By the numbers, the probability of becoming a barrister is made up of a few major steps. In mathematical notation

P (E) where E is the probability of the event

P (E) = Outcomes of E / Total outcomes


P (becoming a barrister) = Total that make it / Total that try

To make this easy, I'll only take into account three of the steps.

P (E1) = P (getting onto the BVC)

The number of places grabbed from here

BPP - London - 264 places
BPP - Leeds - 48 places
Cardiff Law School - 72 places
College Of Law - Birmingham - 96 places
College Of Law - London - 240 places
Inns of Court School Of Law - 650 places
Manchester Metropolitan University - 108 places
Nottingham Law School 120 places
University of Northumbria at Newcastle - 80 places
University of West England - 120 places

1798 BVC places for 2007 - 2008 session

The other relevant figure here is how many people apply.. I have had to get a google for this one, and the figures banded about on many sites, but I'll cite Target for their obvious links to the process..

2500 people apply for these places.. So back to my numbers!

P(E1) = Outcomes of E1 / Total outcomes
P (getting on the BVC) = 1798 / 2500
P (getting on the BVC) = 71.92%

That’s a harsh figure, to this point in the budding barristers career is has been quite easy to achieve the steps, but now, there is only a 72% chance you'll get a place!

Anyway, back to my maths

P (E1) = 1798 / 2500

P (E2) = P (getting a pupillage)

Given the choice of counting all the pupillages in this year’s pupillage handbook, or giving you inferior figures from the year before.. Unfortunately the counting approx 500 places didn't quite appeal to me!! And as soon as I get the real numbers, I'll update the figures!!

So, the number of pupillages started 06 - 07 was 527 (Source: the summary in this year’s pupillages handbook).

Again the official figure of how many applications isn't easy to find. The average of sources I can find, is 2000 applications

P (getting a pupillage) = Outcomes of E2 / Total outcomes
P (getting a pupillage) = 527 / 2000
P (getting a pupillage) = 26.35%

Now that’s a shocking figure... for those that don't like maths, for every 100 people that apply, only 26 of them get a place..


I'm no math expert, this was for fun!! The figures are good, but there could be some notation not quite right. On that note, I use the "/" to represent divide, and "*" to represent multiply.