(formerly the Sponsorship Scheme)
An institution such as the Bar, with its traditions and formality, can appear daunting. This scheme aims to connect student members with practitioners to provide them with an initial link to the profession and the Inn.
For members of the Inn currently in practice:
The Hall Committee, in conjunction with the Membership Department, run a Mentoring Scheme for members of the Inn who are at any stage of practice. Please ensure you apply to the relevant scheme.
What does a Link Scheme barrister do?
The role is not intended to be a tutor or welfare officer, still less can they offer pupillages, but they are always ready to be consulted when the student need advice, even if only to suggest who is the right person to apply to for further help.
The role is not intended to be onerous. Barristers can perform a valuable role by:
- introducing students to the history, traditions and activities of the Inn
- providing advice as to what activities students could undertake to improve their CVs
- providing guidance on aspects of practice such as:
- the different areas of specialisation
- the different sets of chambers
- practice in London vs on circuit
- self-employed vs employed Bar
Students must appreciate that whilst a barrister may be prepared, where appropriate, to give advice, it is not part of the role for them to:
- obtain a pupillage for the student
- help students with their work
- draft CVs
- complete application forms
- help with “networking”
The official Link Scheme relationship will last for 12 months from the date of allocation. Of course, with mutual consent, the student is welcome to remain in touch with the barrister after this time.
Applying to the Link Scheme, as a student member
Who is eligible to apply?
Student members of the Inn can apply. Applications will also be accepted from members of the Inn who have been Called and are still in the process of applying for pupillage. Priority will be given to students who are currently studying the Bar Course.
Submitting an application does not guarantee you will be connected with a barrister, as we have a limited pool of volunteers, however we will endeavour to pair you up with someone. While we will do our best to allocate you a barrister who does the sort of work you are interested in, in the location you request, it may not be possible to match you as precisely as you would like.
Each student will only be allocated a sponsor once - repeat applications will not be considered.
Once the connection has been arranged, it is the responsibility of the student to contact the barrister (preferably by email) as soon as possible, and in any event within 21 days.
How to apply
Complete the application form using the link below during one of the application windows specified.
Applications will be open from 21 August 2023 and close 31 October 2023.
Applications will reopen late December 2023 to mid January 2024 to enable any students starting the Bar Course in January who were admitted to the Inn after the first application window, or any students who missed the first window, to apply.
Volunteering on the Link Scheme, as a barrister member
Who is eligible to volunteer?
Apart from Benchers or Silks, who are likely to be distant from the problems currently experienced by new entrants to the Bar, and Judges, who are no longer in practice at the Bar, all members of the Inn who have qualified and are in practice at the self-employed or employed Bar, including recent entrants, are eligible to volunteer with the scheme. Limited experience is by no means a disqualification and in some cases may be advantageous from the student's point of view.
In turn, barristers may gain an insight from students as to the content of relevant degrees and BPTC courses and the current trials and tribulations of qualifying, which may be useful to chambers when assessing applications for pupillage etc.
We will aim to allocate you one student per year, however if you are able and willing to have more than one please let us know. The official Link Scheme relationship will last for 12 months from the date of allocation. Of course, with mutual consent, the student is welcome to remain in touch with the barrister after this time.
If you are interested in joining the scheme please complete the form above. If you have any questions please contact Alma Oparvar on firstname.lastname@example.org.