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Get Involved

The main way that members can assist the Inn is by volunteering to help with the Education Programmes and you’ll find more information on this page. However, members can also get involved in the governance of the Inn by standing for election to the Bar Representation Committee or by Becoming a Bencher.

The Education Department arranges around 150 events each year and we could not run any of these without benchers and barrister members of the Inn generously giving up their time and expertise.

This ranges from attending our outreach events and talking to students considering the Bar as a career, to providing advocacy and ethics teaching to students, pupils, and junior barristers. All the activities are rewarding and can actually be a lot of fun. Many of them also give you the opportunity to meet your peers practising in other areas, both geographically and legally.

We understand that as busy practitioners there will be many calls on your time but ask that you consider getting involved in the Inn’s education activities.

The work of the Education Department is roughly divided into Pre-Call and Post-Call. The Pre-Call Team provide educational services to current and prospective students, including outreach, qualifying sessions, and scholarships. The Post-Call Team provide training for pupils, new practitioners, and established practitioners, primarily in advocacy and ethics. On this page we have put together information on the events and activities for which we are always looking for helpers, with a primary contact for each. Please do get in touch if you are interested in helping or want any more information.

Advocacy Training

Become an Advocacy Tutor

The Inns of Court provide training for the compulsory pupils’ courses and the New Practitioners’ Programme. Based on the ethos of the importance of ‘the Bar teaching the Bar’, we train our members as Advocacy Tutors to teach on these courses, giving junior members of the Bar the opportunity to benefit from the experience and expertise provided by their peers. Many Advocacy Tutors remark upon the rewards, not just in terms of helping junior barristers, but in what they learn from it themselves. It is also a great opportunity to meet and socialise with your peers.

We train new volunteers annually so that we can expand the numbers of trainers in the faculty, increase diversity, and maintain our high standards. The Inn organises a residential tutor training weekend once a year in July.

Who can help: Barristers of four years’ practice, judges & benchers

Time commitment: Predominantly held over weekends, tutors are usually expected to teach at least once a year

Contact: Chris Monckton


Volunteer Witness – Advocacy Courses

We need members to act as realistic witnesses on the pupils’ advocacy course. Volunteering as a witness is a good opportunity to, not only practice your advocacy skills, but pick up tips on advocacy and network with both pupils and experienced practitioners.

Who can help: Post-BPTC members

Time commitment: Up to four weekends per year

Contact: Matthew Nicholson


Student Advocacy Workshops

The Inn organises a number of advocacy workshops in London and in the towns and cities around the country where the BPTC is taught. These workshops are a fantastic opportunity for students to practise their advocacy and get feedback from barristers and judges. We need barristers and judges from all areas of practice. The tutors for these workshops do not need to be trained advocacy tutors but guidance is given on conducting these sessions.

Who can help: Barristers, judges, and benchers

Time commitment: 1-4 evenings or Saturdays a year

Contact: Clara Shepherd

Moderating and Facilitating

Ethics and Case Analysis Sessions

These sessions are provided to students, pupils, and junior barristers and involve facilitating a discussion of the arguments and counter-arguments and bringing the group towards a solution. It involves thinking on your feet and giving the group the confidence to contribute. This is also a very rewarding way of passing on the Bar’s expertise and professional standards.

Who can help: Barristers, judges, and benchers

Time commitment: Held on weekday evenings for up to 3 hours or Saturdays

Contact: Chris Monckton / Charlie Taylor


Vulnerable Witness Training Facilitation

The Inn is taking part in the national programme to provide training in the handling of vulnerable witnesses to all criminal practitioners. These sessions are facilitated discussions on the preparation and presentation of questioning vulnerable witnesses. We need experienced criminal barristers to run these sessions. Facilitators must take part in a half day training course.

Who can help: Criminal barristers of eight years’ practice, judges, and benchers

Time commitment: A Saturday training session in June and then at least one Saturday teaching per year

Contact: Chris Monckton


Mooting and Debating Clubs

Both clubs hold a number of meetings in each of the Michaelmas and Hilary terms. The clubs also take part in various internal and external competitions. Volunteers are always needed to judge and provide feedback at meetings and competitions.

Who can help: Barristers, judges, and benchers

Time commitment: Held on weekday evenings for around two hours, Competitions are held either on Saturdays or weekday evenings.

