Published on August 13, 2018 by Lydia Cozens

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As some chambers will only take on pupils who have completed a mini-pupillage with them, it is important to select wisely when you start applications. This is also a chance to explore your interest within law and get some sense about what you want to specialise in later on.

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The broad specialisms include; commercial law, public law, criminal law and family law. There are several sub-specialities within those areas, but it is a good idea to start looking at these four and then choose a chamber based on your findings.

Commercial Law

If you find subjects like ‘Contract Law’ and “The Law of Tort” interesting you should check out commercial law. Business dispute stands in the centre of this type of law. Negotiating and commercial awareness are essential skills, so if you enjoy these things you might be suited to a career as a commercial lawyer. Commercial law is a wide area of law which includes these subspecialties:

  • employment
  • tax
  • health and safety
  • sports
  • insurance law.

Some barristers’ sets offering mini-pupillages include: Atkin Chambers, Blackstone Chambers, Brick Court Chambers, Crown Office Chambers, Erskine Chambers, 39 Essex Chambers, Essex Court Chambers.

Interested in commercial law? Find out how to discuss the GDPR in an interview. >>

Public Law

Public law is concerned with a very important aspect of the law: regulating the government. If you find the exercise of power by public bodies or judicial review of interest in lectures, public law might be the area you want to focus on. Investigate subjects like Constitutional law and Tax law and you’ll get an idea of what it is about. Sub-specialities include:

  • administrative
  • tax
  • criminal law.

Some barristers’ sets offering mini-pupillages include: Blackstone Chambers, 39 Essex Chambers, 5 Essex Court, Francis Taylor Building.

Want to find out more information about how to get into public law? Check out the page on our website. >>

Criminal Law

This type of law is probably the best known. Criminal lawyers will have more opportunities to work in court than any other types. You need to be highly adaptable with the capability to function well under stress in this type of work. If you find mooting and procedures of the justice system intriguing; you should consider working in criminal law. Sub-specialities include:

  • defense lawyer
  • prosecution.

Some barristers’ sets offering mini-pupillages include: Six Pump Court, 2 Bedford Row

Interested in what life is like as a criminal barrister? Check out our podcast with the secret barrister. >>

Family Law

If you want the chance to be in the court sometimes, but are not interested in criminal law; family law might be your area. You will deal with sensitive matters such as divorce and cases involving children. The difficulties that arise in such cases suit those who are emphatic and like dealing with people.

As this is a special type of law you should do a related mini-pupillage before applying for pupillage within it. Whilst there are sub-specialities within family law; you will probably work with a wide-range of issues. Sub-specialities include:

  • adoption
  • elder law
  • child custody
  • divorce settlements

Some barristers’ sets offering mini-pupillages: 1 Hare Court, Queen Elizabeth Building and St. John’s Chambers.

Find out more about family law on this page. >> 

Kristin’s Tip: Check the location of the barristers’ set before applying.


For more information on the different areas of law and applying for a mini-pupillage:

Author: Kristin Klungtveit


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