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Call to the Bar

Middle Temple arranges Call ceremonies four times every year. They are traditionally held on the second Thursday in March and October and the fourth Thursday in July and November. In recent years, we have added additional ceremonies in July and November to accommodate student numbers.

COVID-19 Update (15/05/20): As the Bar Standards Board have cancelled the April sittings of the centralised exams, many of you will likely be taking these exams for the first time in August instead. The BSB has now confirmed that these exams will be computer-based examinations. Click here to see the BSB statement, which is being reviewed and updated as necessary. See below for details of how this will effect Call in 2020 and 2021.

Call in 2020

Trinity Call – July 2020

There may be a small number of members who are eligible for Call in July (e.g. students who completed the BPTC last year or transferring lawyers). We are planning for the July 2020 Call to be held in Absentia. Applications are now being accepted until 23 June (see below).

We will not hold a Call in October 2020

Michaelmas Call – November 2020

If you intend to complete the BPTC this year, the earliest you can be Called will be November. Applications for the November ceremonies will open in late June and you will need to apply by 28 August 2020.

The Inns will arrange additional Call ceremonies in 2021 so that students who have to resit any exams in the new December sitting can be Called as soon as possible after the results are known. 

Call in 2021

The Call dates scheduled for 2021 are:
  • 24 & 25 March 2021
  • 28 & 29 July 2021
  • 14 October 2021
  • 24 & 25 November 2021

As you can appreciate, given the circumstances, we do not yet know the form that any these ceremonies will take and the dates are subject to change.

Criminal Records Check

Please bear in mind that for those wishing to be Called on or after 1st July 2021 the Bar Standards Board will also require a ‘Standard’ DBS check and the international equivalents for all candidates.

Requirements for Call

BPTC Students

Students can be Called to the Bar once they have successfully completed the Bar Professional Training Course and been credited with 12 Qualifying Sessions. The 12 QS must be completed during a period of no more than five years ending on the date on which that person is Called to the Bar. 

Applications can be submitted before BPTC results have been confirmed, and before all Qualifying Sessions have been completed, but Call to the Bar may only take place when all pre-conditions are met.

It has previously been possible to attend the reception after your Call ceremony as your 12th QS. However, please bear in mind that this will no longer be the case from Trinity 2021 onwards. The last Call for which the old arrangement is in place will be Hilary Call in March 2021. From Trinity Call 2021, i.e. July 2021, the collegiate event after Call will no longer count as a QS. ** Covid-19 update (15/5/20): it is recommended that you complete all 12 QS before Call as we cannot guarantee that Call ceremonies and receptions will go ahead in person in November **

 

Specially Qualified Applicants

Specially Qualified Applicants (Transferring Solicitors, Qualified Lawyers, Legal Academics, etc.) can be Called to the Bar once they have made a successful application to the Qualifications Committee of the Bar Standards Board for Call to the Bar of England and Wales, completed the Bar Transfer Test if required, and joined the Inn.

Applications can be submitted before BTT results have been confirmed but Call to the Bar may only take place when all pre-conditions are met.

References

Due to a policy change the Inns no longer require reference letters for Call.

Call Ceremonies in 2020

  • Hilary Call - 6pm, Thursday 12 March 2020
  • Trinity Call - Thursday 23 July 2020
  • We will not hold a Call in October 2020.
  • Michaelmas A Call - 1 pm, Wednesday 25 November 2020
  • Michaelmas B Call - 6 pm, Wednesday 25 November 2020
  • Michaelmas C Call - 1 pm, Thursday 26 November 2020
  • Michaelmas D Call - 6 pm, Thursday 26 November 2020

Applying to be Called

You must make an application to be Called - you are not automatically assigned to be Called. 

The following should be submitted before the stated closing date (we will not consider your application to be complete until we have received all of these): 
  • Call Application & Declaration form
  • any additional documents that are required, e.g. degree certificates, if not previously provided
 

Your name as it will appear on your Call certificate

You will be Called using your full name, including middle names. This will be printed on your Call certificate and also published in the Times, Telegraph and Independent newspapers.
If due to cultural convention you would like your name to appear in a different order from first name ~ middle names ~ surname please specify this on the application form.
 

Degree certificates

If you completed any of your degree qualifications after being admitted to the Inn, please upload certified copies of the relevant degree certificates. If you provided a degree certificate at admission you do not need to submit another copy.
 

Call Fee (£125)

Payment of the Call fee will be requested around 2-3 weeks before Call.  This is required whether you are Called in person or in Absentia.
 

Call in Absentia 

[NB written request is not required if the entire Call is held in Absentia]

Permission from the Masters of the Bench may be sought if any student wishes to be Called in Absentia. This must be a formal written request outlining the reason why you cannot be Called in person. Please contact us if you think you may need to be Called in Absentia.
 

Click here to apply for Michaelmas Call

Deadline for applications for the Michaelmas Call is 16:00 on Friday 21 August 2020.

Information about Call Day, Dress Code, Photography & Publication of Call lists

Call Ceremony  Whilst we hope that it will be possible to hold ceremonies in person in November, we cannot guarantee this.  We also cannot, at this time, define the format this may take.  Further details will be decided nearer the time. Call ReceptionSimilarly, we do not know whether it will be possible to hold Call receptions in the usual way.  It is recommended that you complete all 12 QS before Call as we cannot guarantee that Call receptions will go ahead in person in November. Dress code for Callees

[If Call ceremonies are held in person]

You must attend the Call ceremony in court dress including wig, gown and bands. You can hire wig, gown and bands for the day from Ede and Ravenscroft (approx. £36). In addition to the wig, gown and bands, Callees should wear;

  • a plain black (or very dark grey) suit. Your jacket must be buttoned up at the front (a double-breasted or three piece suit is traditionally worn by men).
  • a white wing-collared shirt (a collaret is acceptable for women) – google for pictures if you’re unsure what either of these are!
  • formal, black shoes.  Sandals and open-toe footwear are not appropriate. When choosing your footwear, do bear in mind that you will be standing for the length of the ceremony. 
  • hair tied back if it is below shoulder length 

 Dress Code of Guests [If it is possible to accommodate guests at the ceremonies]The dress code for guests is ‘lounge suits’.  This means that guests should dress reasonably formally (for example a suit with a shirt and tie, or a dress or trousers/skirt with smart top). Guests are not obligated to wear dark colours or a white shirt; colours are fine.  National dress is also welcome. Photography [If Call ceremonies are held in person]

Personal photography/videography is not permitted during the ceremony.  You are welcome to take photos both before and after the ceremony.

There will usually be an official photographer available to take professional photographs. For prices and further information please visit www.successphotography.com.  Publication of Call lists

Please note that the names of all the students who are Called to the Bar (Callees) will be published in the Times, the Telegraph and the Independent newspapers after the date of Call (the actual date of publication varies depending on availability of space in the newspapers).