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Useful resources for future barristers

Blogged by Julia Sadler on 20/05/2020.

There has been much in the news about the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the barristers’ profession, with barristers lobbying the government in the #MakeTheCase campaign. Chambers are working out the best way deliver training while social distancing measures are in place.  While we wait for more news on the future of pupillages and mini-pupillages, there are still plenty of resources you can tap into to make sure you are in the best possible place to act once the future is a little clearer. Here’s a selection:

Legal Internships

The Law Faculty are advertising three-month legal paid internships with Justice starting October 2020. The deadline is 29 May and only those who will have graduated with a law degree by the time the internship starts are eligible.

The immediate future for jury trails

Familiarise yourself with the pilot scheme to reopen jury trials for the first time since the lockdown. See this insight into Bristol Crown Court by the BBC.

Keep up to date by following legal news

The team at LawCareers.Net update their Coronavirus Information for Students page regularly. Use it to keep up to date on mini-pupillages, pupillages, and any changes to legal recruitment and education in response to Coronavirus.

The changes to barristers’ training from September

The new changes to barristers’ training come into effect from September. The BPTC is being replaced by more flexible, cost-effective courses offered by eight institutions around the UK. There is no longer a common name for the vocational training course: the course providers each choose their name. Fortunately, given the restrictions placed by Covid-19, all eight courses offer more online options than the BPTC did, which happily also allows providers to keep the course fees down.

If you are considering a career at the Bar, now is a good time to research the eight courses on offer and scrutinise the different offerings and costs. You can take part in a variety of virtual open evenings or watch webinars with legal education providers to hear about how this training will look.  Here are some examples for the University of Law, City Law School, University of London and Northumbria. 

Advice for those due to start the bar training in September

Bar training FAQs

If you are due to start a Bar training course or graduate diploma in law in September, and are worried about how the social distancing rules will affect that, the Bar Standards Board has a useful FAQs page.

Taking the BCAT test during the Coronavirus pandemic

In order to enrol on one of the eight bar training courses, you must have first passed the Bar Course Aptitude Test. Before the Covid-19 crisis, the BCAT test could be taken at any Pearson Vue test centre. Since the UK lockdown started in March 2020, UK test centres have been closed. The BSB has confirmed, however, that BCAT registrations will reopen by the beginning of June 2020. will be able to take the test via OnVUE, Pearson VUE’s online proctoring solution. Check the Pearson Vue website to register.

Application and interview support

You can receive 1-1 application and interview support from our team of law Careers Advisers (Juliet Tomlinson, Lara Hayward and Julia Sadler) over the phone by booking a short discussion on Career Connect.

Researching the legal sector

There are plenty of websites for you to use to find out more about barristers’ chambers, how they are different and what they offer students. As well as LawCareers.Net mentioned above, see TARGETjobs Law and The Chambers Student Guide but for more resources to help, have a read of our Barristers Career Briefing.