As far as I can see, ALL of the questions are exactly the same as last year. Even the word limits are identical. A man more brazen than I would be tempted to merely tinker with the responses from last year. Sadly, I'm meek and so feel the need to start from scratch. To be honest, it will probably result in a better application, so I can't moan.
As far as I can see, only four criminal Sets have taken the opportunity to upload their own question. Thus, at the very least eight of my applications will be on the minimal, bog standard application form.
The extra questions I've found so far are:
1) 187 Fleet Street - Please argue both for and against the proposition that Social networking websites and the internet are rendering fair trial by jury impossible (500 words)
2) 4 Breams Buildings - Please give examples of things you have done which demonstrate an interest in criminal law and advocay or puplic speaking (750 words - the two major typos are NOT my own, they are as submitted by the Set)
3) Three Raymond Buildings - Your pupil supervisor gives some advice in conference which in the light of your research you think is just wrong. What do you do and why? (150 words)
4) 25 Bedford Row - What do you see as the key challenge facing the criminal Bar and how would you propose the Bar meets this challenge? (I neglected to record the word limit as they're a defence-only set, so didn't pay them much attention)
Four perfectly answerable questions - but how many people will be put off from applying to these Sets, just because of the extra question?
I've previously written about some of the mistakes I made in my applications last year, my next post will detail some of the steps I've taken to give myself a fighting chance this year.