15 September 2019

New report shows that becoming a barrister remains highly competitive

Last month we published the fourth annual edition of its statistical information on student performance on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).

This new and updated analysis continues to show that the Bar remains an extremely competitive profession.

Key findings include:

  • 4,319 students started the BPTC between 2014 and 2017. 71.2% have passed the course to date;
  • 1,424 students enrolled in 2016-17. This is slightly up in comparison to the year before with 24 more students enrolling than in 2015-16;
  • 13.1% of all BPTC graduates in the same period achieved the highest grade, "Outstanding";
  • the percentage of Overseas (non-UK/EU) domiciled students on the BPTC increased slightly for the 2016-17 cohort to 43.1% from 42.8% for 2015-16 students;
  • of the UK/EU domiciled BPTC graduates, around 42.7% of those who enrolled on the course from 2012-13 to 2015-16 have so far started pupillage. This figure drops to around 40.6% when including 2016-17 graduates as they have had less time in which to gain pupillage;
  • among the UK/EU-domiciled BPTC graduates, 50.2% of pupillages were awarded to women. This was an increase from last year, where the corresponding figure was 48.2%; and
  • 22.9% of BAME UK/EU domiciled BPTC graduates obtained pupillage. This represents a year on year increase of around 2.5 percentage points, but is still low in comparison to the comparable percentage of white UK/EU domiciled BPTC graduates (49.5%).