Access to the Bar Awards

Please Note - application deadline in 8th Week - Tuesday 28th November



  • The purpose of these awards is to encourage able students from disadvantaged and/or underrepresented backgrounds with the potential to be successful barristers to make a more informed choice about a career at the Bar.

    The award winners will gain experience of what a career at the Bar involves. They will get to know practitioners and judges and have the opportunity to ask for informal advice and feedback as to their suitability and how to set about becoming a barrister etc.

  • This initiative is in line with public policy that there should be greater diversity at the Bar.

The Awards

Each award consists of one week’s work experience in a set of barristers’ chambers and one week’s marshalling, i.e. sitting in court alongside a judge, during university vacations in summer 2018.

For each week the student will receive £250.

We currently have up to 23 placements available.  These are as follows;

Michael Sherrard Access to the Bar Awards – eight places are generously funded by members of the Middle Temple.  They are named after the late Michael Sherrard QC, a Bencher of Middle Temple, who not only set up the Inn’s advocacy training scheme but was also a passionate advocate for supporting the brightest and best.

COMBAR Access to the Bar Awards – five places are funded by COMBAR (the Commercial Bar Association) who will also arrange placements specifically for those interested in seeing commercial work.

Jeremy McMullen Access to the Bar Awards – ten places have been set up by the late Jeremy McMullen, a Middle Temple Bencher, to encourage and enable female students from disadvantaged and/or underrepresented backgrounds to make an informed decision about a career at the Bar.  Jeremy was passionate about increasing diversity at the Bar, and the fact that he spent his last weeks setting up these Awards is testament to his big heart and commitment to social mobility. 


The scheme is open to undergraduates who;

  • are in the second, third or fourth year of a qualifying law degree, or taking the Graduate Diploma in Law or an equivalent conversion course.

  • have little or no family history of higher or professional education.

  • completed secondary education in a state school. (In exceptional circumstances, students who attended secondary education in a fee-paying school may be considered.)

  • are not a member of the Honourable Society of Inner Temple, The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn or the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn.

  • Postgraduates with a qualifying law degree may also apply.

    Please Note: Recipients of the Inner Temple Pegasus Access and Support Scheme will not be eligible to receive an Access to the Bar Award.

Criteria for the making of an award

The criteria for the making of an award are as follows:

  • A profile indicating that the student is likely to be awarded a good upper second or first class degree, or has already been awarded one if the student is a graduate undertaking the conversion course


  • A good performance in mooting or debating activity at university or at school or other evidence of potential to be a successful advocate


  • Good references as to their academic and intellectual ability and other relevant qualities such as self-confidence, strong communication skills and motivation and determination for a career at the Bar from two of their university tutors.
  • An interview by the Inn, following short-listing by the Inn, demonstrating those skills and abilities.

The Application Process

Each university that participates in the scheme will carry out the initial shortlisting and will submit selected applications to the Middle Temple.

Interested students should submit an application to Laura Hoyano (Wadham College), who is a Fellow of Middle Temple,  by email Applications and references will need to be received by Tuesday of 8th Week, i.e. 28th November.  Any inquiries about the scheme should  be addressed to Laura Hoyano.

Each application must include the following:

  1. Application form, completed, signed, and dated.

  2. Transcripts of degree examination results to date [a stamped report on College letterhead from your College’s academic office will suffice if you are an undergraduate.]

  3. Two references from university tutors. Please ask your tutors to send their references directly to Laura Hoyano .The references should include a degree result prediction and Law Mods marks; College collection marks are very helpful.

    A maximum of 2 applications* from each institution should be submitted to the Middle Temple by Monday 4th December 2017.

    (* please note that where an institution has multiple study centres, one application will be accepted from each region)


    Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by practising members of the Middle Temple during Hilary Term 2018.