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Call to the Bar

Middle Temple arranges Call ceremonies four times every year. 

The published Call dates are usually the third Thursday in March (prior to 2022 this was the second Thursday), the fourth Thursday in July, the second Thursday in October and the fourth Thursday in November, however ceremonies may be held on other dates.

View a timeline of the whole Call application process

View a summary of all possible costs associated with Call

Please bear in mind that since 1 July 2021 the Bar Standards Board require a ‘Standard’ DBS check and the international equivalents for all candidates. Further details are below.

View a timeline of the criminal record checks process

Timing of Call - top tips!

Be alert in planning and prompt in taking action as timing is everything…

The Call application will close approximately 3-4 months before each Call date to enable a) the Inn time to carry out the relevant checks and b) you to obtain the required criminal record checks (which will be initiated by the Inn after the Call application has closed).

You can make an application for a Call date if you know that your final exam results and all other requirements which apply to you will be met at least 3 weeks before the Call date you apply for. 

Not only do all the requirements have to be fulfilled for Call but some factors involved have an expiry date, for example the criminal record checks. Therefore, be alert and realistic as to what your particular priorities are, including a time when your family can attend your Call ceremony or when you need to start employment, etc.

If you decide to prioritise passing the exams first before applying for a Call then your earliest possible Call date will be several months after your results are confirmed.  E.g. if you final result is confirmed in early July, you have missed the application window for the Trinity (July and October) Calls, and the next available Call is Michaelmas (November).

Late applications for a particular Call are problematic due to the time constraints outlined here and will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Postponing a Call application

Applications for Call can be postponed up to a point, but all pending applications will expire after each Hilary (March) Call. If you apply or defer to the Hilary Call but cannot make it then your application will be cancelled and you have to reapply and make new declarations.

Your application is not automatically postponed. You must request to postpone your Call application in writing by emailing

Criminal record checks

Criminal record checks obtained for Call are valid for 12 months from the date of issue (please read further details below). If you have, for example, a number of exam deferrals that delay your completion of the Bar Course then your criminal records check may go out of date. But if you put off conducting your criminal records check to see if you pass all the exams you need, then there may not be enough time to complete the checks in time for Call, especially if you need an overseas check as well as the UK check.  A UK check might take 2-8 weeks even if you progress it promptly but an overseas one might take much longer, e.g. 3 months or more.  We cannot say how long it will take in each case.

Waivers from criminal records checks, where applicable, expire after each Hilary (March) Call and after that you will need to re-confirm your eligibility by submitting a new waiver application.

Bar Course results

The Bar Course exam results must be confirmed at least 3 weeks before your chosen Call date.  Each Bar Course provider will confirm final results directly to the Inn. Whilst you may receive results informally from your university earlier than this we can only accept formal confirmation from the university once it has been approved by their examination board. For example, exams taken in August do not provide us with results in time for October Call.  December exams provide results in time for March Call and April exams provide results in time for July Call. If it is not clear to you whether your results will be available to us in time you can check with your Bar Course provider.

Qualifying Sessions

The compulsory QS that are required for Call must be attended during a period of no more than five years before the date on which the person is Called to the Bar. QS attended more than 5 years ago will have expired. You will need to plan ahead to book any particular themes you need in QS sessions and allow time in case you are unexpectedly unable to attend (due to illness, etc).

Starting pupillage in England and Wales?

You have to pass the Bar Course first before you can start pupillage in England & Wales. As a pupil, you will normally have been Called to the Bar before commencing the non-practising period of pupillage. However, you can undertake your 'first six' before you are Called. If you have not been Called, you may use the term “pupil” but will not be permitted to use the title “Pupil Barrister” until you have been Called to the Bar. You must be Called to the Bar before you can undertake the 'second six' (practising period of pupillage). Note, your Chambers may have a preference for you to be Called before you start the first six of pupillage (even though it is not a requirement) so you may need to factor that in. This may be a preference because the Chambers plan initial training for you as a new practitioner as soon as you start.

