Gray's Inn

How to Join

2018 -19 BPTC applicants

Please note that applications are now closed for a 2018 BPTC start. The deadline to join the Inn for the 2018-19 intake was 31 May 2018.

If you wish to submit an extension request, please email Vicky Hanson in the Education Department with a detailed explanation as to why you were unable to meet the deadline.

When to apply

To join the Inn you must submit your application (your ‘admission papers’) to the Education Department by 31 May before you commence the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). You can only apply to join one Inn.

If you are a transferring lawyer, please see the transferring lawyers page for details on how to join the Inn.

You can apply:

  • from the second year of your qualifying law degree, if you can provide proof you are on course to achieve at least a lower second class
  • once you have a confirmed place on the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) conversion course, if you undertook a non-law qualifying degree and achieved at least a lower second class

The deadline is 31 May before you commence the BPTC.

2019 Applicants please note: The Inn will be closed from 2.30pm on Friday 24 May until Monday 3 June 2019. Applications submitted during the Inn closure will be processed when the Inn re-opens. Provided that your application is received by Monday 3 June we will consider your application to have met the 31 May deadline. 

Processing your application

Please be aware it can take the Education Department up to 6 weeks to process your application upon receipt of correct admission papers. As the deadline approaches the department receives a very large number of applications. You should only contact the Education Department if you have not received confirmation of receipt within one week of submitting your papers.

You are strongly advised to submit your papers as early as possible. Forms received after the 31 May will not be accepted for the next academic year. To request an extension due to mitigating circumstances email Vicky Hanson to the attention of the Director of Education. Requests are reviewed on a case by case basis.

Once you have received your membership number and card, you will be able to book Qualifying Sessions and use the Inn’s member facilities. 

The admission papers

Please read the Inns Data Privacy Notice prior to commencing your application. 

Your admission papers consist of:

  1. a Four Inns of Court and General Council of the Bar Form
  2. an Admission Declaration Form
  3. two completed Certificates of Good Character
  4. certified copies of qualification certificates
  5. the admission fee of £100
  6. two passport size photos
  7. an Equal Opportunities Form
  8. an Additional Information Form
  9. a photocopy of photographic ID              
  10. the Checklist

Your admission papers should be filled out and printed double sided before signing and dating. 

Submit your application to the Education Department by post or in person. Please read all of the following notes regarding each of the above documents before submitting an application.

1. Four Inns of Court and General Council of the Bar Form

Please ensure your details are written clearly and accurately.  You should give your full name, as it appears on your passport.  The Inn should be informed of any future changes in your name or contact details.

Completion of this form does not constitute an application for a place on the BPTC, or to sit any examinations held by or on behalf of the Bar Council.

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2. Admission Declaration Form                                 

Please ensure you thoroughly read and accurately complete this form. Once completed, make two photocopies of this form - one for each of your referees (see notes on Certificates of Good Character).

Should you make any disclosures in question 3, please email Vicky Hanson without delay as you may be required to submit additional documents. The Inn is required to refer certain disclosures to the Inns Conduct Committee (ICC). View a flowchart of the ICC process for admission or readmission to the Inn. 

Before signing the Admission Declaration Form, you must be aware of a further declaration that you will be required to complete before being called to the Bar. Should any disclosures be made during the course of your student membership of the Inn, the Inn may be required to refer to the ICC. View a flowchart of the ICC process for student members of an Inn.

View the Inns Conduct Committee (ICC) Rules (PDF)

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3. Certificates of Good Character                           

You must provide two references for admission known as Certificates of Good Character.  Certificates must be less than three months old when we receive your application.  A Certificate of Good Character must contain wording specified by the Bar Standards Board. This wording is contained within the blank Certificate.

Each of your referees must be a professional person or person of standing in the community who:

  • has known you for at least twelve months
  • does not have a close family or personal relationship with you
  • has read your Admission Declaration form

The Inn considers ‘a professional person or person of standing in the community’ to be one of the following (referees must be currently working in one of these roles):

  • Judge
  • Magistrate
  • Barrister
  • Solicitor
  • Member of Parliament
  • Accountant
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Professor
  • University lecturer
  • Officer of the British armed forces
  • Senior police officer
  • Doctor (medical)
  • Dentist
  • Senior nurse
  • Pharmacist
  • Minister of a recognised religion

For each of your two referees you should:

  • fill in your name and address on a blank Certificate of Good Standing and send this directly to your referee
  • provide a copy of your completed Admission Declaration Form (as it stands ready to be sent to the Inn)
  • ask them to complete the Certificate following the notes to referees provided with the form and send it back to you or directly to the Education Department

Certificates of Good Character must be original signed copies and the Inn may contact referees to verify their authenticity.

