Joining the Inn is one of the key early steps to becoming a barrister.

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Six steps to becoming a barrister

Don’t forget to check out our scholarships. Our GDL and Bar Course scholarships must be applied for in advance of your course and can be applied for before you join the Inn. You can only apply to one Inn and you must apply 12 weeks in advance of the start of your Bar Course.

The most common steps to qualify to practise are:

  1. Academic stage: an undergraduate degree in law (LLB), or an undergraduate degree in any other subject followed by the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) conversion course
  2. Join an Inn: you must submit your application for Inn membership at least 12 weeks prior to commencing the Bar Course (the vocational stage)
  3. Vocational stage: a one year (full time), two year (part time), a two part course including knowledge and skills training delivered by an authorised approved provider
  4. Call to the Bar: eligible on successful completion of the vocational stage, completing 10 Qualifying Sessions. The four Inns of Court have the exclusive right and responsibility to call individuals to the Bar
  5. Pupillage: normally one year, split into a non-practising ‘1st Six’ and practising ‘2nd Six’, spent as a pupil in a barristers’ chambers or other approved AETO (Authorised Education and Training Organisation)
  6. Tenancy: to be taken on as a self-employed member of chambers or in permanent employment

Your journey through the above stages will be supported by the Education Department, which provides career services, professional development, education & training, scholarship and pastoral care to student members. The department processes your membership application to join the Inn, organises Qualifying Sessions, arranges your Call to the Bar and delivers the compulsory training courses required during your pupillage and tenancy.

I look forward to the next stage of my education in the sure knowledge that I have a dedicated professional support network behind me in my Inn.

Benefits of Inn membership

Once you are a member of Gray’s, you can start your life at the Inn and take advantage of the facilities available to members. These include:

Find out more

Admission application

Start your online application


An excellent opportunity for you to visit the Inn and ask any questions you may have relating to a career at the Bar


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