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In recent years the four Inns of Court have dished out millions of pounds in awards. They all use the umbrella term ‘award’ to describe scholarships, bursaries and grants. Inner Temple even calls them ‘exhibitions’. Curiously, most wannabe barristers know little about the awards available and although the Inns’ websites provide some information, there’s a complex web of requirements and application procedures, meaning that working out exactly what is available for what can be a challenge.
Eamonn O'Reilly is the scholarships and students manager at Inner Temple: “All the four Inns are different and it’s difficult to get your head around all the different awards. We all have a scholarships fund and we all give money out, mostly on merit, using different kinds of means testing to fine tune that. The scholarships committees think, ‘Does this person have a good chance of succeeding at the Bar?’ That’s the bottom line.”
The Inns’ websites have application forms for you to complete and send to the relevant person. The forms ask for character details, legal experience, income/funds and references. You can only apply for scholarships at one Inn. If the scholarships committee likes your application, it will invite you to an interview.