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4. Qualification certificates                        

To be eligible for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), you must complete either a qualifying law degree or a qualifying degree in a subject other than law and successfully complete a conversion course. The minimum standard for acceptance on to the BPTC is a lower second class honours degree. The Inn will therefore only admit students who can show they have achieved, or are on course to achieve, this result. Students will not normally be admitted before they commence the second year of a degree course. If you have not yet completed your degree, you must also provide evidence of your English language proficiency. 

For all of your qualification certificates:

  • you must have them certified as a ‘true likeness of the original’ with an official stamp by your university or any person defined as suitable to provide a Certificate of Good Character in note 3
  • it is recommended you send in certified copies and not original documents

Please provide the appropriate documents with your admission papers as outlined below.

Graduates of a UK Qualifying Law Degree

  • A certified copy of your degree certificate

Graduates of a UK Qualifying Degree (non-law)

  • A certified copy of your degree certificate
  • Evidence that you have completed, or been accepted onto, a conversion course

Undergraduates studying for a UK Qualifying Law Degree

  • Certified copies of degree transcripts showing your grades to date
  • A photocopy of either your:
    • O’Level English certificate (A-E)
    • GCSE English certificate (A-C)
    • IELTS certificate (overall minimum 7.5)

N.B. We will require a certified copy of your degree certificate in order for you to be Called to the Bar. If you have not yet completed your degree upon applying to join the Inn, please ensure that you forward a certified copy of your degree certificate when your result is conferred. 

Undergraduates studying for a UK Qualifying Degree (non-law)

  • Certified copies of degree transcripts showing your grades to date
  • Evidence that you have been accepted onto a conversion course
  • A photocopy of either your:
    • O’Level English certificate (A-E)
    • GCSE English certificate (A-C)
    • IELTS certificate (overall minimum 7.5)

N.B. We will require a certified copy of your degree certificate in order for you to be Called to the Bar. If you have not yet completed your degree upon applying to join the Inn, please ensure that you forward a certified copy of your degree certificate when your result is conferred. 

Graduates of universities outside of the UK

If you hold overseas qualifications, you must contact the Bar Standards Board (BSB) to discuss your eligibility for a Certificate of Academic Standing.  Your application for admission can only be processed once your Certificate of Academic Standing has been issued.  You will need to provide the following with your application:

  • A certified copy of the Certificate of Academic Standing awarded by the BSB
  • Certified copies of all relevant qualification certificates
  • If required to complete a conversion course, evidence that you have completed, or been accepted onto, the course

Mature students

If you wish to be admitted as a mature student, you must first contact the Bar Standards Board (BSB) to discuss eligibility to commence the BPTC. You may need to provide further documentation with your application such as:

  • A certified copy of a Certificate of Academic Standing or Reactivation of stale qualifications awarded by the BSB
  • If required to complete a conversion course, evidence that you have completed, or been accepted onto, the course

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5. Admission fee

The fee for admission is a one of payment of £100. Please enclose a cheque, postal order or bankers draft for £100 made payable to ‘Gray’s Inn’. Cash or card payments cannot be accepted; please do not send cash through the post with your admission papers.

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6. Passport size photos

Please provide two passport photographs with your name clearly written in block capitals on the back of each.  This photograph will appear on your Inn membership card. 

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7. Equal Opportunities Form

To monitor the progress of all groups in society, we request that you submit this form. If you do not wish to disclose the requested information, please tick the ‘Unwilling to supply information' box. 

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8. Additional Information Form

For our records, please provide the information requested on this form and return it with your admission papers. 

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9. Photographic ID

Please include a photocopy, not the originals, of your passport or driving licence. 

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10. Checklist

Before sending in your admission papers, please use the checklist to ensure that you have included all the necessary items and that you have completed all forms accurately.  Failure to do so will delay your admission to the Inn.

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