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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 21 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. 

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).

Upcoming Call Dates

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

 

2021

The Call dates currently 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.

Requirements to be Called

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.

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).

Applying to be Called

COVID-19 Update (27/07/20).  As a result of the current situation please be aware that:
  1. You are required to submit certified copies of any degree certificates (excluding the Bar Course) not previously submitted to the Inn.  If the current situation prevents you from doing so, please indicate this under Qualifications on the application form. 
  2. The Inn will receive your BPTC result directly from your provider, so there is no need for you to provide any proof of this.
  3. We do not yet know the form that the November Call ceremonies will take as we do not know whether large gatherings will be possible by then.  We will keep you updated on any developments.  
  4. If we are not able to hold ceremonies at the Inn we will either hold the Call in Absentia or hold online ceremonies (TBC).  Please note the following:
  • If there is a reason you need to be Called before 25 March 2021 then you must apply for a November 2020 Call.
  • Call in Absentia is the Call ceremony. In other words, if you are Called in Absentia, you cannot take part in another Call ceremony on a later date.
  • Likewise, if you are Called 'in person' (via video conferencing) at an online ceremony, you cannot take part in another Call ceremony on a later date.
  • Providing you give us sufficient notice (at least 2 weeks before Call) we can cancel your application to be Called in November and you can reapply in 2021.
  • However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to hold ceremonies at the Inn in 2021 either.
  • 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 for all candidates.

 

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
  • 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 2-3 weeks before Call.  This is required whether you are Called in person or in Absentia.
 

Call in Absentia 

[NB written request may not be required if the entire Call has to be 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.
 

Applications for Call are currently closed

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

Information on Call Day, 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 that ceremonies may take.  Further details will be decided nearer the time.
 

Call Reception

Similarly, 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.
 

Photography 

[If Call ceremonies are held in person]

No private photography of any description is permitted during the ceremony itself. Video cameras are not permitted under any circumstances. Please convey this information to your guests to avoid any embarrassment. Private photography is, however, allowed after the ceremony after the Benchers have processed out of Hall and the ceremony has concluded.

There will usually be an official photographer available for professional photographs.  For prices and further information please visit www.successphotography.com.  Professional photographs taken of each student as they are Called will also be available to purchase from this website.
 

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

[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

[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.