Contact: Clara Shepherd

Mentoring

Student Mentoring Scheme

The scheme provides students with the opportunity to meet practising members of the Bar and wherever possible students are allocated a mentor who is practising in an area of interest to them. The mentor acts as a point of contact for the student and is someone who can give general advice and guidance and pupillage application advice for those who want it.

Who can help: Barristers and benchers

Time commitment: It is up to mentors and students how and when they meet

Contact: June Gascoine


Pupillage Foundation Scheme

This scheme assists those who are post-BPTC in their search for pupillage. We run a programme of workshops and talks alongside a mentoring scheme that is run twice each year. We are always looking to recruit practitioners to act as mentors / participate in practice interview sessions and application form review.

Who can help: Barristers, judges and benchers

Time commitment: four to eight weekday evenings a year

Contact: Matthew Nicholson


Student Pupillage Application Advice Evenings

We organise a number of these evenings each year. The evening offers students the opportunity to have their form reviewed, one-to-one, by a practising barrister. The evening is open to all members of the Inn who are seeking pupillage and volunteers with experience of the pupillage application process are always needed.

Who can help: Barristers, judges, and benchers

Time commitment: one to four weekday evenings a year

Contact: Andrew Smith


Marshalling Scheme

Marshalling provides the student with a real insight into how cases are managed and decided. Feedback from students show that they find it to be of real benefit. There is a demand for places on the marshalling scheme from students all over the country and in a variety of legal fields. More judges are always needed to participate in this scheme.

Who can help: Judges (including those who sit as part-time judges)

Time commitment: Up to three days per marshal. Judges can decide how many marshals they are willing to take each year but one per term is the norm.

Contact: Clara Shepherd


European Visits

The Inn organises three visits to the European and international courts each year for groups of students and pupils, together with a couple of senior members of the Inn. These consist of one visit each to the European Court of Human Rights and Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the International Courts and Tribunals at The Hague, and the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Although places on these trips are limited, members of the bench and Bar are always welcome.

Who can help: Barristers, judges, and benchers

Time commitment: Each trip is three days long and are held during the week

Contact: Assistant to the Head of Education

Outreach

University Information Afternoons and Dinners

Each year we invite students considering a career at the Bar to come to the Inn and hear a variety of talks given by practising barristers, followed by a Domus dinner in Hall. These events are a great opportunity to give prospective students an insight to life at the Bar. There are usually four or five events held on Wednesdays in February & March. We are always looking for speakers and also for members to dine with the students.

Who can help: Barristers, judges, and benchers

Time commitment: Talks – at least once per year from 4.30 pm; Dining – one to five per year from 6 pm to 8.30 pm

Contact: Charlie Taylor


Open Days

The Inn holds a number of Open Days for prospective BPTC and GDL students each year. The Open Days include a presentation on the Inn and a talk from a pupil, barrister or recent student about their experience of training and life at the Bar. The Open Days are held in October and February/March in advance of the scholarships deadlines.

Who can help: Pupils, barristers, judges, and benchers

Time commitment: At least one weekday afternoon (from 3.30 pm) per year

Contact: Andrew Smith


Regional Presentations

The Inn holds presentation evenings on ‘How to Finance and Succeed in a Career at the Bar’ at a number of universities each year. A panel of barristers, chaired by a Bencher, talk about applying for scholarships, studying on the BPTC, and their own experience of pupillage. Where possible we ask alumni of the relevant institution to speak but we also welcome volunteers. Local practitioners are always welcome to attend the reception after the presentation.

Who can help: Pupils, barristers, judges, and benchers

Time commitment: At least one weekday evening (from 6.30 pm) per year

Contact: Andrew Smith

Scholarship Interviews

Interview Panels

The Inn interviews hundreds of students each year for BPTC and GDL Scholarships. Interviews are currently held in London, Manchester and Birmingham. All interview panels consist of three members of the Inn and we always need more volunteers. All interviewers have to undergo training before they can sit on a panel.

Who can help: Barristers, judges, and benchers

Time commitment: BPTC – two to four weekday evenings (from 5 pm) in a single week, once per year; GDL – one Saturday per year

Contact: Thomas Hope

Expenses
We are extremely grateful to all those who give up their time voluntarily to assist with the Education Programmes. We always provide refreshments at our events and, in the case of weekend training courses, all travel expenses are reimbursed and all accommodation and food is provided.