If you are aspiring barrister and want to commence the vocational component of bar training (currently the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)) at any time in the future, the Inns of Court scholarship is by far your best shot at trying to secure some means of financial support for course fees.
Whether you choose to undertake the vocational component in an institution in London or outside of London, you would probably end up paying nothing less than £13,000 for the course. Read on for some advice on how to fund your studies.
First and foremost, it is important for you to become a member of one of the four Inns of Court (Middle Temple, Grays Inn, Inner Temple and Lincolns Inn). The Inns offer a total of £6 million in scholarships, though you can only apply to one Inn of Court.
The interview itself is something not to take lightly and preparation is key.
Prior to the interview, it is vital that each applicant is aware what they had initially written in their application. The interviewing panel would be very much aware of your application so be ready to answer any questions they may have on the work experience you have stated, interests or even grades.
It is extremely important, in fact, I would say a GOLDEN RULE for scholarship interviews that you do not lie or over-exaggerate your abilities or work experiences in the application form. This is because during the interview, you could be heavily questioned on what was stated on your application and if you are unable to answer any questions arising from it, this likely to jeopardise the entire interview.
The second most important thing to do is to thoroughly research the area or areas of law you have indicated interest to. The panel may very well ask you questions on a recent decision in that particular area of law or ask you to expand on a particular point of law in relation to that area. Therefore, preparation which correlates with your statements in the application is crucial.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that the panel is not there to catch you out but rather they want to try and provide assistance to every applicant. However as this is physically impossible and as there is potentially a huge amount of funding that may be provided, they need to be certain that you are the appropriate candidate for the Bar and that you would be able to complete the BPTC successfully.
Remember to remain calm and confident in answering questions. Make sure you dress smart and walk in with a smile!
Written by Maham Qureshi
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