The Pupillage Gateway is an online application system for pupillage, operated by the Bar Council. This year, the Gateway has been fully live since 8th January: applicants can start, edit and submit applications via the Gateway until 7th February 2018; interviews and assessments will take place between February and April 2018; and offers for pupillage can only be made on or after 3rd May 2018.
Chambers are free to override the Bar Council’s suggested questions and ask up to seven questions of their own, or accept the suggested questions and add up to five questions of their own.
The first suggested question is about you:
Remember not to waste words telling barristers what they do, or what makes them good at their job. Focus on your character, your skills and your experiences.
What do they say about you as an individual, why are they relevant to the Bar and how can you use them to persuade the reader that you will make a good barrister?
Although the second suggested question is about your chosen chambers and practice area(s), do not forget to convince the reader why you are the right person for their chambers and practice area(s):
Conduct thorough research on your chosen chambers and be specific about the factors which motivate your application.
In addition to practice area(s), you may want to talk about diversity in chambers, a case or the work of an individual barrister. However, try not to focus solely on a landmark case or the work of QCs; show that you understand and are suited to the work that you would be doing as a pupil and very junior tenant.
If you have completed a mini-pupillage at your chosen chambers, use it to structure your answer. Show that you paid attention during your mini-pupillage (keep a written journal of mini-pupillages!) and that you have a realistic understanding of what life would be like in that chambers, as a pupil and very junior tenant.
If you haven’t completed a mini-pupillage at your chosen chambers, try to refer to a time when you observed a barrister from that chambers in court or met one via an Inn of Court or at an event. Make sure that you research the type of work carried out by members of chambers, from the most junior end to the most senior end. In addition to chambers’ websites, research the work of specific barristers on legal databases.
Most, if not all, applicants will receive rejections. If and when the process gets tough, remember to treat it as a learning opportunity rather than a failure.
The Bar Council and The Lawyer Portal wish you luck with your pupillage applications.
Published: 16/01/18 Author: Benjamin Burns, Education and Training Policy Analyst at the Bar Council
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