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Qualifying Sessions

Student members are required to complete ten compulsory qualifying sessions, during a period of no more than five years, ending on the date on which that person is called to the Bar.  If you commenced the course prior to September 2020, you are required to complete twelve qualifying sessions. All qualifying sessions must be educational and collegiate and complement the Bar Training Course.

Qualifying sessions also offer opportunities to learn more about the profession, meet peers on the Bar Training Course and network with a variety of members of the Inn. Please do not leave it too late to complete your qualifying sessions as this may affect the date on which you can be called to the Bar.

The Inn’s qualifying sessions fall into the one or more of the following categories:

  • Ethics, Standards and Values
  • Advocacy Skills
  • Legal Knowledge, Justice and the Rule of Law
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Preparation for Pupillage, Career Development and Wellbeing

It is now a requirement that all students complete at least one session from each of these categories and within these two interactive qualifying sessions must be completed.  For students that started the course in 2019 or earlier, there is no obligation to do so but we would strongly encourage you to attend as many types of sessions as possible, in particular the advocacy and ethics workshops. Students must take part in all elements to be credited.

Qualifying Session Rules for Transferring Lawyers

If you are a transferring lawyer admitted to the Inn after 1st September 2020 you will be required to complete 10 Qualifying Sessions before being eligible for Call to the Bar. It is now a requirement that all transferring lawyers complete at least one session from each of these categories and within these, two interactive qualifying sessions must be completed. If you are a transferring lawyer and were admitted prior to 1st September 2020, the rules for your qualifying sessions will remain as highlighted in the letter issued by the BSB to you.

Please see our booking, cancellation and attendance policies for qualifying sessions here.

Legal Terms

There are four Legal Terms: Michaelmas, Hilary, Easter and Trinity. The Inn holds qualifying sessions during each Legal Term. The number of qualifying sessions in each term varies, with the Easter and Trinity terms having the fewest events. Do plan ahead and think carefully about which qualifying sessions you wish to attend so that you do not need to fit a large number in at the end of the academic year. Please note that it is not possible to obtain all 10 of your qualifying sessions in the Trinity term.

Term

Dates

Booking Opens

Michaelmas 2020

21 September – 21 December

TBC

Hilary 2021

11 January – 31 March

Tuesday 5 January

Easter 2021

13 April – 28 May

Tuesday 13 April

Trinity 2021

8 June – 30 July

Tuesday 25 May

Types of Qualifying Sessions

The Inn offers a variety of qualifying sessions. Please note the Inn operates a flat rate per qualifying session plus a small premium for events that include meals/accommodation. You can find the rates and descriptions for the 2020/21 academic year below:

Event

Description

Student Rate (Online Rate)

Scholar Rate

Credit (QS)

Advocacy & Ethics Day

Day long programme of advocacy and ethics sessions.

£24

Free

2

Advocacy Workshop

Civil/criminal advocacy group workshop, with materials to prepare in advance.

£12 (£6)

Free

1

Debate Dinner

Dinner with a seating plan, followed by a debate on a legal topic with four student/pupil speakers and floor speeches.

£18

£6

1

Ethics Workshop

Ethics group workshop with materials to prepare in advance.

£12 (£6)

Free

1

Lecture

Lecture by a single speaker or panel, followed by questions and a reception.

£12 (£6)

Free

1

Lecture & Domus

Lecture given by a single speaker or panel, followed by questions and Domus dinner (mixed seating plan with members of the bench and bar).

£18

£6

1

Legal Research Training

Training given by the Inn’s librarians on various legal research topics and techniques.

£12 (£6)

Free

1

Local Qualifying Sessions (for Outside of London Students)

Organised by the Bar Course Student Representatives and the link bencher/barrister. Examples include advocacy workshops, lectures and Q&A panels.

£12 (£6)

Free

1

Residential Weekend

See further information in the “Residential Weekends” tab below.

