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Call to the Bar

All details on 2021 and 2022 Call to the Bar will be added to this page once confirmed. All future Calls are due to take place in Person, however the Inn will continue to monitor the governments COVID advice.

Future Calls: 

The Inn always aims to hold Calls in Person however we continue to follow UK government guidance and act accordingly. Please view the latest information below, and also the information given in the ‘Deadlines’ tab on this page.

October Call 2021 – 12 & 14 October

Registration of Interest for this Call has now closed and we are unable to accept further applications of interest.

November Call 2021 – 23 & 25 November

Registration of Interest for this Call has now closed and we are unable to accept further applications of interest.

Reservations of Call places will be offered on a first come, first served basis during w/c 27 September. An email will be sent to those who have previously registered interest during that week with full details.

March Call 2022 – 17 & 21 March

Registration of Interest for this Call has now closed and we are unable to accept further applications of interest.

May Call 2022 – Call to be confirmed

Registration of Interest for this Call has now closed and we are unable to accept further applications of interest.

July Call 2022 – Dates TBC

Registration of Interest for this Call will open in January 2022

Celebration of Call

The Inn is looking to host a ‘Celebration of Call’ event for those being Called in Absence due to the pandemic. Understandably, we are yet to be able to confirm dates as to when these might be until further government guidance.

As per the Joint Inns’ Education & Qualification Rules, individual Inns are not obliged to provide ceremonies corresponding to each of these dates.

Call Information:

When student members have successfully completed their Bar Course and their required minimum of qualifying sessions, they may be called to the Bar. The Call Day consists of a formal ceremony followed by a champagne reception.

Every student who is being called to the Bar must attend the reception on their Call Day, receiving their final qualifying session. Any student who does not comply with this requirement may have their call revoked. The only exception to this rule is for those who are being Called in their absence (in absentia).

Call Procedure

To be eligible for Call, the Inn must receive a hardcopy of your Call Declaration, signed in ink. The deadline for this to be received can be found below. The Call Declaration can be downloaded from this page. From July 1st 2021, all members undertaking Call will be required to have a full DBS criminal records check carried out.

Submitting your Declaration to us does not mean that you have priority to a particular Call Day, as places will still be offered on a first come, first served process, as with previous years. Only those who have submitted their Declarations by the dates set out below are eligible to book a Call Day. Please see the ‘Deadlines’ section below.

Call Declarations remain valid for a period of 12 months from date of signing.

Deadlines

Please see below for the deadlines for each Call. All eligibility criteria must have been met by the below in order to be eligible for each Call. The criteria are:

  1. An ink signed Call Declaration to be with the Inn
  2. The Inn to have received your Bar Course / BTT result from your provider
  3. Your Qualifying Sessions to have been completed
  4. A UK criminal records check to have been completed
  5. An international criminal record check to have been completed (where applicable).

Call Period

October 2021

November 2021

March 2022

Registration of Interest Deadline

Registration Closed

Registration Closed

Registration Closed

Declaration Deadline

Friday 24 September 2021

Friday 12 November 2021

Friday 11 February 2022

Call Day Fee

The Call Day fee is currently £110.

The Call In Absentia fee is £70.

Please note that these fees are reviewed annually and changes to the fee apply from July Call each year.

Eligibility

It may be necessary for some students to be interviewed by a Bencher of the Inn before they are eligible to be called to the Bar. Students who regularly fail to attend booked qualifying sessions without good cause or behave inappropriately during their time as a student member will need to attend an interview to ensure their suitability to be called as a barrister.

Criminal Records Checks

From the Call to the Bar in July 2021, the Bar Standards Board requires that all those applying for Call undergo a Standard UK Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check. Additionally, those who have resided in a country / countries outside of the UK for 12 months or more, at any point during the 5 years preceding their application for Call, will need to undergo the equivalent international criminal record check/s.

The criminal records check/s form part of the Fit and Proper Person checks required prior to Call to the Bar; further information regarding these checks can be found on the Bar Standards Board website.

The Inns have engaged an experienced external company, Due Diligence Checking Ltd (DDC), to administer the process of obtaining the necessary checks.  We are confident that this will ensure the process is as straightforward and quick as possible for you.

After each Registration of Interest period has closed, the Inn will pass your details onto DDC Ltd to begin the criminal records check process.

The Inns cannot accept DBS certificates which have been obtained for other purposes. The obtaining of the criminal record checks is part of the process whereby the Inn decides if a person is fit and proper to be Called to the Bar. To enable it to do this conclusively the Inn needs to have taken each individual applicant for Call through the whole process. It is for this reason that the Inn is unable to accept DBS certificates which have been obtained by other organisations and it is in addition unable to use the update service which is provided by the DBS.

For full information, please view the Criminal Records Checks for Call to the Bar document.

Information on costs can also be found here.

DBS checks and Original Documents

With regards to documents, original documents are required in order for DDC to verify your identity.  Before the pandemic, the Inns had been planning to pay for DDC staff to attend various locations on set dates so that our Call applicants could bring their documents and have the ID check carried out in person.  At the moment that is not possible and so all applicants will have to use the postal option instead (unless you are able to visit the DDC office in Syston, Leicestershire).

DDC will send an envelope with their address on to applicants in UK but they advise this is not prepaid and it is for the applicant themselves to pay for the postage, and when choosing the postage method the applicants should ensure that they are covered for the contents of the envelope.  Once DDC receive the documents they will then contact the applicant to arrange a video call to verify the documents and can then return the documents on the same day that they have been verified.  They return the documents by Royal Mail Tracked delivery which is usually delivered within 48 hours but this is not guaranteed. It is possible for the applicant to arrange a courier to deliver and return their documents instead of Royal Mail- please liaise with DDC about this.  You can email them on contact@ddc.uk.net

Application for a Criminal Records Check Waiver (2021 only)

As a result of the ongoing COVID 19 health emergency, some international students, or those currently practising overseas who are looking to transfer to the Bar of England and Wales, may be unable to comply with the identification (ID) requirements necessary for the criminal record checks to be undertaken prior to their Call to the Bar ceremony.

