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Advocacy Training for Students

Residential Advocacy Weekends

The Inn offers four highly-subsidised residential weekend courses each year, three at Cumberland Lodge and one in York.

A guide for potential applicants:

The structure of the course 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 weekends, 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 weekends are focussed on developing advocacy skills, a high level of preparation and participation is expected from each student. To obtain the full benefit of the weekend, students will be expected to do the following:

  • Spend time on preparation prior to the weekend, based on the bundle that will be provided a week in advance;
  • Attend all sessions punctually;
  • Deliver advocacy performances in mitigation, examination-in-chief, cross-examination and closing speeches, 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 weekends are actually good fun and friendly.

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:

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

We will do our very best to accommodate as many of you as possible!

2019/20 weekends

Each weekend is accredited with three Qualifying Sessions. Places on the weekends will be allocated by ballot.

  • 6 - 8 December 2019, Cumberland Lodge
  • 17 -19 January 2020, York
  • 6 - 8 March 2020, Cumberland Lodge
  • 15 - 17 May 2020, Cumberland Lodge

The deadline to apply for the Advocacy Weekends is 16:00 on Friday 25 October 2019.

Click here to apply for the advocacy weekends

"Be Heard" Workshops

Are you using your voice effectively? Ensure you are heard, understood and able to command a room. Take a closer look at how you habitually use your voice and whether it serves you. We will look at different areas of voice and how that impacts your overall advocacy performance. We will explore posture, breathing, diction, resonance, pace, pitch, vocal power, cadence, timing, body language, eye contact, nerves, being comfortable in front of others, gauging acoustics, increasing volume without shouting, addressing a large or small space, how to develop presence without being dramatic.

Become conscious of how you come across to others and learn to adjust where necessary. Engage the listener and not make them switch off. Identify your individual voice character and quality and capitalise on it. We will also cover how to look after your voice, develop good habits and an awareness of how the voice can influence. Learn how to practise so that eventually your performance craft becomes second nature, allowing you to focus on the case and the business of advocacy. Bring a two minute speech of any description or be prepared to tell a story.

The Inn is offering a workshop programme, run by an experienced voice trainer. There are two programmes, all consisting of three 2½ hour sessions. We only have limited places available which will be allocated by ballot. Please apply only if you know you will be able to attend ALL 3 ELEMENTS OF THE PROGRAMME (GROUP A or GROUP B). If you cannot attend all 3, you will not be permitted to attend any.

GROUP A: Thursday 17 October, Tuesday 22 October, Tuesday 29 October  

GROUP B: Thursday 31 October, Monday 4 November, Monday 11 November

There is also an additional optional session for all participants on Tuesday 12 November.  All sessions take place 18:00 - 20:30 in the Ashley Building.

The application form is available to download from the right hand side of this page. The deadline to apply is 16:00 on Tuesday 8 October 2019.

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.

Click here to apply to be a witness/guinea pig