Chambers Failure To Provide Interview Feedback And Travel Costs Is ‘Unacceptable’

For most people, summer means festivals and perhaps a few weeks in Ibiza. Not so for BPTC graduates. No, for us masochistic souls, summer is interview time. It is not always an easy period – and can be made more difficult by chambers’ behaviour towards those who they interview, writes @OccupyTheInns.

Recently, I attended an interview a good way north of London. When I arrived there, I was granted a mere 15 minutes to present the case in favour of myself gaining pupillage. No reimbursement was provided towards my train fare, which cost in the region of £80.

After I had returned home, and received a letter notifying me that I had not been successful, I requested feedback on my performance at interview. Rather disappointingly I was informed that no feedback provided was provided for first round interviews. After making such a large outlay to attend that interview, both in terms of cost and time, this is simply unacceptable.

Of course, it is well-known that many barristers’ chambers are undergoing a difficult moment at present, as legal aid funding continues to fall and the lure of solicitor-advocates grows stronger by the day. As a result, chambers are unlikely to be sympathetic to calls to provide interview expenses and feedback. This is why I believe that the system must change, with the out-dated first round/second round interview procedure replaced with a single interview.

This would not only allow candidates a fair chance to demonstrate their strengths to chambers – which is nigh on impossible to do in a quarter of an hour – but increase the likelihood of chambers providing feedback. Who knows, some may even be so generous enough to lend a helping hand with train fares.

OccupyTheInns graduated from the BPTC last summer, and was called to the Bar in July 2011. There’s more from OccupyTheInns here.

7 Responses to “Chambers Failure To Provide Interview Feedback And Travel Costs Is ‘Unacceptable’”

  1. Marc

    I’m not aware of any businesses that reimburses transportation expenses to potential hires. Why should they? I’d also be interested in the tax position of such expenditure.

    Indeed, this proposal would yield more reimbursement of expenses than some pupils at some chambers get.

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  2. Conrad Eoin

    Are you just trolling now? If you aren’t then you need to get a grip, either way I don’t know why your whining nonsense is posted here.

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  3. Anonymous

    Very often in practice I have to pay for my own train fare to a hearing. Why precisely barristers should put you in a better position than them escapes me.

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  4. Horatio Willimington

    This post epitomises the entitlement generation. It’s a tough market out there for jobs. Economics 101 – demand exceeds supply. If you are lucky enough to get an interview, I am unsure of why exactly the company should pay money to see you. There are plenty of good candidates out there – if you are whining about this, what will you be like to work with when the going gets tough. Get a grip.

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  5. legalsub

    I had to buy a suit for an interview last week and, you wouldn’t believe this, but the interviewer point-blank refused to reimburse me for it. How unfair is that?! And I got hungry on the train so I had to buy a pork pie from the buffet car – only a few quid but I couldn’t even claim that back. It is truly an outrage

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  6. hmostyn [spoof]

    “This would not only allow candidates a fair chance to demonstrate their strengths to chambers – which is nigh on impossible to do in a quarter of an hour ”

    It’s even harder to do when you: a. have been a B-student since you were 18; and b. seem to be convinced that you are entitled to become a barrister because you deemed yourself elite enough to do so after seeing the World Trade Centre on a family holiday.

    Does anyone else think OTI could get 5 hours while everyone would get the usual 15 minutes, and he’d still find it impossible to demonstrate his strengths?

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  7. George

    Does your sense of entitlement know no bounds? Get a grip.

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