Pupillage

How To Survive The Bar Professional Training Course

After finally securing a pupillage over the summer, OccupyTheInns returns to offer his words of wisdom to students commencing the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) this month Amongst the celebrations, late nights out and long brunches I have enjoyed since obtaining pupillage last month, one thought has kept returning to my mind: how can I… Read more »

Survival Tips For Baby Barristers At The Publicly Funded Bar

Last week, David Cameron’s former chief-of-staff, Alex Deane, explained to Legal Cheek why he tired of the genteel poverty of the criminal Bar – and eventually quit. Will things work out differently for this week’s guest, 2 Dr Johnson’s Buildings pupil barrister Stephanie Wookey (pictured), who joins Bircham Dyson Bell solicitor Kevin Poulter (pictured) and… Read more »

Didn’t Get a Pupillage? Well, There’s Always Origami

Hope is gradually fading for this year’s batch of BPTC graduates without pupillages as the end of the window for barristers’ chambers to make job offers approaches. Anybody sans pupillage offer by 2pm tomorrow is going to have to wait until the Pupillage Portal application system re-opens next year. In the meantime, it’s possible to… Read more »

Finally, The Inns Of Court Are Occupied!

During the past year the light at the end of the tunnel grew so dim on occasions that I could barely make out its glow. There were times when I considered abandoning my quest altogether and settling for a life in another field, writes BPTC graduate OccupyTheInns. At other junctures, I thought about plotting different… Read more »

‘If At First You Don’t Succeed, Just Give Up’

Accepting you’re not going to get a pupillage can take more courage than blindly persisting with your barrister dream, writes Gemma Amran This year was going to be a different. I could feel it. I had been working in EU criminal justice policy at the European Commission in Brussels for the last year. After three… Read more »

Plan B: If You Can’t Get a TC Or Pupillage, Become An Entrepreneur

The BBC’s Paul ‘I’ve-lived-in-London-for-20-years-but-still-speak-like-a-miner’ Mason is pessimistic about the future of conventional graduate jobs. “The west’s model is broken. It cannot deliver enough high-value work for its highly educated workforce,” he wrote last week. But Mason is encouraged by the initiative shown by the youth of today, who he believes could be saved by their… Read more »

GDL Route ‘Made Me a Damn Sight More Rounded Than If I Had Read An LLB’

OccupyTheInns backs Lord Sumption’s recent pro-GDL comments, and draws paralells between drug shame pupil Henry Mostyn and new Spurs manager André Villas-Boas After so much discussion recently about “accelerated” law degrees and legal apprenticeships, I was relieved to read over the weekend the ever-sensible Supreme Court Justice Lord Sumption standing up for the liberal arts… Read more »

Restricting The BPTC To Students Who’ve Already Bagged a Pupillage Wouldn’t Breach Competition Law…

…but it would put pressure on chambers to fund the course – and could lead to it getting scrapped altogether, writes Lancaster University’s Angus MacCulloch The plight of thousands of aspiring barristers who invest large sums of money to undertake the BPTC, but are increasingly unlikely to secure pupillage, has encouraged a lively debate in… Read more »

Five Ways To Solve The Pupillage Crisis

The chairman of the Bar Council was recently reported in the Evening Standard saying that there are not enough pupillages for those trying to enter the Bar. This is not new, but that is not to say that it should not be news, writes The Law Horse. Every BPTC student gambles tens of thousands of… Read more »

BPP Law School CEO Says Avoid Criminal Bar; Bar Council Chief Voices ‘Great Concern’ At Number Of Barrister Wannabes – Yet Still Students Keep Flocking To The BPTC

On Sunday BPP Law School chief executive Peter Crisp became the latest – and most unlikely – person to (indirectly) lend his voice to the growing chorus of warnings against doing the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). Speaking to The Sunday Times(£), Crisp said that he does “not advise going into criminal practice at the… Read more »

Apprentice Star Sparks Daily Mail Pupillage Coffee-Making Row

“If you had someone trained as a barrister, you wouldn’t have them running round making coffee all day – it’s demeaning,” Apprentice winner (and former banker) Stella English told the Daily Mail on Monday, having quit her new role because she wasn’t given enough responsibility. Au contraire, Stella. Rookie barristers make lots of coffee –… Read more »