Upcoming Call dates


The Call ceremonies currently scheduled for 2023 are:

  • Hilary Call: 22 & 23 March 2023
  • Trinity Call: 26 & 27 July 2023
  • Deferred Trinity Call: 12 October 2023
  • Michaelmas Call: 22 & 23 November 2023



The Call ceremonies currently scheduled for 2024 are:

  • Hilary Call: 21 March 2024
  • Trinity Call: 24 & 25 July 2024
  • Deferred Trinity Call: 10 October 2024
  • Michaelmas Call: 27 & 28 November 2024

Requirements to be eligible for Call

All requirements for Call must be met by the Inn's Eligibility Deadline of 3 weeks before the Call date (with the exception of QS which may still be completed after this deadline provided they are booked beforehand).

Bar Course Students

Students can be Called to the Bar once they have:

  • successfully completed the Bar Course. If you study a Bar Course with an LLM component you can be Called once all Bar Course modules have been passed, even if the LLM component is still to be completed
  • 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 before the date on which that person is Called to the Bar
  • obtained the required criminal record checks and these have been received by the Inn (full details below)
  • (where applicable) been approved as fit and proper by the Inns' Conduct Committee where the Inn, after becoming aware of a conduct matter, considers that the matter does call into question whether the individual is a fit and proper person to become a practising barrister

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

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 (BTT) if required
  • joined the Inn
  • 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 before the date on which that person is Called to the Bar
  • obtained the required criminal record checks and these have been received by the Inn (full details below)
  • (where applicable) been approved as fit and proper by the Inns' Conduct Committee where the Inn, after becoming aware of a conduct matter, considers that the matter does call into question whether the individual is a fit and proper person to become a practising barrister

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

Criminal records checks


As of 2021, the Bar Standards Board requires that all those applying for Call to the Bar undergo a Standard UK Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check. Additionally, those who have resided in a country/countries outside of the UK for 12 months or more, at any point during the 5 years preceding their application for Call, will need to undergo the equivalent international criminal record check/s. 

The DBS check will form part of the Fit and Proper Person checks required prior to Call to the Bar; further information regarding these checks can be found here.  

We cannot accept previously obtained DBS checks or other criminal record checks issued by other organisations.
Collectively, the Inns of Court have engaged an experienced external company, Due Diligence Checking Ltd (DDC), to administer the process of obtaining the necessary checks. We are confident that this will ensure the process is as straightforward as possible for you.

The Inn will submit your name and contact details to DDC, once applications for your chosen Call have closed.  We will notify you by email once this information has been submitted. 

View a timeline of the criminal record checks process

Please complete the process ASAP as you cannot be Called if your checks are not complete by the Eligibility Deadline (3 weeks before the Call ceremony).

The Inn will receive notification from DDC of the outcome of these checks. Callees are only required to submit their DBS certificate to the Inn if it contains content. 


A guideline of costs can be found in our summary of costs (Budget for Call), but these are a guideline and will change over time. In addition to which there may be extra costs, for example the cost for translation if the criminal record report is produced in a language other than English. DDC will confirm the particular costs in each individual case and fees are payable directly to them.

View a summary of all possible costs associated with Call

Please note that the costs associated with obtaining the criminal records checks are separate, and in addition, to the Inn's Call fee (£125).

Lifespan of Checks 

You must have undergone the required criminal record check/s before you can be called to the Bar. Each check has a lifespan of 12 months from the date of issuance and will be considered valid for any Call ceremonies scheduled to occur within that period. 


Privacy Notice  

To facilitate these checks, and to ensure they are carried out in good time for applicants to be called to the Bar, it is necessary for the Inn to transfer some of your data to Due Diligence Checking Ltd (DDC). The Inn’s privacy policy can be accessed here


Additionally, it may be necessary for DDC to undertake a search with an external organisation for the purposes of verifying your identity. To do so, the organisation (Experian Limited) may check the name, address and date of birth you supply against any particulars on any database (public or otherwise) to which they have access. A record of the search will be retained but will not be visible to other parties or affect your credit rating. You will be required to provide written consent for this search to be undertaken ahead of the process of obtaining criminal record checks commencing. 

* this is consent required for DDC's business purposes and is not consent for the processing of data under GDPR

Waiver for criminal record checks

In response to the Covid pandemic the BSB introduced a very limited waiver in relation to obtaining criminal records checks for Call. This is currently still being continued at the discretion of the BSB. This applies to those overseas for whom it would be unlawful to send their original ID documentation or to do so would represent a threat to their personal safety or freedom. The full policy and application form can be downloaded from this page. You must apply to the Inn to request the granting of the waiver. Email your completed form to

Further Questions

DDC have been tasked with delivering applicant identification (ID) checks, obtaining DBS standard checks and, if necessary, obtaining the equivalent overseas checks. After reading the above, and once the Inn has referred you to DDC, if you have queries regarding the process, please contact DDC here and not the Inn. 

