Useful Links for all things BPTC, BCAT and the Inns of Court

Considering a career at the Bar? Confused about the BCAT? Not sure what the Inns of Court do?

Then check out the collated list of useful links below.  I have blog posts on most of these things. However, this blog post gives you a handy guide to all of the useful links!

BCAT

https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/qualifying-as-a-barrister/current-requirements/bar-professional-training-course/bar-course-aptitude-test/

FAQs https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/media/1721499/bcat_faq.pdf

Handbook https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/media/1630869/bcat_handbook.pdf

Bar Standards Board

https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/

BarSAS

https://www.barsas.com/

How to apply for the BPTC – https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/qualifying-as-a-barrister/current-requirements/bar-professional-training-course/how-to-apply-for-the-bptc/

BPTC

https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/qualifying-as-a-barrister/current-requirements/bar-professional-training-course/

BPTC Handbook 2017-2018 https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/media/1846141/bptc_handbook_v2.pdf

BPTC FAQ’s https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/qualifying-as-a-barrister/current-requirements/bar-professional-training-course/bptc-frequently-asked-questions/

BPTC List of Providers https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/qualifying-as-a-barrister/current-requirements/bar-professional-training-course/bptc-providers/

Inns of Court

Middle Temple – https://www.middletemple.org.uk/

Inner Temple – https://www.innertemple.org.uk/

Lincoln’s Inn – https://www.lincolnsinn.org.uk/

Gray’s Inn – https://www.graysinn.org.uk/

On each of the above websites (the Inn’s) you can find out information about becoming a member, events, Qualifying Sessions, routes to the Bar and much more).

Other Useful Information

Joining an Inn – https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/qualifying-as-a-barrister/current-requirements/bar-professional-training-course/how-to-apply-for-the-bptc/joining-an-inn/

English Language Requirement – https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/qualifying-as-a-barrister/current-requirements/bar-professional-training-course/how-to-apply-for-the-bptc/english-language-requirement/

If you have any specific questions about studying the BPTC or which Inn to join then send me an email using the contact me page! (link opens in new tab for you!)

Rebecca x

That Ted Baker dress…

Okay so before you all suddenly think you have read the wrong post on this blog as it isn’t law related, I had to share this…

So, last year I attended a few events at Middle Temple and events with work and wore a particular dress from Ted Baker and I kept getting asked where it was from.

I then wore the dress at the Middle Temple Advocacy Weekend, and whilst at the Pupillage Fair I got asked about it again, so I figured I should share it on here.

Here is the dress (click on the dress for a link):

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 21.05.00

Here is a larger picture:

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 21.06.59

The dress is very practical, and does black tights or clear tights, plus with the long sleeves it means I am not freezing (and if any of you know me well, you know I am always cold!).

Let me know what you think.

Rebecca x

P.S. I promise that most of my future blog posts won’t be like this! Lots more law coming soon!

Top 10 Tax Tips For Barristers

As promised on twitter here is the list of tax tips for barristers from Silver Levene.

This isn’t a sponsored post, I had a meeting with Silver Levene myself (as I met them at the Pupillage Fair last year) and during my meeting we got talking about my blog and how I wanted to share with you all some top tips for those who have just started at the Bar, just about to start, or those considering a career at the Bar.

I also then had the pleasure of being sat on a Panel at the Pupillage Fair by Target Jobs this March to chat about studying the BPTC and life as a Barrister – they definitely know their stuff, so do get in touch, whatever stage you are at!

Do check out their website above and get in touch if you need any more information from them!

Rebecca x

Top 10 tax tips when commencing at the Bar

  1. Pupillage awards

Your pupillage award received during your 1st six are not taxable, the 2nd six is taxable. Try and arrange for your award to be weighted so that you receive a higher proportion of the award during your 1st six pupillage.

  1. Keeping receipts

This will ensure that expenses are not missed and will help reduce your tax liability. This will also substantiate any business expenses in the unfortunate event of an HMRC enquiry.

  1. Make sure you don’t miss the threshold to register for VAT

Registration for VAT is compulsory when your fees received exceed £82,000. You must register prior to exceeding this threshold.

