Number of places: 84 FT, 48 PT
Fees (2014/15): £12,965 FT, £6,483 PT (year one)
Awards: 15% discount for UWE graduates
BILP's full-time BPTC involves 16 hours of contact time spread over three to four days a week, with Fridays kept free for pro bono or private study. Part-time students, meanwhile, have a four-day induction period followed by 11 study weekends a year. Teaching groups are small, with about six to ten students in each. Electives include clinical negligence, criminal, employment, competition, commercial, family, international trade, and refugee and asylum law.
Students here have the opportunity to qualify as commercial mediators at no extra cost. They can also qualify as family mediators at a discounted rate. It's worth bearing in mind the law school doesn't offer one-to-one advocacy training like pricier providers such as City.
BILP's BPTC is run on the university's Frenchay campus, four miles outside Bristol. Barristers in training have access to a 24-hour law library, a canteen for cheap nosh and the university's vast fitness and sports centre, complete with an indoor climbing wall.
BILP's Community Legal Advice and Representation Service (CLARS) – which sees students team up with practitioners on the Western Circuit to assist during hearings at Bristol's civil courts – is the centrepiece of its pro bono offering. Back on campus the law school puts on regular practice trials involving professional actors in its mock courtrooms, which are fitted with recorded equipment. (Of course, the subject matter is likely to be more 'alas, you got nicked' than 'alas, poor Yorick'.)
BILP's links with the Western Circuit extend to advocacy master classes and practice pupillage interviews with local practitioners. Local chambers sponsor three advocacy competitions and a mooting competition through the year. These links certainly come in handy when pupillage applications roll round, though it's worth remembering there are only a handful of pupil places a year to fight for in Bristol's smallish legal scene.
With its rural location and close ties to local sets, this school is a good bet for those interested in forging a career in the Western Circuit.
Bristol Institute of Legal Practice at UWE
Bristol Institute of Legal Practice,