If you are hoping to become a barrister, your to-do list is going to be pretty long. To get ahead of the game have a read of our ready-made barrister checklist.

First Year Law and Second Year
Non-Law Students

  • Find out as much as you can about barristers and opportunities in the legal profession. You can do this by reading publications such as TARGETjobs, Chambers and Partners, the Training Contract and Pupillage Handbook and also barrister articles on The Student Lawyer.
  • Talk to former legal practitioners in your Law School and your university’s careers advice service.
  • Participate in activities such as mooting, debating etc.
  • Over the summer apply for your first mini-pupillages (closing dates vary greatly).
  • Draft a legal CV especially written for mini-pupillage applications.

Second Year Law and
Final Year Non-Law Students

Autumn Term

  • Attend legal careers events (Nottingham Law Fair, which is open to the public, is in October).
  • Investigate funding possibilities for you applications next year e.g. Inns’ scholarships, and check closing dates for applications to courses and funding.
  • Apply for your next round of mini-pupillages. Early November is many chambers’ deadline for Christmas and spring placements.
  • Take part in further mooting and any pro bono schemes at your Law School.

Christmas Vacation and
Spring Term

  • Apply for mini-pupillages in the summer and any other experience you are interested in.
  • If applying for conversion course, do so before the February closing date.
  • Attend Law fairs and the National/Regional Pupillage Fairs (usually in March).

Summer Term

  • Enquire about pupillage applications.
  • Obtain application details for Bar Professional Training Course.
  • Consider joining an Inn (if a law undergraduate) for information, advice and networking opportunities.
  • Visit courts such as the Supreme Court and the Royal Courts of Justice.

Summer Holidays

  • Undertake any work experience offered, e.g. mini-pupillage and vacation placements in solicitors’ firms.

Final Year Law and
GDL Students

Autumn Term

  • Apply for BPTC (check closing date) and BCAT.
  • Research funding possibilities, Inns’ BPTC scholarship deadlines 1st week of November.
  • Make further enquiries about pupillage – ideally you should already have completed one or more mini-pupillages. Barristers tend to recommend 3-5 placements by the time you apply for pupillage.

Spring Term

  • Apply for pupillage through the Pupillage Portal.
  • First round applications should be made in March/April.
  • Attend the National/Regional Pupillage Fairs.
  • Non-law students should apply for Inns’ GDL scholarship by 31st April.

Summer Term

  • Latest possible time to join an Inn (compulsory requirement for starting your BPTC).
  • Obtain academic stage qualification.
  • Check progress of the Pupillage Portal applications; attend pupillage interviews (May/June/July).


Autumn Term

  • If you have not obtained pupillage, continue to get as much work experience in your chosen area of practice. Look into pro bono opportunities at your BPTC provider or local area.
  • Prepare yourself and be organised – the BPTC is different to a law degree or the GDL.