Depending on the chambers you are applying to, your pupillage applications will involve either:
A direct pupillage application refers to the latter option and is preferred by many chambers as an alternative to the pupillage gateway route. Read on for tips on how to make the best impression with your pupillage applications.
Chambers may require you to attach a covering letter to supplement your pupillage application. Initial impact is key with this, as it’s likely to be the first part of your application that chambers will turn to.
Cover letters can take many forms but we would suggest using the following structure when targeting chambers:
Some chambers may specifically state how you should format your CV and the information you should include. If, however, there is no such guidance, we would suggest using a traditional format when submitting your direct pupillage application:
Include your name, correspondence address, email address and telephone number.
This should be roughly a paragraph long and written in the third person. It is essentially your opportunity to sell yourself and positively articulate (based on your skillset, experiences (personal and work-related) and personal qualities, and why you are the best candidate for a pupillage at the chambers you’re applying for.
List your most recent academic grades (along with details the relevant academic institutions) first and work backwards.
Start with your most recent experience and work backwards. For each placement, ensure you include the following details:
Include, as a minimum, details of any IT skills and foreign languages spoken.
Include examples of relevant prizes, awards, scholarships and any other notable achievements, whether academic, sporting or otherwise.
Include any hobbies and interests relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Include details of two referees, but ensure you have consent from them before you add them to your CV! It is a good idea to provide one academic and one non-academic reference.
Along with submitting a CV and a cover letter, you may often need to answer some application questions written by the chambers you’ve applied for. Use these questions as a way of showing off your advocacy skills. Do your best to persuade the reader and try to be creative with your answers.
To maximise your chances of success during your pupillage applications, take note of the following:
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