  1. Ensure you register for self-assessment

As a self-employed Barrister you need to register for self-assessment. You are deemed to commence trading at the start of your 2nd six pupillage.

  1. Choose the correct accounting year end. 30th April is generally advantageous

By extending your first period of account by slightly longer than a year, you can obtain a significant ongoing cash flow advantage throughout the course of your career. This will delay when you pay tax on your profits.

  1. Keep receipts for business expenses incurred during your Pupillage

When you register for VAT, you can reclaim the VAT on capital expenditure including laptops, home office desk, chair, wig and gown that you purchased up to 4 years before you registered for VAT. These capital items can also be claimed in your account to reduce your income tax.

  1. Download the Silver Levene App

This has lots of useful functions; a receipt management tool, mileage tracker and tax calculators to assist you.

  1. Saving for Tax

You must put money aside for tax while you earn it. The golden rule is at least 25% of your fees received (excl. VAT) in the first year.

  1. Do not file your Tax Return or VAT returns late

This will incur penalties, interest and surcharges and may trigger an HMRC enquiry.

  1. Appoint a specialist Barrister Accountant

With over 30 years of experience, Silver Levene’s specialist Barrister unit acts for over 1500 Barristers, we also prepare the first year accounts and tax return for free.

If you require any further information or advice please contact Mason Bloom or Peter Grossmark on 0207 383 3200 or mason.bloom@silverlevene.co.uk , peter.grossmark@silverlevene.co.uk

Diary of a Part Time BPTC Student – Part 22

So this week so far has been manic with work and it was just off the back of a BPTC weekend which was productive but also slightly annoying!  Plus I had to miss my little sister’s 13th Birthday which was on Sunday because I had BPTC classes.

On the Saturday of classes 4 of us went to the Middle Temple Qualifying Session Dinner, and it was  a lecture and dinner session!

The lecture was by Bernard Richmond QC and you can read more about Bernard on his Lamb Building Profile Page.

It was an interesting talk, very inspiring but also honest – in that he explained what I already knew regarding Pupillage being  a bit like roulette, and that you might have a great application but if the wrong person reads it then you aren’t successful that time.  He did say though to keep trying, persevere, be determined and you will get one eventually!  He also said to capture their attention in the first 30 seconds so they read your application properly.

Aside from that we had a busy Saturday and we swapped advocacy tutors and our new tutor was so good – gave us lots of useful hints and tips, not just on our presentation skills but the law! He also gave demonstrations and I felt it was really productive.  We only had one class on Sunday which was frustrating and even more frustrating that it was moved from 9:30 to 15:30.  But with the impending professional ethics exam, we decided to go through one of the past papers (as we had collected these on the Saturday – just so you know you are only provided two!).

Lots of revision will be taking place next week, and work because in true BPP style we are back to our normal 8 sessions weekend (which I don’t mind) but after Saturday and Sunday we then have our Professional Ethics exam, and on the BPTC weekend we have to submit two formative (fake) assessments – so it increases the pressure somewhat!

Especially when I wouldn’t want to be learning anything for the Professional Ethics exam, but definitely revising it a lot that weekend, seeing as it is the one most people fail first time, and it is pretty much a massive memory test!  *Wish me luck*

Rebecca x

#diaryofaptbptcstudent

Foreign Student wanting to study the BPTC in London?

Here is a question I get asked quite frequently.

Question

I am a foreign student and I have to pay a lot to live in London. So what are my options? Because I really want to do BPTC from BPP Holborn but if I face financial difficulties I have to move to Manchester. How much it will cost in total? Living in London and doing GDL and BPTC too.

Answer

You would need to look on the websites for BPP and see the breakdown of the costs, they have a chart on there, outlining the varying prices between London and other part time courses.  I don’t have any idea regarding the GDL as I studied my LLB.

Living costs would be cheaper outside of London though!

Check out accommodation prices for places you want to live in London and Manchester etc. and assess the costs of living in these places, as well as transport costs.

I can’t give any more advice on this as I am based in London and have always lived in/around London – so knew I would be studying there.

Rebecca x