Skip to main content

Advocacy Training for Students

Advocacy training courses (residential weekends)

Covid-19 Update (28/09/21): In July 2021 we were able to run two weekends – the first since Covid began - and these were very well-received by those who attended. We hope to be able to run the usual weekends in 2021/22. We also understand that not all students will be able or will feel comfortable attending in person.  For these reasons, we will be organising some online advocacy training sessions after Christmas.


These courses provide intensive advocacy training.  They are also very over-subscribed. For that reason (and without wishing to discourage anyone) we emphasise that applications should only be made by those who are committed to:

  • Definitely attending, if offered a place;
  • Thorough preparation of the material;
  • Full and active participation in the programme.

Only current Bar Course students (or those who’ve completed the course and are yet to be Called or, in some cases, transferring lawyers) are eligible to attend. Priority will be given to current Bar Course students. Students who have not yet started the Bar Course are not eligible to apply.

Please read the guide below before applying for a place.

2021/22 Advocacy weekend dates:

  • 19-21 November 2021, at Cumberland Lodge
  • 3-5 December 2021, at Cumberland Lodge
  • 21-23 January 2022 , in York  [only available to OOL students]
  • 4-6 March 2022, at Cumberland Lodge
  • 13-15 May 2022, at Cumberland Lodge

A guide for potential applicants

The structure of the courses is the same on each occasion. The emphasis is on providing advocacy training. The tuition is provided principally by busy practitioners, judges, and academics, all volunteers giving up their time freely, and  also by senior members of the Inn who are no longer practising  but who have had years of experience at the Bar.

As the training is focussed on developing advocacy skills, a high level of preparation and participation is expected from each student. To obtain the full benefit of the training, students will be expected to do the following:

  • Spend time on preparation prior to the course, based on the bundle that will be provided a week in advance;
  • Attend all sessions punctually;
  • Deliver advocacy performances in, examination-in-chief, cross-examination and mitigation, to be reviewed on these by tutors.
  • Participate in larger group sessions on case analysis and other advocacy related topics. This will involve public speaking in the larger group.
  • Interact appropriately with colleagues from other providers and also with practising members of the Bar, judges and other legal professionals.


Whilst this all sounds very formal, the courses are actually good fun and friendly.

Due to the high demand for places places on the courses will be allocated by ballot. We will do our very best to accommodate as many of you as possible!

A weekend course is accredited with four Qualifying Sessions.  The cost to students for a residential weeeknd is £90, which includes accommodation, food and wine with dinner (plus, for Cumberland Lodge weekends, a coach from London to Cumberland Lodge and back).


Apply for a place on a course

The application for the weekends in January, March and May 2022 has been reopened. There is no need to apply again if you already submitted a form in October 2021. Applications will close at 16:00 on Thursday 9 December 2021.

Volunteers for Training Courses

Training the Trainers

The Inn’s advocacy courses, at all levels, are taught by current and former practitioners. Before they start training advocacy, they are required to undergo training themselves. On the Training the Trainers courses, BPTC students act as “guinea pigs”, i.e. they are taught by the new trainers, under the supervision of the Inn’s most experienced advocacy trainers.  A Training the Trainers day is accredited with one Qualifying Session.

New Practitioners’ Programme (NPP)

New Practitioners are required to attend nine hours of advocacy training by the end of the first three years of independent practice. The Inn's New Practitioners’ Programme offers advocacy courses, each with a choice of programme for those at the Self-Employed Bar (civil, criminal or family law) or the Employed Bar.

For all these programmes, BPTC students act as dedicated witnesses. Acting as a witness involves being given a role and then you are cross-examined by practitioners as part of their advocacy exercises. Witnesses do also benefit from listening to the advice given to the new practitioners by some of the Inn’s most senior trainers and judges.  A day on the NPP advocacy course is accredited with one Qualifying Session.