Selection criteria

We do not expect applicants to have any knowledge of commercial law when they apply to us and we recognise that many, in particular non-law graduates, will not have had an opportunity to study the areas of law in which we practise. We do, however, expect applicants to have the strong analytical and intellectual abilities that are necessary to meet the demands of commercial practice. For this reason, we do not interview candidates who do not have a first or a good upper second class degree, save in very exceptional circumstances.

It is also important that our pupils have the potential to become good advocates. For this reason we ask all applicants who are invited to an interview to prepare and present a short advocacy exercise, usually an application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. Applicants are accordingly assessed by reference to the following criteria:

A. Intellectual and analytical ability

A1    A first class degree or a good 2:1

A2    Other means of demonstrating intellectual ability

A3    Ability to absorb information from extensive documentation

A4    Ability to analyse documents and oral communications and to identify salient issues

A5    Written skills: ability to present complex ideas succinctly and persuasively in writing

A6    Attention to detail

A7    Sound judgement

B. Oral communication and advocacy skills

B1    Advocacy skills

B2    Oral skills: ability to communicate effectively with solicitors, clients, and experts

B3    Sound judgement in advocacy and oral communication

C. Temperament

C1    Professional stamina

C2    Commitment to and capacity for hard work

C3    Ability to perform under pressure

C4    Resilience

C5    Sense of responsibility

D. Interpersonal skills

D1    Capacity to understand and to show understanding of the needs and problems of others

D2    Ability to work alone and as part of a team

E. Commitment to the Commercial Bar / tenancy at 7KBW

E1    Commitment to a career at the Commercial Bar

E2    Potential to make a contribution to the life of 7KBW more generally (e.g. by giving talks / seminars to solicitors / involvement in marketing activities)