Kent Law student Andreas Malekos is one step closer to achieving his ambition of becoming a barrister after being awarded a prestigious scholarship of almost £20,000 by the Inner Temple.
The Inner Temple BPTC (Bar Professional Training Course) Scholarship of £19,700 will help support Andreas during his year of vocational training. The BPTC is designed to equip Andreas with the skills, knowledge, attitudes and competence to prepare for pupillage, the next stage in his professional training.
The Inner Temple is one of four Inns of Court that aspiring barristers are required to join. It awards scholarships each year based on merit with applicants being assessed on their intellectual qualities, motivation, character and ‘impact’. Competition is tough and less than a third of those that are interviewed for a scholarship are likely to receive an award.
Andreas was interviewed at the Inner Temple in March. After being taken to the Inn’s magnificent library, he was given half an hour to read an unreported case from a choice of three in his chosen area of law. He chose a criminal case involving psychoactive substances (legal highs), a topic he had studied in Public Law 2 the previous year.
He was then interviewed by a panel of four Inner Temple barristers, two of whom were Queen’s Counsel. Andreas said: ‘The panel members were incredibly charming and I immediately felt more at ease. I was first asked to analyse the case which I did by summarising the arguments made and the decision given. I was then asked for my opinion on the case – I criticised the judge for the lack of expert evidence referred to when reaching the decision that nitrous oxide (laughing gas) was not a medicinal substance.’
Andreas was also questioned about his time at university and about his dedication to the legal profession. He was asked why he wanted to be a barrister rather than a solicitor and how his application demonstrated commitment to the Bar. Andreas said: ‘My experience as a law student at Kent helped me a great deal in both my preparation for the interview and the interview itself. The Law School’s Employability and Career Development Officer had given me insightful advice about what to expect at the interview. Furthermore, events organised earlier in the year (such as Law Question Time), my work as a receptionist at Kent Law Clinic and my participation in moots, provided me with good insight into life at the Bar and helped me to harness invaluable skills such as composure.’
His extra-curricular activities also played a role – Andreas said: ‘Winning the five-a-side football leagues with Cyprus FC gave me something unrelated to law to talk about when asked what I do to relax at university.’
Andreas has been interested in Law from a young age and had initially intended to qualify as a solicitor. An opportunity to shadow a barrister at Woolwich Crown Court changed his mind. Andreas said: ‘The case concerned three counts of GBH and I took notes for the prosecution. I found the experience both fulfilling and invigorating. By the end of the first day I knew that I belonged at the Bar.’
Andreas plans to begin his BPTC at City Law School in September. Although his main interests currently lie in both Criminal Law and Property Law, he says he is yet to come across an area of law that he doesn’t enjoy and will approach the BPTC with an open mind.
Andreas was encouraged to apply for a scholarship after reading about the success of Kent Law School student Rachel Bale, who was awarded a £19,750 scholarship by the Inner Temple in March 2017. He hopes his success, in turn, will encourage others. Applications to Inner Temple for 2019 open in mid-September 2018. Further opportunities are available from the three other Inns of Court – Lincoln’s Inn, Middle Temple and Gray’s Inn.