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

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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.

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51 Comments

Concerned

My grammar isn’t always 100% but the second sentence of the rejection notice seems wrong. Should either be 2 sentences or a different punctuation mark than a comma?

(22)(1)

Anonymous

Yes

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Yep, should have either been a semicolon or an ‘as’ after the comma. Damn fools.

(4)(0)

Concerned

So applicants will be frowned upon for poor grammar or spelling errors in their applications.

Meanwhile, Carmelite can’t even use the correct grammar on a standard rejection letter.

And I thought it was bad when a chambers consistently misspelt pupillage on its website…

(8)(0)

Anonymous

It is not only chambers if I am totally honest. Go on any MC website and you will find tons of grammar and spelling mistakes under their Graduate Recruitment sections.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Yes – it’s the calibre of HR people that’s the issue.

(8)(0)

Frank

What “HR” people are you talking about? There is no HR sift. You application is dealt with by junior tenants.

And who are they looking for?

Guys just like them.

Wake up.

(0)(4)

Anonymous

Given the comment “you application” can one assume that you are indeed one of those junior tenants to whom you refer?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

A punctuation mark which is DIFFERENT FROM a comma. Jesus wept.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

While I am completely disgusted at Carmelite Chambers shoody administration, the grammar in the second sentence is not flawed.

The comma was used, I imagine, to not seem so harsh in delivering the death blow of non – selection. Would be a bit harsh to baldly state “You have not been selected…” without the “We regret to inform you” waffle at the start…

Carmelite’s major error is a howler by itself, picking holes in their grammar is not needed…

(0)(3)

Anonymous

It needed a semi colon instead, making no difference to how harsh it sounded.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Last sentence of third paragraph has a word missing: “I would like to apologise the inconvenience caused to you”.

(1)(0)

Oops

Carmeshi’e

(16)(2)

Anonymous

I was one of the individuals who received an interview offer notification, and then a rejection email.

Considering how anxiety-inducing and seemingly arbitrary the pupillage application process is, I’d be happy to see whoever caused this cock-up marched out onto the street and shot. Same goes for staff at chambers that reject candidates but don’t bother to communicate that to them.

(30)(16)

Concerned

That seems entirely proportionate.

(50)(1)

Anonymous

Unlike your mum

(33)(7)

Carmelite HR

It is simply far too time consuming to respond to to everyone who has not been successful. Every application will receive an automatic response stating that if you have no heard back within “x” period of time then your application has not been successful.
A lot of these applicants are utter sh*te….If you don’t hear back one too many times perhaps you are too.

(7)(18)

Anonymous

Rejection emails can be sent by way of a simple mail merge – it would take 20 minutes, tops. And no, many application confirmation emails do not have guidance to that effect. Have you actually been through a pupillage cycle?

(3)(3)

Carmelite HR

I work on the recruitment side of these things. I know the process much better than most!

(2)(8)

Anonymous

Poor flower.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

To be fair to Carmelite, the sort of candidate that doesn’t make their shortlist for interview probably isn’t a realistic candidate for pupillage at any set.

(5)(2)

Anonymous

How many interviews did you get?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

More than your mum

(2)(0)

Pepe (PBUH)

No shit, Sherlock.

(1)(0)

Helen

Even worse when you get through to the second round interview stage (1of 6 candidates) and you only find out you have not been successful due to the statuses of your fellow candidates on Social Media. Never a single word back from the chambers despite a polite contact to ask ‘when the outcomes of the interview would be communicated’. Disgusting.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

I have to laugh at the quoted candidate who said that, as a result of this, she doesn’t think she’ll apply to them next year.

That’ll teach this set!

(55)(0)

Anonymous

Agreed. It’s this sort of passiveness that perpetuates the shit-show that is the pupillage application process.

(6)(0)

Boh Dear

What would really show them is applying, going to first and second round interviews, getting an offer and THEN rejecting their offer! Ha! All their time wasted!

Easy.

(11)(1)

Anonymous

What she should have pledged was to enter 100 dummy applications, all applying to Carmelite.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Definite a female comment that one! We all know she will be applying again next year.

(3)(5)

Anonymous

(1)(0)

Anonymous

12k award, 12k earnings…I think these chaps did the “aspiring pupils” a favour. Put as many idiots off that financial suicide as possible. Give Carmelite an award.

(10)(1)

Anonymous

Carmelite; the Irwin Mitchell of the barrister world

(19)(2)

SodsLaw

This isn’t the first time. They failed to invite me to interview a couple of years ago. I can only assume that was an accident too. Right? Guys?

(23)(0)

Anonymous

#Bantz

(3)(3)

LondonBar

They also managed to forget to take part in the Bar’s strike….

(13)(3)

Carmelite Pupil

#thisistrue

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Basically some Essex seccy clicked the wrong button.

(12)(6)

Anonymous

This happened to mee. Reminded me of all da rejection and setbacks I’ve had in life when all i wanted was a puplage to liv the dream.

xxx

(7)(1)

Anonymous

Hani, is that you?

(11)(0)

Anonymous

Of course it’s not Hani. She’s never had a rejection or a setback.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

#blessed

(3)(0)

Anonymous

#godisgreat

(3)(0)

Pantman

Isn’t it just standard practise to blame technical problems for what is, in fact, human error?

(7)(0)

Anonymous

Carmelite are a good Set and a decent bunch of people. Mistakes happen, get over it.

(4)(6)

Anonymous

Hi Carmelite HR lady!

(6)(0)

Who cares

Or head of chambers?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Best quote in this article: “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.”

This Carmelite reject already given up on securing pupillage this year.

(5)(0)

Lord Harley etc. etc.

I didn’t need a pupillage, didn’t let that hold me back though!

(2)(0)

Grow up Bar

Did this last year too

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I actually didn’t receive any PG emails but received a phone call instead as I hadn’t called to confirm my interview slot; from forums online I understand this happened to a couple of other applicants too. In this case, they sent out emails through PG and it never got to our inboxes! Therefore, I am convinced that they are actually trying their best and that there was a genuine issue with the PG systems. We need to remember that Chambers want to find the right pupil as much as we want to be accepted by the right set, so there’s pressure on both sides…..though admittedly there’s a lot more pressure on us as applicants. I suppose my point is…let’s try and be more understanding of Chambers’ shortcomings!

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.