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Call to the Bar

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

COVID-19 Update (11/12/20):  To enable students who had to take exams in the October 2020 sitting to be Called as soon as possible after the results are known, Middle Temple will hold additional Call ceremonies on 24 February 2021. There will also be cermeonies in March, July, October and November as usual.  February and March 2021 Calls will be conducted online.  See below for details.

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 (which you will have to obtain through the Inn - do not obtain them individually).

Upcoming Call Dates

2021

The Call dates currently scheduled for 2021 are:

  • 24 February 2021
  • 24 March 2021
  • 28 & 29 July 2021
  • 14 October 2021
  • 24 & 25 November 2021

The ceremonies in February and March will be conducted online.  It is not yet known what format the remaining ceremonies will take - this will depend on circumstances nearer the time.

Requirements to be Called

BPTC Students

Students can be Called to the Bar once they have successfully completed the Bar Course and been credited with the requisite number of Qualifying Sessions (click here for further details) These 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 Bar Course 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 (4/11/20): students must complete all 12 QS before Call as the February and March 2021 Call ceremonies will be held online **

 

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.  Any transferring lawyers who receive approval from the BSB on or after 1 September 2020 will be required to complete the requisite number of Qualifying Sessions before Call (click here for further details) .

Applications can be submitted before BTT 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.

References

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

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 (which you will have to obtain through the Inn). Further details will be published in due course.

Applying to be Called

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

Please be aware that:

  • You are required to submit certified copies of any degree certificates (excluding the Bar Course) not previously submitted to the Inn (i.e. any degrees you have completed since joining the Inn).  If the current situation prevents you from doing so, please click 'No' under Qualifications on this form and make a note in the text box. 
  • The Inn will receive your BPTC result directly from your provider, so there is no need for you to provide any proof of this.
  • Unfortunately, the Inn is not likely to open until Easter 2021 at the earliest.  The Call ceremonies in February and March will be conducted online.
  • If you are Called in an online ceremony, you cannot take part in another Call ceremony on a later date. We do intend to arrange some form of celebratory event(s) in the future when large gatherings are possible again.
  • If you decide to wait until July Call, please bear in mind that for those wishing to be Called after 1 July 2021 the Bar Standards Board will also require a ‘Standard’ DBS check and the international equivalents. This will incur additional cost.  The Inns are working to set up a system to obtain these checks – please do not obtain them individually.
     
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
  • certified copies of any degree certificates (excluding the Bar Course) not previously submitted to the Inn
 

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 weeks before Call.  This is an administrative fee and is required whether you are Called in person, in Absentia or online.
 

Call in Absentia 

[NB written request will not be required if the entire Call has to be held online or 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.
 

The application for Hilary Call is now closed.

Deadline for applications for the Hilary 2021 Call is 16:00 on Monday 18 January 2021.

The application for Trinity 2021 Call will open in February 2021 (date TBC).

Information on Call Day & Publication of Call lists

Call Ceremony 

February and March 2021 Call ceremonies will be conducted online.  A decision about subsequent Calls will be made nearer the time.
 

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 will vary depending on availability of space in the newspapers.  Full names are published in order of Call; grades are not included.  

Dress code for Callees

COVID-19 Update (11/12/20):  When ceremonies are conducted online the dress code for Callees is Business Suit (no wigs and gowns).  

If Call ceremonies are held in person:

You must attend the Call ceremony in court dress including wig, gown and bands.

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 collarette 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 

Wig and gown hire

Unless you own a wig and gown you will need to hire them for the Call day from Ede & Ravenscroft (approx. £36).  It is your responsibility to book these and collect and return them.

You will need your Middle Temple membership card when you collect your items. If you don’t have one, email a photo of yourself and a copy of photo ID to education@middletemple.org.uk to request one.  Mention that you are being Called and indicate whether you’d like the card posting to you or you will collect it from the office.

Wing-collared shirts and collarettes

You will need to purchase either a wing-collared shirt or a collarette. A number of suppliers are listed below:

The first legal outfitter dedicated to courtwear for women, Ivy & Normanton was founded by a junior member of the bar

Guests

COVID-19 Update (11/12/20):  When ceremonies are conducted online Callees will be able to share a link with guests to watch the ceremony online.  Depending on numbers, we may need to limit the number of devices per Callee that can join to ensure that everyone can have some guests present.

If ceremonies are held in person and it is possible to accommodate guests under Covid-19 guidelines:

Guests are limited (usually to 2 per Callee) due to the capacity of Middle Temple Hall.  Attendance at the Call ceremony is free of charge.

If the ceremony is followed by a reception, Callees will be provided with details and invited to book tickets approximately 2 weeks beforehand.

Please contact Sally on s.yorke@middletemple.org.uk if any of your guests have any access requirements that you have not included on your application form.

Dress code for guests

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.