Back to overview


Inns of Court Scholarships

updated on 21 March 2024

Use the sub menu above to find out more about the types of scholarships

It’s compulsory to join one of the four Inns of Court to become a barrister. This section introduces the scholarships offered by the Inns to help students through the Bar course. To find out more about what joining an Inn involves, see LawCareers.Net’s guide to the Inns of Court.

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 aspiring 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’s available can be a challenge.

“The purpose of each Inns’ scholarship programme is to support the next generation of barristers" – Jonny Boyd, scholarships officer at Middle Temple

Daniel Hawes, outreach and scholarship manager at Gray’s Inn, says: “There’s a generous amount of financial support available from the Inns to assist talented prospective barristers with costs associated with entering the profession.

“Most of the funding is targeted at aspiring Bar course students, but there’s also considerable support for law conversion courses, pupillages, internships and other professional opportunities. Some of the Inns even offer scholarship residencies within their estates.

“The Inns all have slightly different awarding processes, so it’s important that you understand each of these and make an informed decision about which Inn would be best suited to you. Remember – you can only apply to one.

“A scholarship from one of the Inns is a mark of excellence that can fast-track entry into the profession, with over £6.5 million distributed annually. Applying for a scholarship is highly recommended for anyone considering a career as a barrister.”

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 apply for scholarships at only one Inn. If the scholarship committee likes your application, it’ll invite you to an interview. 

Jonny Boyd, scholarships officer at Middle Temple, explains: “The purpose of each Inns’ scholarship programme is to support the next generation of barristers. It’s a notoriously expensive profession and the Inns are there to help mitigate the financial burden an aspiring barrister may face. Awards also increase the career prospects of an applicant, as chambers and the like will look favourably on those who an Inn gave an award.”

“Each Inn has its own distinctive character and scholarship process, but there are similarities that make any decision very difficult for potential applicants. I would encourage applicants to go on tours at the Inn they’re interested in and speak to current members – students, pupils or barristers – to decide which Inn to apply for a scholarship. Importantly, you can only apply to one Inn and once you accept a scholarship award, it’s pretty much your Inn for life!”

“Important distinctions are residencies at some Inns, royal scholarships with specific criteria, pupillage awards, whether an Inn interviews all applicants or has an application sift, but the fundamental principles are the same: supporting and uplifting those who merit an award.”

"Applying for a scholarship is highly recommended for anyone considering a career as a barrister” – Daniel Hawes, outreach and scholarship manager at Gray’s Inn

Find out more

Gray’s Inn scholarship

Inner Temple scholarship

Lincoln’s Inn scholarship

Middle Temple scholarship