Once you have joined the Inn, in addition to passing the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), you must complete 12 Qualifying Sessions (QSs) within a two year period in order to be called to the Bar. If you are a transferring lawyer, you must complete six QSs within three years of being called. Only 6 QSs will be counted per term. Benchers and barristers no longer requiring QSs are welcome and encouraged to join students and dine in Hall on QS nights.
See below for information regarding all types of QSs and see booking Qualifying Sessions for the full QS Calendar and details on how to book.
Court suits and gowns are required for attendance at all QSs unless specified otherwise. See Dress Code and Rules for full details.
All BPTC students studying in London and on Circuit are required to attend an introductory event at the start of their course. Invites will be sent by email; these QSs cannot be booked via the online booking system or via the Registrar.
There are multi moots, senior moots and moot competitions throughout the year. Mooting is an ideal opportunity for you to practise advocacy “on your feet”, to receive feedback and enhance your credentials for seeking pupillage. The moot is followed by a drinks reception which provides the perfect setting for you to engage with barrister members and Benchers of the Inn.
In order to gain a QS, students must attend the reception.
A traditional dining night at the Inn where students, barrister members, judicial members and Benchers of the Inn can meet. The evening begins with a drinks reception where you can meet and later dine in groups of four (a 'mess') with fellow members of the Inn. Dinner is followed by a talk given by a guest of the Treasurer.
Mixed Messes provide a light and friendly atmosphere for you to learn more about the Bar, various areas of practice and different ways of working in different chambers and employed organisations.
Grand Night is offered only once every academic year and is one of the most popular nights amongst all of the Inn's members. Come meet, dine and continue the centuries old tradition of passing the “loving cup” with some very prestigious guests of the Inn!
I thoroughly enjoyed Grand Night both in terms of company, food and above all the uniqueness of the evening!
Debate and Guest Night
A Senior Debate (or a moot or lecture) precedes Guest Night. Senior debates will vary in form, e.g. a balloon debate, a parliamentary debate featuring Gray’s students or a debate between Gray’s and other external teams. A moot will typically involve Gray’s vs a university mooting team. Lectures will have one legal twist or another in the context of a historical period or occurrence. Following the educational element, you can join your guests and attend Guest Night, a popular favourite amongst members of Hall.
Students wishing to gain a QS must attend the Debate and Guest Night. Those who do not wish to receive a QS, or guests of students, will only attend Guest Night in Hall.
Mattins and Sunday Lunch
The optional Mattins service in Chapel is followed by a drinks reception and lunch with barrister members and Benchers of the Inn. On term keeping Sundays, students must attend the drinks reception and lunch in order to gain an S.
An opportunity for current BPTC students in London and on Circuit to spend a weekend engaging with one another, judges, barristers and advocacy trainers. All BPTC students will be invited to the following weekends by email; these QSs cannot be booked via the online booking system or via the Registrar.
The programme includes:
- the 2nd round of the Moot Competition, dinner and music in Hall on the Friday evening
- an advocacy exercise at the Royal Courts of Justice on the Saturday morning
- a series of talks and/or career advice sessions on the Saturday afternoon
- a social event by AGIS on Saturday evening
The Saturday advocacy exercise provides a great opportunity for advocacy experience where you can examine and cross-examine witnesses in a real court, in front of a real judge, and receive feedback on your performance(s) from the Inn’s advocacy trainers. Worth between 2-3 QSs.
Excellent support from senior Inn members!
The programmes include:
- advocacy exercises
- ethics discussion sessions
- a mediation workshop
- a series of talks by prominent members of the Inn
Fantastic weekend. Informative, useful, and taken away many pointers and tips for future use.
The weekends also offer time in a relaxed and informal setting to meet and interact with barrister, judicial and Bencher members of the Inn. Worth 3 QSs.