Carmelite cock-up: Chambers ‘incorrectly’ invites aspiring barristers to interview

Exclusive: The set blamed it on Pupillage Gateway problems

Carmelite Chambers has made a major pupillage cock-up, inviting applicants to interview in error.

Aspiring advocates jumped for joy yesterday when they received an email from the London set stating they had been selected for interview. A screenshot of this email can be seen below.

However, wannabe Carmelite pupils told Legal Cheek that when they began calling the set to book their interview slots, they were unable to get through.

Unfortunately, it then transpired that a number of applicants were actually unsuccessful. They were informed, again via email (screenshotted below), that their interview invite had been sent out “incorrectly”.

One aspiring pupil who was impacted by the blunder told Legal Cheek that she only realised the error when her gateway result changed to ‘unsuccessful’. She continued:

This was not only highly disappointing for myself, but embarrassing for the chambers too — I don’t think I’ll be reapplying to them next year.

A spokesperson for Carmelite Chambers this morning confirmed to us that the set had had problems with its Pupillage Gateway and was awaiting a full audit report on this. The set was unable to provide details on how many applicants were impacted, as both successful and unsuccessful candidates’ statuses were “jumping around”. She continued:

We recognise that this is an anxious time for all pupillage candidates awaiting news of their applications from all chambers and we very much regret the confusion and disappointment this error must have caused to those applicants we are unable to interview.

The spokesperson also added that she had never had a problem with the site as major as this.

The Bar Council, which is responsible for overseeing the gateway, told Legal Cheek:

We have contacted Jobs Go Public, who manage the technical side of the Pupillage Gateway. They have had no reports of technical issues from any chambers whatsoever with regards to booking interviews or communicating with candidates. Nor does there appear to be any technical issue within the gateway. Jobs Go Public has said that should they receive any reports of a technical problem from chambers they will investigate further.

This isn’t the first time a pupillage offer mess up has led to some tear-stained cheeks. In a move that saddened some of last year’s bar hopefuls, London’s 5 Essex Court invited a number of applicants to attend pupillage interviews by “mistake”. Fast forward two hours and unsuccessful candidates received a second email, this time explaining that due to a technical “glitch” they had been invited by mistake.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub here.