Which Inn of Court? Pros and Cons

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  • There technically isn't any difference between the Inns. When people say that all criminal barristers go to Lincoln's it isn't true. You should really have a look at them and have a tour to get a feel for the place. I choose Inner Temple as they seemed to offer more for students. They organise marshalling and they organise a mentor for you. I also picked them because as, like Middle they interview every applicant for scholarship unlike Lincoln and Grays who short-list people.

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  • I work in Scholarships for the Inner Temple. I’d certainly encourage you to try to visit each of the four Inns, or at least have a chat over the phone or email with someone from each Inn’s Education Department. We also all have quite a lot of information on our respective websites on the type of scholarship system we run. For example, Inner Temple intends to interview all applicants and, while the allocation of scholarships and awards are based on merit, need is taken into account for the level of funding you receive for most awards.

    Each Inn of Court has their own ways of doing things. Whilst we all offer scholarships, organise qualifying sessions and support student societies, the methods by which we apportion funds, what sessions we arrange, and when you can take part in events, for example, will be slightly different at each Inn. We also all offer different schemes to help our members build important skills, such as mock interviews or marshalling with judges.

    You can only apply to one of the four Inns for a Scholarship, but you’re welcome to apply for a Scholarship prior to having joined. If you are successful, you must join that Inn when accepting the award. If you’re not successful and wish to take a year to reassess your options or strengthen your CV, you are then welcome to apply to a different Inn the following year if you have not yet joined.

    I hope that helps. Again, each Inn has its own ethos and atmosphere – there’s no right or wrong answer, so try to find the one that works best for you!

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  • I'm a member of Lincoln's Inn. They also give you a sponsor (like a mentor at other inns) and there is allegedly a marshalling scheme, though with 1 mini-pupillage behind me I was turned down on account of having "too much legal experience already".

    If you are a typical skint student, you should note that the price for dining at Lincoln's used to be (may still be) substantially higher than the other inns. The quality of the food is apparently better, but over the cost of 12 dinners, you could be looking at a fair amount of money.

    Another factor to consider is if you're not based in London, find out what your inn does for provincial students. Lincoln's Inn has a number of events each year which count as several dining sessions which are only open to non-London based students. I think some of the other inns hold events outside London. Travel costs could mount up if you have to come to London for all your dining sessions.

    You can only apply to one Inn for a BPTC scholarship. The deadlines are around November of the year prior to starting the course. If you get a scholarship, you will be expected to join that Inn. It's hard to figure out where one's chances of a scholarship are best. Lincoln's Inn has the largest pot of money, but also the largest number of student members, so presumably the largest number of scholarship applicants.

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