Gray’s will award at least £1.4 million in scholarships each year. This year, our intention is to award at least 85 Bar Course Scholarships to support students undertaking the vocational component of Bar training.
All Bar Course Scholarships are awarded on merit. If you can demonstrate you have the potential to succeed at the Bar, we want to support you on your journey.
Applications open in September and close in November the year before you intend to start the course.
If you receive a Bar Course Scholarship, you will receive a minimum award of £5,000 and further means-tested funding is available. Last year, we awarded 88 scholarships and our maximum award was £23,000.
In addition to our financial awards, we also offer Residential Scholarships providing an opportunity for scholars to live at the Inn rent-free during the course.
If you’re not sure which Inn you would like to apply to, or if you would like to find out more about the process, join one of our online Scholarships Q&A events taking place in October.
- Key application dates
Key application dates
For students intending to study the vocational component from September 2024.
- Applications open: Friday 15 September 2023
- Application deadline: 11.59pm on Friday 3 November 2023 (GMT)
- Interviews: 5, 6, 7 March 2024
Gray’s Inn shortlists candidates for interview. Applicants will be informed whether they will be invited to interview before the end of January 2024.
- Merit assessment criteria
Merit assessment criteria
All applications will be considered against the following assessment criteria:
- Academic ability – the ability to succeed as a barrister as demonstrated by performance in school and university examinations, interviews and other experiences in an academic setting
- Advocacy – can develop well structured, succinct, grammatically correct, and persuasively written argument. As a public speaker can communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively
- Drive and determination – possesses drive, determination and a strong work ethic to overcome adversity or achieve goals, whilst remaining calm when under pressure
- Problem solving – the ability to apply lateral and original thinking to solve problems and work with complex information to extract key information and facts to develop an argument
- Motivation to succeed – demonstrates a clear interest in the Bar and has ambition to become a barrister. Has taken steps to gain an understanding of the profession
Candidates must meet the above assessment criteria to be eligible for the Keating Chambers Scholarship. They will also express an interest in practice areas compatible with the work of Keating Chambers as well as demonstrate a social mobility-based need for financial support.
Read more about how we assess applications in our guide to application assessment, selection for interview and scoring [PDF].
- How to apply
How to apply
All applications must be submitted through the Gray’s Inn Online Scholarship System. You can create an account at any time, even if it is outside of an application period.
You must intend to practise at the Bar of England and Wales in order to be eligible for this scholarship.
Two references are required to support your application. Read the guide to Scholarship References [PDF].
Watch the video to go behind the scenes, meet the people involved and find out how scholarship applications are decided at Gray’s.
- Residential Scholarships
Bar Course scholars are also eligible to apply for a Residential Scholarship. Residential scholars will receive free accommodation within the Inn’s estate and the opportunity to be fully involved in the life and community of the Inn during their vocational studies.
Bar Course Scholarship applicants will be contacted directly with details about applying for a Residential Scholarship.
Each year, one Residential scholar is awarded the Chapel Scholarship. The Chapel scholar will receive £3,000 during their residency and is responsible for the smooth running and security of the Gray’s Inn Chapel before, during and after all public services.
Contribution – the scholar will be an active participant in the academic, pastoral and social aspects of Gray’s Inn and will pro-actively promote the life of the Inn with student colleagues
Learning and Development – the scholar will use the opportunity of a residential scholarship in the heart of ‘Legal London’ to learn about the profession and develop as a potential barrister
Academic Commitment – the scholar will use the opportunity of a residential scholarship to fully commit to the Bar Course and give themselves the best opportunity to excel academically
Access, Opportunity and Means – without a Residential Scholarship the scholar would not be able to readily access the professional, academic and pastoral life of the Inn and their chances of success would be impacted
- Named Scholarships
Scholarships are normally named after prominent Members of the Inn. The Hale, Bedingfield and Prince of Wales Scholarships are our most prestigious awards.
Five of our scholarships also have a higher minimum award. Four Baroness Hale of Richmond Scholars will receive a minimum award of £20,000 and the Keating Chambers Scholar will receive a minimum award of £15,000.
Please see our frequently asked questions for further information about applying for this scholarship.