UCLan students ready to impress at Inns of Court

24 May 2023

Law students claim two spots on sought-after Middle Temple Inn of Court scheme

Two University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) law students have been awarded places on a prestigious scheme designed to provide aspiring barristers with essential experience to further their career ambitions.

Lucy Sansom and Hanzalah Bapu have been offered places on the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple Access to the Bar Awards scheme, which provides recipients with one week of marshalling for a judge and a one-week mini pupillage in Chambers with a barrister.

It is specifically for students who are amongst the first in their families to go to university and are from backgrounds that do not traditionally encourage aspirations for a career at the Bar.

The two UCLan students beat off stiff competition from other undergraduate and postgraduate law students from UK universities a to secure two of only 30 places available on the scheme. It is the second time that UCLan’s budding legal eagles have been successful on the Access to the Bar Awards after two students also qualified in 2020.

"I applied for the Access scheme as it is a brilliant opportunity to learn with a prestigious Inn and will complement my studies with real life experience."

UCLan law student Lucy Sansom

Former Fulwood Academy high school and Cardinal Newman College student Lucy, 20, is particularly interested in family and human rights law. The second year law student said: “I applied for the Access scheme as it is a brilliant opportunity to learn with a prestigious Inn and will complement my studies with real life experience.

“When I learnt that I had been accepted I was beyond proud as I know that places are limited. I aim to get as much out of this opportunity as I can. I am also very grateful to my tutors at UCLan for their support and guidance throughout this process.”

The placements, which are funded by the donations of senior members of the Inn, will take place over the summer.

"Awards such as this will allow me to drop these doubts and give the Bar my best shot. From a networking perspective it will be invaluable, as I will meet judges and barristers who have trodden the path I intend to walk."

UCLan law student Hanzalah Bapu

Hanzalah, a 23-year-old final year law student, has ambitions to become one of the few Muslim King’s Counsels on the circuit.

The former Abrar Academy and Preston College pupil said: “Being the first-person in my family to attend university meant I had doubts as to whether I am good enough to be the one in a hundred who attain pupillage, so when I found out I’d won the Access to the Bar Award, I was elated.

“Awards such as this will allow me to drop these doubts and give the Bar my best shot. From a networking perspective it will be invaluable, as I will meet judges and barristers who have trodden the path I intend to walk.”

"A career at the Bar is very competitive so schemes and awards such as this could be the difference between attaining pupillage or not."

Darran Chapple, Lecturer in Law in the UCLan School of Justice

Despite a slight post-pandemic increase in the number of vacancies, almost 2,800 would-be barristers applied for a 2021/22 or 2022/23 pupillage but only 217 secured an offer — a success rate of less than 8%.

Darran Chapple, Lecturer in Law in the UCLan School of Justice, said: “A career at the Bar is very competitive so schemes and awards such as this could be the difference between attaining pupillage or not.

“Lucy and Hanzalah have strong altruistic reasons for studying law and for considering careers as barristers. They have already taken advantage of the many opportunities available to our students and I am sure they will make the most of this fantastic scheme.”

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UCLan law students Lucy Sansom and Hanzalah Bapu who have won places on the Middle Temple Access to the Bar Awards scheme
UCLan law students Lucy Sansom and Hanzalah Bapu who have won places on the Middle Temple Access to the Bar Awards scheme