How should chambers and law firms reject applicants?

Recently we received this email from a disgruntled pupillage-seeker… How did the pupillage-seeker know they had been rejected first thing in the morning if it was done “by silence”, you may be wondering? Because, as you can see below, the rejection was performed by a change in the status of the application on Pupillage Gateway… Read more »

‘We don’t even want to know your grades’: Is this the future of hiring pupil barristers?

Exclusive: Outer Temple Chambers has launched a new approach to graduate recruitment, which it is trialling from next month in conjunction with the Free Representation Unit (FRU). The “deliberately radical, blind process” will not require prospective pupils to provide A-Level or degree grades, the name of their university or any information about their extra-curricular achievements…… Read more »

Unfunded pupillages are back

For ten years now, it has been compulsory for chambers to pay their pupils. But it’s still possible to get round the rule if a Bar Standards Board (BSB) waiver is obtained — as Regent Chambers has just proved… From Pupillage Gateway, here is Stoke-based Regent Chambers’ ad for a 12 month unfunded pupillage commencing… Read more »

Guildhall Chambers becomes latest set to stop offering criminal pupillages

Bristol-based Guildhall Chambers has followed London set Charter Chambers in withdrawing its criminal pupillage for next year. It’s another indication that, despite the defiant public pronouncements about overcoming “Failing Grayling”, growing numbers at the criminal Bar reckon the game is up… News of the withdrawal came via an email from the Pupillage Gateway system on… Read more »

Tooksgate: Michael Mansfield Releases Statement Saying He ‘Would Not Knowingly Have Become Involved In An Event That Charged Students’

Michael Mansfield QC, the star speaker at the now notorious paid-for pupillage application advice event, has released a statement distancing himself from the organisers. Awkwardly, those organisers, Naeem Mian and Sultana Tafadar, are both barristers at Tooks Chambers – the set which Mansfield leads… In the statement, which appeared this morning on Tooks Chambers’ website, the… Read more »

Tooks QC Distances Himself From Colleagues’ ‘Ground Breaking’ How-To-Get-A-Pupillage Money Making Venture – But Mansfield Still Scheduled To Speak

On Friday we revealed that the directors of the company behind an event charging wannabe barristers for pupillage application advice are Tooks Chambers barristers Naeem Mian and Sultana Tafadar. Not keen to be associated with such behaviour, one of Tooks’ star silks, Hugh Southey QC, today took to Twitter with the aim of distancing himself… Read more »

Tooks Chambers Barristers Start Company That Charges Bar Hopefuls £186 Each For Pupillage Application Advice From Michael Mansfield QC

When criminal barristers talk of having to diversify in order to survive, it’s generally assumed that they mean developing expertise in different areas of the law. The expectation isn’t that they would, say, start up a company that charges wannabe barristers £186 a pop to receive advice on ‘How to get a pupillage’. But that… Read more »

JOB ALERT: Commercially-Minded Third Six Pupils

From Baby Barristers: a leading barristers’ chambers seeks third six pupils who have completed pupillage at strong commercial sets to fill a number of exciting positions. Excellent academic backgrounds are essential. The work will be primarily commercial arbitration with an international flavour. Two of the roles will be based in London and one in the… Read more »

Podcast: How Far Should Bar Hopefuls Follow Their Dreams?

Incredibly, Yusuf Solley landed the first pupillage he applied for – with the Government Legal Service (GLS) then paying his way through the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). But despite being involved in some fantastic work at, amongst other departments, the Attorney-General’s Office, Solley yearned to be on his feet in court… So after qualifying… Read more »

Bar Council’s ‘Modern’ Replacement For Pupillage Portal Isn’t Looking So Modern…

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… Read more »

Junior Barrister Follows In Obama’s Footsteps By Becoming Top Ranked Post In Reddit’s ‘IAmA’ Section – But Who Is He?

Yesterday, an anonymous junior barrister (whose ID card is pictured below) found himself the talk of the internet, after a seemingly unremarkable post inviting questions about his job as a “wig-wearing court advocate” became the top ranked post in social network Reddit’s ‘IamA’ section. ‘IAmA’ (‘I am a’) is an online Q&A session, where users… Read more »

Entry To The Bar: ‘Let The Cream Rise To The Top’

OccupyTheInns disagrees with the call made by Mr Justice Burton at Saturday’s Young Bar Conference to make more pupillages available Almost a year has passed since I launched my campaign urging Bar graduates without a pupillage to show their dissatisfaction by peacefully occupying the Inns of Court. At the time I was an angry young… Read more »

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 »

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 »

Minimum Pupillage Award ‘Limits Flow Of Talent To The Bar’

Keep the minimum wage for trainee solicitors, but scrap it for pupil barristers, argues OccupyTheInns The thorny issue of the minimum wage for pupils and trainees has been raising its troublesome head recently. Firstly one unfortunate BPTC graduate found his claim that the minimum pupillage award is racist dismissed unceremoniously. And then came this nonsense… Read more »