Ian Graham

Bar Professional Training Course student Ian Graham advises prospective students to get organised.


Name: Ian Graham

Undergraduate University: University of Wales, Swansea

Undergraduate Degree: Oceanography and Marine Zoology

Law School: GDL from Plymouth University, 2012. BPTC from University of the West of England, Bristol

Why did you decide to do the BPTC? After a first career in the Royal Navy I made the decision to embark upon a second career as a barrister, as I really enjoyed the legal aspects of the appointments that I held in the Royal Navy. I live in the West Country and wish to practice on the Western Circuit, so completing the GDL and BPTC in the Western area was an important aspect for me.

Why did you choose UWE Bristol to study in? The first and foremost consideration was the quality of the course, and amongst the barristers that I spoke to, UWE had a very strong reputation for the standard of teaching and the facilities that are provided for the students. This has proved to be the case.

Do you have a pupillage lined up? Yes, I have been very lucky to secure a pupillage with Colleton Chambers in Exeter, commencing in autumn 2013.

How are you funding the course? I am self funded.

How does the BPTC differ from your degree and/or GDL? Has it been a steep learning curve? Both the GDL and BPTC are fairly intense as to pace and quantity of workload – you need to be very organised.

What is the social life like?Bristol has much to offer, and I hope to get time to see more of it.

What about pastoral care, such as the careers service? There is a very active careers service at UWE Bristol, and the BPTC school have strong links with chambers in Bristol.

What top tip would you give to someone who is considering applying for the BPTC? Get organised.