Name: Oliver Carr

College: Hertford College

Scholarship: Pump Court Tax Chambers Scholarship


I gained my LLB at the University of Manchester. I enjoyed three enriching years studying Law with Politics, undertaking a role at the University Bar society, gaining legal work experience, and participating in a range of mooting opportunities. I went on to focus my efforts towards a career at the Bar of England and Wales, studying for the BPTC, and gaining a place on the BCL at Hertford College.

What are your career ambitions?

I aspire to become a practising barrister at the bar of England and Wales. I hope to be called to the Bar at Middle Temple in 2020, and commence pupillage thereafter.

Is life in Oxford different to what you expected it to be?

Life in Oxford is challenging. There has not been a day where I haven’t been ‘put to the sword’ in both legal and non-legal conversations; be it within a BCL seminar/tutorial, or simply within a conversation with friends about music, politics, history or culture. It can – at times – be very tough (and exhausting!), but it is always extremely rewarding. Pertinently, as a lawyer, I have learnt the valuable lesson that you cannot always win your arguments.

What aspects of your law degree have proved to be the most useful in your career so far?

As I have already alluded to, what has been most useful to me is to have had my views challenged. To understand different people’s perspectives and opinions on legal and non-legal issues, and to have had my own views scrutinised, has helped me to grow both as a lawyer and a person.

What do you hope to achieve whilst studying law in Oxford?

I hope to further develop my intellectual ‘toolkit’, and – most importantly – make great friends.

What have you found most rewarding about your programme so far?

The students. There are 125 people in my year, from 33 different counties, who all bring to the table a brilliant and unique legal perspective. It has been a fantastic opportunity to enrich and broaden my understanding of law and legal structures.

What have you found most challenging about your programme so far?

The most challenging aspect of my course has been the Oxford tutorial. Being in the ‘hot seat’ in front of my tutors has given me a great insight into informal advocacy techniques. I have learnt when and how to defend my viewpoint, when to make concessions and yield to those of others, and how to deal with regular challenges to my arguments.​

This graduate scholarship, available through the generosity of Pump Court Tax Chambers in London, is awarded to students with an interest in practice at the Bar in England. The scholarship, worth £10,000, will be awarded annually to a student embarking on the BCL or MJur, and is available to Home/EU and non-EU students alike.