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Barrister Pathways

We can provide all the information and support you need to become a barrister

Barrister Pathways

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  • One-on-one Barrister tutoring


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Become a Qualified Barrister

What is a Barrister?

Barristers advocate, represent and defend clients at all levels of Court and tribunals. Responsible for presenting cases in court, arguing legal points, and cross-examining witnesses, barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation.

Barristers are qualified to represent clients in the following courts:

    • The Crown Court

    • The High Court

    • The Court of Appeal

    • The Supreme Court

Some barristers will spend a majority of their time in court while others will work primarily in an office or chambers.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Barrister?

It can take up to five years to become a fully qualified barrister if you take the ‘traditional route’ – including three years to complete a qualifying law degree at university, one year to complete a bar course and a one-year pupillage. If you have a degree in a non-law subject and you are pursuing a law conversion course, it will take up to six years to become a barrister.


Qualifications Needed

If you are interested in becoming a barrister, now is the time to start thinking about the qualifications and experience you will need to join the Bar. Competition for training places as a barrister – known as pupillages – is very high. Good GCSEs, A-Levels and a lower second-class honours degree are the minimum qualifications for a barrister.

There are three key components involved in becoming a barrister:

To complete the academic component of becoming a barrister in England and Wales, you will need to be a graduate with at least a 2:2 grade in an undergraduate degree (though the vast majority of successful candidates will achieve a strong 2:1 or above).

If your degree isn’t a qualifying one, or you studied any subject other than law, you’ll need to complete a conversion course (often known as the GDL but now officially referred to more often as the PGDL). A range of law schools offer these conversion courses, and their programs are often slightly different.

Your academic component must cover the seven foundations of legal knowledge and the skills associated with graduate legal work, such as legal research.

The vocational component of becoming a barrister in the UK covers a series of subjects to ensure that you obtain the specialist skills, knowledge of procedure and evidence, attitudes and competence needed to prepare you for the responsibilities associated with being a barrister. You will need to complete postgraduate Bar Training (formerly the BPTC, now usually referred to as the BPC) as part of your vocational training.

Your academic qualification boxes are ticked by this point. In order to practise as a barrister, you now need to undertake a period of work-based practical training while supervised by an experienced barrister. This is known as a pupillage.

You can apply for a pupillage in the final year of a law degree or conversion course. The application process varies depending on how the chambers you apply to accept applications. However, they are all known to be extremely competitive (often expecting students to achieve 1st class degrees, and traditionally, but not exclusively, favouring highly-ranked universities). Mini-pupillages are a good place to start first.


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Why Dukes Plus?

Dukes Plus is a provider of university application support, life-changing career and university experiences, day camps, tuition, and summer schools

By selecting Dukes Plus as your chosen provider, you are guaranteeing that you’ll multiply your chances of application success. We have a huge network of over 2,000 vetted admissions tutors who are experts when it comes to consultancy, mock testing & interviewing, industry-leading resources, and more.

We specialise in applications to Oxbridge and top UK universities, Ivy League and top US universities, and Medicine and Law applications.

Whether you are looking to test-drive your dream career working with industry leading professionals, or wanting to study at Eton or an Oxford college for the summer, we provide innovative and life-changing experiences that will enable you to make better life choices.

We have an extensive database of tutors which can deliver personalised fully-managed tutoring services to students at any level. We provide online tutoring, SEN tutoring, tutoring for those that are gifted and talented, and tuition for those preparing for any exam from 4+, up to the 13+.

We run the UK’s number one multi-campus summer school where students can learn languages and subjects at some of the UKs top educational institutions. We also provide holiday activity camps such as Ultimate Activity, Ultimate Tech, and Ultimate Sports camps.

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