The BSB, therefore, is providing a waiver from the requirement to have criminal record checks undertaken for candidates for Call to the Bar in certain circumstances. This waiver does not remove the requirement for candidates for Call to disclose relevant criminal records found on the Call Declaration.

Who is eligible to receive the waiver?

Inns’ student members (including transferring qualified lawyers) who are currently residing overseas with no plans to travel (or return) to the UK prior to their chosen Call ceremony may, using the form provided, discuss with their Inn whether they are eligible under the provisions of this waiver.

This waiver has been introduced on a one-off basis specifically for any student member applying for Call in 2021. It will also apply for those who may need to resit exams later in 2021 or in 2022, should they not be able to comply with identification requirements closer to these dates. For the avoidance of doubt, this waiver will not apply to students or transferring qualified lawyers taking first sits in 2022.

To view the waiver information in full, and to apply for a waiver, please view the Waiver Criteria and Guidelines for Criminal Records Checks document. This can also be downloaded from the right hand side of this page.

Call in Absentia

Call in absentia is only granted to international students or to UK students in very exceptional circumstances. To be called in absentia you must have completed your minimum number of qualifying sessions prior to your call. If you are an international student and believe you may need to be called in absence you should ensure you have completed qualifying sessions before you leave the UK at the end of your Bar Course.  The fee for Call in absentia is £70. Call in absentia is only granted in exceptional circumstances and must be requested by contacting our Registrar, Andrew Smith.

It has come to our attention over the last couple of years that non-European Union (EU) students are having greater difficulty in obtaining visas to come over to complete their qualifying sessions and attend their Call Day. We would, therefore, strongly recommend that if you reside outside of the EU and are likely to return home before call that you complete your qualifying sessions before leaving.

Registration

Call registration is undertaken via the online booking portal and students who have registered interest and who are eligible can start the process once registration opens.

Call Dates

There is more than one ceremony held on different dates for most of the Call Days. You cannot choose which ceremony you attend; it will be allocated by the Inn and is determined by admission date. Please make sure you and any guests you wish to bring are available for all of the dates specified for the term you choose.

BPTC and Bar Course Results

The Inn will receive your results directly from your Bar Course Provider. Those resitting their examinations or taking first sit examinations in August will be able to be called to the Bar in November at the earliest.  Should a student fail any of their exams after registering for call, their application will be withdrawn. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the Inn if they wish to be entered for a future call.

Call Day Dress Code

Dress for Call to the Bar is strictly formal, i.e. as you would wear in Court.

Male students

• Plain black suit.
• White shirt. Collar and bands are generally worn and encouraged but if not, a plain dark tie should be worn instead.
• Black smart shoes.
• Genuine ethnic dress acceptable – dark colours only (black, very dark navy, very dark grey). No bright or pastel colours are permitted.

Female students

• Plain black suit. This can be a trouser or skirt suit or a suit dress with matching jacket.
• White shirt or blouse. Collar and bands or a collarette (with a white top underneath) are generally worn and encouraged.
• Dresses and tops must be high to the neck. No garment should be sheer or see through. No lace or embellishment permitted. Dresses and skirts should be on the knee, no miniskirts, or mini dresses.
• Black or natural tights.
• Black smart shoes. Shoes must be low or medium heel. Anyone wearing very high heels will be told to change. No sandals or boots. Please bear in mind that you will be standing for a long period of time, so please make sure they are comfortable.
• Genuine ethnic dress acceptable – dark colours only (black, very dark navy, very dark grey). No bright or pastel colours are permitted and no embellishments. Arms should be fully covered for the Ceremony.

Hair should be neat and tidy. Long hair must be tied back and off the face and shoulders.

Wigs cannot be worn at the Call Ceremony.

Please note that if you arrive on Call Day in unsuitable attire, you will be asked to change. If you choose not to, it is possible you will not be Called to the Bar.

Gowns

You are required to wear a gown for Call. You may hire a student gown from the Inn for the day. Please note that as a student gown it is not appropriate for pupillage or practice. If you have bought or hired your own Bar gown you may wear it.

Dress code for guests

Lincoln’s Inn wants all students and their guests to enjoy and be comfortable for the Call to the Bar Ceremony, but it is a formal occasion and guests should dress accordingly. Therefore, we would recommend that gentlemen wear a suit or jacket and trousers with a shirt and tie, and that ladies wear smart daywear. Smart hats or fascinators may be worn if the guest wishes. There are no restrictions on the colour of clothing. Ethnic dress is welcomed. We would ask that no guest wears jeans, leggings, tracksuits, hoodies, baseball caps or other casual or sports attire.

 

Supporting Letters for Visas

If you are an international student and due to be Called, you may be asked for a letter to support your Visa application. If this is the case, please email registry@lincolnsinn.org.uk

FAQs

Is my previous Call Declaration still valid?

If you are unsure, please email the Registrar to check. When emailing, please include your membership number. Declarations are valid for a period of 12 months from the date of signature.

I posted my declaration but I haven’t received confirmation

Please allow us ten working days after delivery to confirm it has been received.

Are references required?

References are no longer required for Call.

When is the Celebration of Call event for those Called in Absence during COVID?

We are not yet able to confirm when these will take place.

If I am Called in Absence, can I attend another Call Day in the future?

Unfortunately not. We are only able to Call people once.

Can I bring guests to Call Day?

Due to capacity, we normally allow up to two guests per Callee for the ceremony and reception. It is uncommon for further tickets to become available.