Taking part in Qualifying Sessions is an integral part of your journey to become a barrister.

Once you have joined the Inn as a student Member, in addition to passing the Bar Course, you must complete 10 Qualifying Sessions (QSs), during a period of no more than 5 years, in order to be called to the Bar.

If you started the course prior to September 2020, you are required to complete 12 Qualifying Sessions. Please see further details on transitional arrangements below.

If you are a transferring lawyer, you must complete 10 Qualifying Sessions. Please refer to your correspondence with the BSB (Bar Standards Board) to ensure you are aware of your requirements.

Benchers and barristers no longer requiring QSs are welcome and encouraged to join students on QS nights.

Only 6 QSs will be counted per term.

Booking online

Members can book and pay online via the Gray’s Inn Online System (GIOS) for most events including Qualifying Sessions (QSs).

Member login: Gray’s Inn Online System (GIOS)

Transitional Arrangements 

In September 2020, the Inns introduced a new Qualifying Session Framework which affects the requirements for Call to the Bar. The new framework will affect students in different ways depending on their Bar Course start date, Call date and completed Qualifying Sessions. As a result, there are transitional arrangements in place for students who have already commenced the Bar Course and/or have undertaken Qualifying Sessions prior to 1 June 2020.

View an overview of these Transitional Arrangements (PDF). Please refer to the tables under paragraph 39 of the Joint Inns’ Education and Qualification Rules (PDF) for more detailed information.

About QSs

There is no set format for a Qualifying Session, but all Qualifying Sessions have educational content, providing opportunities for professional and ethical development. QSs provide the opportunity to engage with the Inn’s community of practitioners and/or relevant experts, as some of the biggest names in the Bar return to Gray’s to give their time and experience develop the current and future generation.

Qualifying Sessions are classified under five QS themes and Students can expect specific learning outcomes.

Key QS Events

Please see our events pages or login to your GIOS account (Gray’s Inn Online System) for details of specific sessions.

Introductory events

All Bar Course 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 practice moots, senior moots and moot competitions throughout the year.  Mooting is an ideal opportunity for you to practise advocacy ‘on your feet’ and to receive feedback to help you improve.  Mooting also gives you the chance to demonstrate your motivation to become a barrister. Scholarship and pupillage interview panels will expect to see mooting listed on your applications.

Your trainers (barristers) and judges will join you for a reception which follows most moots.  This is your chance to engage with them and other members to seek advice about your career aspirations.


We host regular day and evening sessions to help you brush up on the practical knowledge and skills you need for practice. If you opt to attend the day sessions, you will join your trainers for lunch in Hall afterwards. If you choose the later sessions, you can rub shoulders with senior barristers and trainers and build valuable connections at the evening receptions.

Mixed Messes

This evening begins with a drinks reception where you can meet and later dine in groups of four (a mess) with barrister and judicial members of the Inn.

Mixed Messes provide real opportunities and time for you to learn more about the Bar, various areas of practice and different ways of working as a self-employed or employed barrister. These evenings are popular with students, perhaps because the atmosphere is light and friendly and there is plenty of time to engage one to one or in small groups with members of Hall.

Dinner is is preceded by a drinks reception and talk given by a guest of the Treasurer.

Advocacy weekends

This is an opportunity for students on courses in London and on Circuit to spend a weekend engaging with one another, judges, barristers and advocacy trainers.

All Bar Course students will be invited to these weekends by email; these QSs cannot be booked via the online booking system or via the Registrar.

Education Weekend

Excellent support from senior Inn members!

The programme includes:

  • An advocacy exercise at the Royal Courts of Justice
  • A series of talks and/or career advice sessions
  • The 2nd round of the Moot Competition
  • A social event by AGIS (The Association of Gray’s Inn Students)

The 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 2-3 QSs.

Residential weekends

Fantastic weekend. Informative, useful, and taken away many pointers and tips for future use.

The programmes includes:

  • tuition in case analysis
  • advocacy
  • ethics
  • closing speeches and talks from eminent members of the Inn
  • trial demonstration

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 5 QSs.

Accredited Arbitration Course

The Gray’s Inn Arbitration Course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Arbitra­tors (CIArb). Graduates of the course can go on and achieve Associate Mem­bership of CIArb, the leading qualifications and professional body for dispute avoidance and dispute management.

The course runs in August and is open to GDL and Bar Course students and those looking for pupillage. Enrolment will open soon for 2022 and there is an online open evening on 28 June. 

Find out more

Call to the Bar

Your call day at the Inn once you have passed the Bar Course

Transferring Lawyers

Transferring to the Bar, joining the Inn and post Call requirements

Lunch and Dining in Hall

Take a look at the weekly lunch menu