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.
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.
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