If Pupillage Portal Doesn’t Work Then It’s The New York Bar

OccupyTheInns ponders the merits of a high risk, yet potentially high reward, plan B This week I have turned once more to the business of pupillage application as Pupillage Portal opened for its Spring season. There again were the familiar questions: “Why do you wish to become a barrister?”, “What areas of practice are you… Read more »

Killing Time In Pre-Pupillage Purgatory

Pupillage-less prospective barrister Jack Smith is wary of forking out yet more cash on a masters, but daunted by the challenge of landing quality interim legal employment in a difficult market With only a few exams and assessments before the end of the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), thoughts have turned recently to what the… Read more »

Bar Should Be Restricted To Russell Group Graduates

Why incur the cost and hassle of an aptitude test to limit entry onto the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) when there is a far easier solution, asks OccupyTheInns This week the Law Society warned the Bar off introducing an aptitude test to restrict entry onto the BPTC. You may not expect this from a… Read more »

Pupillage In The Provinces? Thanks, But No Thanks

London-based pupillage hunter OccupyTheInns thinks taking a position in the regions could be a bad move As time goes by, a dilemma that I find myself increasingly fighting with is whether I would consider pupillage in the provinces. I am well aware that there are many highly robust chambers outside London, where some impressive members… Read more »

Do Trainees And Pupils ‘Contribute Nothing’?

At 2.30pm yesterday Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge was beginning to panic. The arranged guest for the #RoundMyKitchenTable podcast – hosted by Alex and rising star lawyer Kevin Poulter – had pulled out. With recording due to begin at 530pm, what was Aldridge going to do? Grabbing his grubby laptop, the gutter legal journalist logged into… Read more »

Simon Myerson QC: I’d Rather Have a Coffee Than a Pupil

‘Pupils contribute nothing to chambers during their pupillage’, writes Simon Myerson QC, so paying them more than the £12K minimum makes no sense I like Legal Cheek and I like Alex Aldridge who runs it. Nonetheless, it has recently gone all tabloid on the issue of funding for pupillages, and I have told Alex so…. Read more »

#RoundMyKitchenTable Exam Special: How Do You Revise And Apply For Jobs?

Taking a rare break from revising for his Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) exams, barrister-to-be Jack Smith travels east to join Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge and employment law whiz Kevin Poulter around a Hackney kitchen table (pictured). “How do you get the balance right between studying and devoting sufficient time to pupillage applications?” Aldridge… Read more »

Time For Barristers To Put Hands in Their Pockets

Pupillage should be the test for Bar wannabes, not interviews – and wealthy barristers should pay, argues OccupyTheInns Rarely have I found myself nodding as fiercely in agreement as yesterday when I read Andrew Jackson’s proposal to raise the minimum pupillage award by having barristers effectively compelled to pay £3 a day towards the training… Read more »

Make a Difference: Sponsor a Pupil Barrister For Just £3 a Day

Andrew Jackson, a barrister at 5 Pump Court Chambers, has come up with a compelling proposal to raise the measly £12K minimum pupillage award I simply do not accept the fake hand-wringing about pupillage pay. “I wish we could pay our pupils more – they certainly deserve it!” is the typical barristers’ response when this… Read more »

Sloppy Reporting Obscures Bar’s True Pupillage Problems

A contributing factor towards lack of diversity at the Bar, and the oversupply of wannabe barristers, is poor reporting of the issues by the legal press, says Alex Aldridge For journalists, stats-based pieces can be a pain, because they require meticulousness and frequently more work than straight reporting of events. Often you just don’t have… Read more »

Minimum Trainee Solicitor Salary May Be Scrapped – Will Minimum Pupillage Award Be Next?

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has said there’s no regulatory justification for retaining the 30-year-old policy of minimum salaries for trainee solicitors. For legal geeks, the detail is explained nicely on LegalFutures. To summarise the practicalities: the scrapping of the minimum pay rule – currently £18,590 in central London and £16,650 elsewhere – would leave… Read more »