We always like hearing good news here at Careers. So we were delighted when one student got in touch to say that they’d just been granted a £5,000 Exhibition Award from the Inner Temple. So how did they do it?
On the Day
We arrived in groups of around 10. I was given some questions on what I should be thinking about whilst reading the case. Then we were taken into the library and picked a case to read (either civil, criminal or family – I chose civil). After 30 minutes of reading time we were taking into separate rooms. For my interview I had a panel of four interviewers and it lasted 20 minutes.
1) The first asked me questions on my application form, including my education, extra-curricular activities and why I would like to become a barrister.
2) The second asked questions on the case I had read:
- What were the brief facts?
- What were the issues that judge had to deal with?
- What were the claimant’s and defendant’s arguments?
- What was the decision and did I agree with it?
3) The third asked me to talk about a current legal issue.
4) The fourth asked me about my financial situation, including any other possible scholarships.
In relation to my preparation, I prepared some answers to general questions.
- What motivates me and why I want to be a barrister
- What area of law I am interested in
- Understanding of the Bar
I practiced in front of my mirror, such as my voice, language and body language/movements.
For the case reading, I would advise to pick the area of law before the interview (civil, criminal or family) and read a few cases in that area and time yourself (30 mins). Whilst reading, briefly make a note on the facts, the legal issues, the main arguments, the decision and form an opinion on it.
For the legal issue, it would be good to have one in mind and your opinion on it. Also, for the financial questions, think of your options beforehand and research into any potential scholarships or loans.
On the day, arrive early! There were about five different people who came late and although they do let you in, it takes time away from the case reading.
I would say be confident and don’t be too overwhelmed by the grand building and the fact that there are four interviewers across from a large table. The interviewers were very nice and allowed me to take my time to think of an answer. It is important to maintain eye contact with each interviewer, keep calm and smile.
Everyone is nervous, but the 20 minutes flew by very quickly. Each interviewer took about five minutes to question me and they didn’t ask me any trick questions. It was a great experience and I learnt a lot from it.