There has been good news recently for several Legal Cheek contributors – three of whom have bagged pupillages and one a training contract. Congratulations to them all!
This week’s podcast guest, Bar graduate Gemma Amran, has also done pretty well for herself, netting a prestigious position at the European Commission in Brussels, from where she arrives at Legal Cheek’s sumptuous Hackney studios hot off the Eurostar.
As Gemma has documented in a couple of excellent recent blogs, she’s happy with her lot, and has decided to bring her quest to become a barrister to a close – having completed the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) in 2010.
Some students, however, keep battling away to fulfil their lawyer dreams for years. At face value, their persistence is admirable, but becoming a pupil or trainee also involves going back to square one to an extent – often with less status and money than the jobs that they have taken in the meantime...
Editorial note: Last month Gemma Amran turned the conventional pupillage hunt narrative on its head when she wrote about how not getting a pupillage hadn’t been such a bad thing for her. Here Gemma charts her journey from the BPTC to the European Commission.
During the year between graduating from university and studying the GDL, I applied to do an internship at the European Commission. Months of eager anticipation later, I received a rejection letter.
Fast forward five years: I had just finished the BVC (renamed the BPTC in 2010), I had no pupillage and was struggling to find employment. One late dewy summer afternoon as I sat in a London park contemplating my future, my head suddenly turned towards the horizon and a calm and soothing voice overwhelmed me, "Look to Europe," it said...
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 years of applying for pupillage, having achieved accolades from my Inn and during my legal studies, interned at human rights NGOs and at the UN, done mini-pupillages, volunteered at legal advice centres and worked for legal charities, surely this was my time...