When you set your standards as low as Pupillage Portal (the recently-retired pupillage application website), it doesn't take much to come up with an improvement. Sadly, this seems to be the philosophy guiding the development of its replacement, Pupillage Gateway.
OK, it's not quite that bad. But it's bad...
Hopefully the highly unimpressive-looking – and error riddled – temporary version of Pupillage Gateway that is currently online will be improved upon considerably when it is launched in "February 2012" (I think the Bar Council means February 2013). But I wouldn't hold your breath.
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 still feel like a barrister...
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 paths to my goal. Indeed I was on the verge of crossing the Atlantic to study further in the US before something rather wonderful happened.
I am delighted to inform you that I have obtained pupillage.
There was widespread disbelief earlier this year when, for the first time in its three-year history, Pupillage Portal didn’t go down in the run up to the April 26 pupillage application deadline.
And there was more shock today when the site – which is rumoured to have been designed by Lord Neuberger during an introduction to the internet class – kept working as chambers made their pupillage offers.
But in facilitating this impressive outcome, the elite team of operatives responsible for maintaining Pupillage Portal let a couple of other things slip...
There is widespread shock among Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) students today after the Pupillage Portal website kept working in the run up to this morning's 11am deadline for pupillage applications.
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 interested in and why?”, “Why do you believe you will make a good barrister?”
I know it is boxes such as these that even leading barristers like Tony Blair who have gone onto become household names have had to tick, but I query why Bar students are required to explain ad infinitum our motivations for a career that implicitly we have demonstrated commitment to by pursuing this high-risk path in the first place!
Some say the pressure is on for people like myself who completed the BPTC last year, and that this is the round that we must obtain our goal or otherwise remain forever upon the trash heap. At the bad times, when reading a pupillage rejection letter or reflecting on an interview performance that could have gone better, it would be easy to believe this view. However, it is of course nonsense.
Follow @pondcat First, the bar’s awful ‘Pupillage Portal’; now the solicitors' regulator has run into criticism for its handling of students' online registrations. Cat Pond investigates
A key obligation of the wannabe solicitor is the requirement that they register with the Solicitors' Regulation Authority (SRA). Strict deadlines are enforced and the nervous Legal Practice Course (LPC) student is told sternly that non-compliance will result in ejection from the course.
This process will likely be the first brush many have with issues like professional conduct and suitability, as well as with the regulator itself. And they do say first impressions count.
Sadly, the impression myself and fellow classmates have received has been far from positive. The process this year has been marred by what appeared to be a series of blunders, leaving many students stranded in bureaucracy during the busy time at the start of their courses.
Follow @FellowsAdam Bar graduate Adam Fellows on why, in spite of the odds, he’s determined to land a pupillage
Earlier this month, a few of my colleagues and I went to the Bar Council to take part in an evidence gathering session to feed into a review of the pupillage application system. The online application system has been overhauled over the past few years, and chambers change their minds every year as to whether they want to be a part of it, or not. However, regardless of their membership of the Pupillage Portal, each chambers asks the same question, “why do you want to be a barrister?” The question typically allows 150 words. Thinking about it, the focus of the question can change a lot depending upon where you put the stress on the sentence.