Pupillage gateway dates shifted from January 2017 onwards so trainee barristers know application outcome before paying fees for Bar Professional Training Course

 
Hayley Kirton
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At The Old Bailey Today
The gateway window will run three months earlier from January next year (Source: Getty)

The Bar Council has today announced that it will be changing the pupillage gateway dates from January 2017 onwards, running the process from January until April.

The pupillage gateway is used by barristers' chambers to advertise available positions and recruit pupils, and currently runs from the end of April through to August.

The move, which many students and chambers called on the Bar Council to make, will mean applicants are more likely to know whether their application has been successful before they pay the fees for their Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).

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Prices for the BPTC vary by provider but most cost over £12,000, and often significantly more if studying in London.

The Bar Council also hopes that the timetable shift will stop interviews clashing with exam dates.

"This is a common-sense decision by the Bar and students," said Chantal-Aimee Doerries QC, chairman of the Bar.

"Given the high costs associated with the BPTC, the new pupillage gateway timetable, which will run from January to April as of 2017, means that at least students applying through the gateway will know if they have pupillage before committing to the BPTC.

"However, this was never going to be about simply changing the date of gateway. The Bar Council has an ongoing and crucial role to play in supporting students and pupillage providers."

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