Applying to be Called

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

Applications are CLOSED 

Applications for Trinity Call 2023 (26 & 27 July 2023) closed on Monday 13 March
Applications for deferred Trinity Call 2023 (12 October 2023) closed on Tuesday 11 April
Applications for Michaelmas Call 2023 (22 & 23 November 2023) closed on Monday 17 July

Applications for Hilary Call 2024 (21 March 2024) closed on Monday 6 November

View a timeline of the whole Call application process

View a summary of all possible costs associated with Call

Please be aware that:

  • You will be 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).  Alternatively we can accept an email directly from your university confirming your degree results and date of conferment - please ask them to email
  • You are required to complete all the requirements for Call by the Eligibility Deadline (3 weeks before your Call date).
  • The Inn will receive your Bar Course result directly from your provider, so there is no need for you to provide any proof of this.
  • You will not be asked to pay the Call fee until approximately 2 weeks before your Call ceremony.
  • If you are Called remotely, you cannot take part in another Call ceremony on a later date. 

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.

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.

Information on Call Day & publication of Call lists

Call ceremony format

Call in person

As of 2022, Call ceremonies will be back to the usual format in Middle Temple Hall, with guests in attendance.  We can usually only permit 2 guests per Callee (due to space and fire regulations).

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

Call online

For any Callees who are unable to attend in person, or would prefer not to do so, you can opt to attend one of the ceremonies online instead. You will join a Zoom meeting and will be able to see others being Called online along with the Benchers conducting the ceremony.  We will try our best to show those attending online on the YouTube livestream during the ceremony, but cannot guarantee this.

Livestream of Call ceremonies

We will livestream ceremonies via YouTube to enable unlimited friends and family to watch the ceremony from wherever in the world they may be.  

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 attending a Call ceremony in person:

You must attend the Call ceremony in full court dress including wig*, gown and bands.
* You do not have to wear a wig if it interferes with your national / cultural headwear

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). Alternatively a black dress with collarette and suit jacket can be worn. Any dress or skirt length should be below the knee.
  • a white wing collar/tunic shirt or collarette – google for pictures if you’re unsure what 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 

Hire of wig, gown and bands

Unless you own a wig, gown and bands you will need to hire them for the Call day from Ede & Ravenscroft (approx. £36). 

It is your responsibility to book these in advance and collect and return them. Whilst booking may be open on the Ede and Ravenscroft hire website earlier, you can wait until any pending results have been confirmed before booking your items. Booking will usually close around a week before the Call.

Collection and return of these items will either be from the Ede and Ravenscroft shop on Chancery Lane or from on-site at the Inn , depending on the arrangements for your specific Call.  You will be notified of these details by the Inn approximately 2 weeks before the Call.

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 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/tunic shirts and collarettes

Along with the hire of court dress, you will need to purchase either a wing-collared shirt (or a plain dress shirt, as worn for black tie, would suffice) or a collarette in advance (they cannot be rented or bought on the day at the Inn).

A number of possible suppliers are listed below. 

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


If attending a Call ceremony remotely:

You are welcome to wear full court dress detailed above if it is available to you, but it is not compulsory for those Called online.  You must wear a suit and present yourself smartly.


We can usually only permit 2 guests per Callee (due to space and fire regulations). Guests will attend the ceremony in Hall – seating is unassigned.  

Please contact us on if any of your guests have any access requirements that you did not include on your Call application form.

Each ceremony will also be available to watch online, for those friends and family who cannot attend in person.

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.

How to obtain a duplicate Call certificate

Members who have been Called to the Bar can request a duplicate Call certificate using the online form below. You will need to login to access this form. If you don't have a login, please register first.

The cost of a duplicate certificate is £30. The duplicate certificate can be posted to yourself or a third party. Postage is an additional charge. Payment will be taken online once you submit your request form.

Request a duplicate Call certificate 

If you have any queries, or cannot access the form, please contact