£96

£36

5

Webinar

Online talk by a single speaker or panel, followed by a small group discussion.

£6

Free

1

Timings & Lateness

Latecomers will not be credited with the qualifying sessions available. You should arrive promptly and allow ample travelling time. For all qualifying sessions (including online sessions) there is an arrival time when registration takes place and a start time when the event will commence. If you arrive at or after the start time you will not be credited with the qualifying session. Please see our booking, cancellation and attendance policies for qualifying sessions here.

For all events you must stay until the end, including the drinks reception or dinner in order to receive the qualifying session credits. For online sessions, you will be permitted to leave when told by the staff or your tutors that the session has finished. The finish times in the table below are provided as a guide and may vary

The Inn has the power to grant waivers for lateness and non-attendance at the required number of qualifying sessions. However, these waivers are only granted in truly exceptional cases. Should you wish to apply for a waiver you must email booking@lincolnsinn.org.uk. You will need to explain as fully as possible the reason for your application and the circumstances that you believe are exceptional.

Usual timings for qualifying sessions are below. Finish times are provided as a guide and may vary.

Event

Arrival & Start Time (In-person)

Finish Time (In-person)

Arrival & Start Time (Online)

Finish Time (Online)

Advocacy & Ethics Day

10.00 for 10.30 am

3.00 pm

Not available

Not available

Advocacy Workshop

5.45 for 6.00 pm

8.30 pm

5.15 for 5.30 pm

7.00 pm

Ethics Workshop

5.45 for 6.00 pm

8.30 pm

5.15 for 5.30 pm

7.00 pm

Debate Dinner

6.00 for 6.15 pm

9.45 pm

Not available

Not available

Lecture Night (single speaker)

5.45 for 6.00 pm

7.30 pm

Not available

Not available

Lecture Night (multi speakers)

5.45 for 6.00 pm

8.00 pm

4.45 for 5.00 pm

6.45 pm

Lecture & Domus

5.45 for 6.00 pm

9.15 pm

Not available

Not available

Legal Research Training

5.30 for 6.00 pm

7.45 pm

4.45 for 5.00 pm

6.15 pm

Residential Weekend

6.00 pm on Friday

By 4.00 pm on Sunday

Not available

Not available

Webinar

Not available

Not available

5.45 for 6.00 pm

7.30 pm

Dining Customs

Dining remains an important element of the social and collegiate life of the Inn. While dining on its own is no longer part of the formal qualification for Call to the Bar, the Inn still offers a number of opportunities for members to dine in the Hall throughout the year, as well as other social activities. These include Grand Day, Guest Nights, Sunday Luncheon, the Family Day and the Garden Party. Some social events are only open to benchers/barristers but the majority are also open to student members.  Details are advertised on our website and in the members’ newsletter.

In addition, the Inn’s Students’ Association arranges a number of social activities each year specifically for students. There are also a couple of types of qualifying sessions that include a dining element, namely Lecture & Domus Dinners and Debate Dinners. Before dining please read this document regarding dining customs.

Residential Weekends

The Inn organises three residential weekends per year. Only students currently undertaking the Bar Course are eligible. It is recommended that you attend one of these weekends as they are a good opportunity to meet benchers and barristers of the Inn in an informal setting. However, the weekends are heavily oversubscribed so selection is by ballot.

Each weekend includes talks on different areas of law and advocacy, question and answer sessions with practising barristers, judges and pupils and criminal and civil advocacy sessions. These weekends are hard work and you are required to prepare for them and participate fully but they are also very useful and a lot of fun.

The residential weekends for 2020/21 are below:

Venue

Dates

Ballot Opens

Ballot Closes

Weetwood Hall, Leeds

TBC

TBC

TBC

Highgate House, Northampton

Friday 26 – Sunday 28 February 2021

The ballot will open in Michaelmas term.

The ballot will close in Michealmas term.

Cumberland Lodge, Windsor

TBC

TBC

TBC