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Mini-Pupillage: What To Expect

Where should you apply for a Mini-Pupillage and what can you expect? This blog will cover all aspects of the Mini-Pupillage, including how to make the most of your experience on your CV and covering letters.

Why should I apply for a Mini-Pupillage?

A Mini-Pupillage is essential in showing your dedication to pursuing a career at the Bar

Whether you have already decided to pursue a career as a barrister, or if you are considering which path to take between practising as a solicitor or a barrister, undertaking Mini-Pupillages is crucial. Mini-Pupillages are work-experience-like sessions that usually last for three days to a week usually, and it involves shadowing a barrister in a Chambers and becoming more familiar with their responsibilities and routine. They can be seen as a trial interview of sorts for prospective pupillage applicants, and they are essential in showing your dedication to pursuing a career at the Bar. For candidates who are unsure of which route they may want to follow, it is a helpful insight into how the role of a barrister compares with the work of a solicitor. Either way, it is advantageous work experience that can be an indication of your interest – and you can include this on your CV and covering letters.

Where should I apply for a Mini-Pupillage?

It is important to select a Chambers that specialises in an area of law that you are interested in, and potentially want to practice in. Furthermore, when you are completing your application, it is easier to answer questions and explain your interest honestly if it’s one of the practice areas that the Chambers covers! In order to choose a Chambers, it may be of use to research a few and explore their specialisation areas on their websites, on websites like Chambers and Partners. You can even search by practice area categories.

It is also important to think ahead. If there’s a Chambers that you are keen to apply for pupillage at, then it is a good idea to complete a Mini-Pupillage with them first. It shows your legitimate interest in their Chambers, and the Mini-Pupillage means they can get a feel for your work ethic and persona before you have applied. A lot of Chambers select their pupillage interview candidates in favour of those who have completed a Mini-Pupillage successfully.

What should I expect from a Mini-Pupillage?

A Mini-Pupillage will not only introduce you to the routines and requirements in the life of a barrister, but it also gives you a feel for the Chambers’ culture and work style. You will most likely shadow a barrister, and may be involved in attending meetings with clients, helping to review paperwork and legal documents and often you will be able to sit in on court hearings. Some Mini-Pupillages may expect you to take a short assessment at the end, possibly as a summary test of what you have learnt over your experience at the Chambers, whereas others may simply expect feedback.

What can you gain from a Mini-Pupillage?

Undertaking a Mini-Pupillage gives you an opportunity to leave a positive impression on the Chambers, and this is so crucial if you are considering applying for a pupillage there in the future. If the Chambers see your potential as a productive and motivated mini-pupil they are likely to see this as an example of the attitude you will bring to the Chambers if you were to be awarded a pupillage. Think of it as a trial session or a pre-application interview.

It is important to keep in good contact with the barristers and lawyers you will have worked with, as it may be an advantage to you in the future – whether you end up applying to this Chambers and decide to reference them as a reason for your application at the specific Chambers, or even if you do not end up working there but need to contact a barrister in the future. Networking is key in the legal world.


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