Lincoln's Inn logo

Call to the Bar

All details on 2021 Call to the Bar will be added to this page once confirmed. Due to the national Covid restrictions for England, announced on Monday 4 January, the March 2021 Call will be fully in absence. May Call 2021 will also be in absence.  The Inn will make a decision at a later date in regards to the July Call to the Bar. At present we do not have further information as to whether there is potential to hold these in person in some capacity. All information will be displayed here when known.

Calls during COVID19

The Inn always aims to hold Calls in Person however we continue to follow UK government guidance and act accordingly. We are accepting Call Declarations to be posted to the Inn now ahead of 2021 Calls. Deadlines for these to be received can be found below.

May Call – Call will be held in full absence of students and guests – Register your interest to be Called in May here no later than 5pm on Friday 23rd April.

July Call – The Inn will await government guidance nearer the Call as to how this Call will take place. You may register interest here for July Call. Please complete this by Friday 23 April.  July Call will be subject to a criminal records check. Please see the information below regarding these checks. A Call Declaration must have also been received by the Inn by the deadline set out below to be eligible for Call. Details on the payment of the records check will follow at a date after 32rd April.

October Call – The Inn will await government guidance nearer the Call as to how this Call will take place. October Call will be subject to a criminal records check. Please see the information below regarding these checks.  To start the process for Criminal Records Checks, please complete the form here.

November Call – The Inn will await government guidance nearer the Call as to how this Call will take place

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

Students wishing to be Called during all 2021 Call periods are now welcome to submit their Call Declaration to the Inn.

The new Call Declaration can be downloaded from this page. From July 2021, all students 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.


Please see below for the deadlines to submit your Call Declaration. If you have not submitted a Call Declaration before a deadline below, you will not be eligible for that Call. The declaration must be signed in pen. It cannot be signed on your behalf or contain a photocopied signature.

Call Period


May 2021


July 2021


October 2021


November 2021

Call Dates


27 May


21 and 22 July


12 and 14 October


23 and 25 November

Declaration Deadline


Friday 30 April 2021


Friday 18 June 2021


Friday 17 September 2021


Friday 22 October 2021

Call Day Fee

The Call Day fee is currently £100.  Please note that this is reviewed annually and changes to the fee apply from July Call each year.

The Call In Absentia fee is £50. Please note that this is reviewed annually and changes to the fee apply from July Call each year.


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.

To start the process for Criminal Records Checks, please complete the form here by 14th May 2021. A check will remain valid for a period of twelve months. If you wish to be Called in July or October, please complete the form.

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

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 £50. 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.


Call registration is usually undertaken via the online booking portal and students who have submitted their Call Declaration 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.

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


Is my previous Call Declaration still valid?

Due to changes brought in, all students wishing to be Called who submitted a Call Declaration prior to 31st March 2020 will need to supply a new Call declaration. If in doubt, please email the Registrar.

Are references required?

References are no longer required for Call.