion for a particular area of practice whilst they're studying, it is also common for them to completely change their mind about that once they realise what practising in that area of law actually entails. It is not unusual for your chosen area of law to become less appealing and/or for other areas to become more appealing once you become better informed, so be careful not to close doors before you have to.

Beyond mini pupillages, you can look at things like mooting and debating within university, or really any sort of club or activity that gives you advocacy experience. Their are a variety of schemes that allow law students to undertake pro bono work. I don't know if any of them are open to non law students with an interest in the law, but it is worth looking at. Outside of university, look for marshalling (which is spending time with a judge) and scholarships (which look good on a CV and help with the funding side of things).

That is a generic list of things that regularly appear on pupillage applications, but there is plenty of scope to become engaged in other activities that show or develop relevant skills. Those change every year, so it is somewhat on you to make yourself stand out in that respect.
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Crazy Jamie
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(Original post by SYL22)
Hi,

Huge apologies for taking so long to reply, I had pushed this to the back of my mind until now owing to being so busy with finishing university.

Thank you very much for the advice and pointers, it is appreciated!

I have another question:

Whilst I am set to graduate with a good 2:i from a top five university, my A-Level results leave something to be desired. I came away with ABC but I believe this is mitigated by the fact that I was dealing with the sudden and unexpected death of a parent.

How much will my A-Level results be taken into consideration and is there an opportunity to offer an explanation when applying to one of the Inns of Court and for pupillage's?

Many thanks and, again, so sorry for taking so long to respond! You have been very helpful

Best wishes
Applying to become a member of an Inn is an administrative process, so your A-Level results won't be relevant for that. In terms of pupillage, every set deals with applications differently, so the extent to which your A-Levels will hold you back will depend on the scoring system (and indeed the view of the barrister(s) sifting your application) in each individual set. However, you will be given an opportunity in the vast majority of cases to provide extenuating circumstances, and the combination of you having a genuinely good reason and getting decent grades after that point should certainly give you a good chance of offsetting any issues with your A-Level results broadly speaking. However, as I say it will vary from set to set, so I can't give a definitive answer.
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