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Total amount available to be allocated: up to £183,500

The Inn offers up to thirty-two scholarships for non-law graduates of outstanding ability. The GDL scholarships are separated into three named awards. They are, in order of prestige:

  • Lord Bowen
  • Lord Haldane
  • Lord Brougham

All of Lincoln’s Inn’s GDL Scholarships are awarded on merit. The value of each award is calculated through a means test based on the applicants’ disclosed financial resources and obligations.

Scholars awarded from 2018 will also benefit from reduced qualifying session fees (for 10 Qualifying Sessions) as well as free admission to the Inn and no call to the Bar fee.

Please note that students who receive a GDL Scholarship are not guaranteed to receive a Bar Course Scholarship.

If you have any questions about the scholarships at Lincoln’s Inn, please visit our FAQ page. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, please contact the Scholarships Coordinator, Aisha Modeste-Simon below.

GDL Scholarship Statistics

Our recent scholarship statistics are as follows:

GDL 2021

GDL 2022

GDL 2023

No. Applications




No. Interviewed




No. Awarded




Previous Maximum Awards

Though Lincoln’s Inn scholarships are awarded on merit, the financial value of all awards are means tested. Only those who are in the most financial need will receive the maximum each year. The most recent maximum financial values awarded are as follows:




Maximum Award




How to apply

The Inn’s Online Portal is currently undergoing maintenance. In order to apply for a GDL Scholarship, students will need to submit an online application via this link.

Candidates will need to submit two references with their application, one of which must be an academic reference (unless you graduated from your most recent course over 5 years ago). Guidance notes for referees can be found here.

Lincoln’s Inn does not interview all applicants. Candidates will be shortlisted and those who are offered an interview will be notified by the end of May.

GDL interviews will take place in June and July 2024 in London. It is possible to be interviewed remotely if necessary, you can download our remote interviewing policy on this page.

When to apply

For students intending to start the GDL in 2024:

Applications open:

March 2024

Application deadline:

5PM Friday 3 May 2024

Application Criteria

All GDL Scholarships are awarded on merit. Applicants will need to satisfy the following criteria (introduced from 2024) in order to receive a scholarship:

1. Analytical Thinking and Problem Solving

Demonstrates analytical thinking, judgment, perceptiveness and problem solving.

  • Uses an analytical approach to answering questions and problem solving
  • Shows ability to assimilate information in a systematic way
  • Identifies key issues, understands them and addresses them well
  • Pays attention to detail
  • Demonstrates good, well-reasoned judgement
  • Able to think on their feet

2. Motivation 

The degree of motivation for a career at the Bar of England & Wales evidenced by the candidate’s investigation of the profession and development of associated skills and experience, leading to a realistic ambition towards practice at the Bar and any identified intended areas of practice.

  • Has taken steps to understand the profession and learn about a career at the Bar
  • Motivation for becoming a barrister is well thought through and apparent
  • Has a realistic understanding of the profession (both positive and negative realities)
  • Demonstrates passion for the Bar and/or has researched a particular practice area

3. Working With Others

Demonstrates the ability to work effectively with other people, adapting their style where needed and listening to the needs of others.

  • Works effectively as part of a team
  • Adapts their style to the needs of the audience
  • Listens attentively

4. Advocacy

Oral and written persuasiveness including reaction to an audience.

  • Persuasive oral and written advocacy skills
  • Communicates orally and in writing in a clear and coherent manner
  • Provides structured and well thought out answers to questions or points in oral presentation
  • Maintains composure when challenged
  • Able to respond and react appropriately to the audience

5. Drive, Determination, and Resilience

Demonstrates drive, determination, and resilience to keep focused and ensure that goals are met.

  • Demonstrates drive and determination to succeed
  • Provides evidence of working effectively when under pressure to meet goals or remaining calm in the face of adversity
  • Provides evidence of resilience when things do not go to plan or when faced with challenge/opposition/obstacles


General conditions for GDL Scholarships:

  • Applicants can only apply to one Inn of Court for a scholarship.
  • Scholarships are only awarded to those who intend to practise at the Bar of England and Wales
Hands of a pupil studying at a desk in Lincoln's Inn - laptop, books, notepad and pen and desk lamp

GDL Scholarship Application Form

Students can apply for a GDL scholarship through the Inn's Scholarship Application Portal.


Take a look at some of our frequently asked questions about our scholarships.