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Law students receive prestigious Middle Temple Access to the Bar Award

Maddy Lusted

Troy Boatman

Press release issued: 11 April 2019

Each year the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple offers up to 23 Access to the Bar Awards, providing eligible students with one week’s work experience in a set of barristers’ chambers and one week’s marshalling alongside a judge. After a tough selection process, two of our law students were successful in attaining these awards to help better prepare them for a career at the bar.

The purpose of the awards is to encourage able students from disadvantaged and/or underrepresented backgrounds and interested in a becoming a barrister, to make a more informed choice about a career at the Bar.

Two of our law students, Maddy Lusted and Troy Boatman were successful in securing the sought-after awards and they caught up with us recently to let us know how they feel this award may impact their future prospects and career development.

Second year MA law student, Troy explained:

“On receipt of the award I felt delighted, of course. The award was something that I had targeted a while back, the process for which was highly competitive with two successive paper sifts and a panel interview. Receiving the good news then felt very much like a fitting reward for what has been a very hectic and sometimes tough academic year.

I hope that the experience will allow me to gain exposure to different aspects of life at the Bar and make more informed decisions going forward. With such a fiercely competitive profession, I think it is particularly important to gain as much experience as possible at an early stage in order to plan a realistic route towards my long-term goal to qualify and practice as a barrister.”

And second year LLB law student Maddy explained her reaction to receiving the award:

“Initially I was very surprised because I was completely unsure as to how the interview had gone. I don't consider myself to be 'naturally' good at interviews and being placed on the spot is always challenging. That said, I felt that I had given it my best, and it's always encouraging to receive confirmation that you're doing well and that your efforts will be rewarded. I'm very excited to have received the award now. I am immensely looking forward to the experience itself, but it's also a source of pride that, despite coming from a background in which the Bar is very much a lofty aspiration rather than an expectation, I have the potential to succeed.

I think the practical experience the Award offers will be invaluable. Firstly, obtaining marshalling experience prior to the BPTC can be difficult as, unless you have the personal contact details of a judge, you usually must write to various courts asking about opportunities, which often results in no response. The Award not only provides this experience but provides it for an entire week, which is very unusual. The opportunity to spend time in Chambers, whilst easier to obtain, is also an amazing opportunity, again for the length of time you are given. The length of the Award means you have a hugely beneficial chance to make contacts and to receive feedback on whether practitioners think you'd be suitable for the Bar. The Award will therefore give my interest in the Bar a great deal of credibility; I'll be able to cite it as evidence that I've undergone a competitive selection process and have gained important insight into the profession.

I would just add that I'd highly encourage anyone who meets the criteria for the Award to apply, as it is an unmissable opportunity. Often the first hurdle to success is not counting yourself out when opportunities arise!”

The Law School congratulates both Maddy and Troy on receiving this fantastic opportunity. We hope fellow eligible students feel inspired by Maddy and Troy to apply for the award next academic year.

Further information

Applications for the scheme are accepted in the first term of the academic year via the Law School. The deadline for applications to the Inn for the 2020 awards is usually during December. The Law School will carry out the initial shortlisting and will submit two selected applications to the Middle Temple for review. Look out for more information as to when we are accepting applications during the autumn 2019 term.

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