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Each year we award at least £1.4 million in scholarships.

In 2023 Gray’s Inn expects to award 25 to 35 GDL scholarships worth £2,500 to £12,000.

Our GDL Scholarships support students undertaking full or part time law conversion courses. A conversion course is any postgraduate course that qualifies a student to undertake the vocational component of Bar training up completion.

The Dame Joyanne Bracewell, David Karmel and William Charnley Scholarships are our most prestigious awards.

All GDL Scholarships are awarded on merit. Each scholar will receive a base award of £2,500, with the option of applying for additional means-tested funding.

There are two exceptions. The William Charnley scholar and the Dame Joyanne Bracewell scholar will receive a base award of £12,000 and £10,000 respectively.

All GDL scholars automatically qualify for a Bar Course Scholarship interview and, if successful at interview, their basic financial Bar Course Scholarship award starts at £7,500.

Applications are now closed

  • Key application dates

    Key application dates

    For course enrolment from September 2024, applications will open in March 2024.

    • Applications open: Friday 15 March 2024
    • Application deadline: 11.59pm on Friday 3 May 2024 (GMT)
    • Interviews: 25 – 26 June 2024

  • 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.

    Login to Scholarship Applications

    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 Referee guidance.

    Behind the scenes 

    Watch the video to go behind the scenes, meet the people involved and find out how scholarship applications are decided at Gray’s.

  • 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
    • 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
    • Drive and determination– possesses drive, determination and a strong work ethic to overcome adversity or achieve goals, whilst remaining calm when under pressure
    • Advocacy – can develop well structured, succinct, grammatically correct, and persuasively written argument. As a public speaker can communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively
    • 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

  • Named Scholarships

    Named Scholarships

    Scholarships are normally named after prominent Members of the Inn. Our named GDL scholarships are:

    • David Karmel Scholarships
    • William Charnley Scholarship
    • Dame Joyanne Bracewell Scholarship
    • Anthony Bessemer Clark Scholarship
    • Ann Ebsworth Scholarship
    • Nina Lowry Scholarship
    • Graeme Hamilton Scholarship
    • Sheila Mars-Jones Scholarship
    • Leonard Caplan Scholarship
    • Tatjana Finkelstein Scholarship
    • Sir James Hunt Scholarship
    • Ellice Aylmer Eadie Scholarship
    • Josephine Barnes Scholarship
    • Dame Juliet Wheldon Scholarship
    • Sir Gilbert Gray Scholarship
    • Frances Moran Scholarship
    • Edmund James Lawson Scholarship
    • Sir Elihu Lauterpacht Scholarship
    • Enoch Dumbutshena Scholarship


Please see our frequently asked questions for further information about applying for this scholarship.

Find out more

Bar course Scholarships

Scholarships for the vocational component of Bar training

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