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Pupillage Gateway might not move to January after all

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Bar Council in possible U-turn over centralised application switch

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The Bar Council has today revealed that it will seek “further consultation” over confirmed plans to move the centralised pupillage application system from April to January.

The planned switch — that was announced last month — would mean that aspiring barristers would know if they have secured a pupillage before committing to the costly Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).

However, today’s news would suggest that the Bar Council is getting cold feet, with the bar’s representative body wishing to undertake a consultation this autumn to explore the practical implications of the move.

Legal Cheek understands that the Bar Council has been subject to criticism from several chambers for leaving them in the dark over what was a well-intentioned move, with one insider suggesting that it was “sprung upon us out of the blue”.

Addressing concerns, a spokesperson for the Bar Council said:

The Bar Council is a truly representative body in that it listens to its members. We are sensitive to the fact that for some chambers, moving the Pupillage Gateway opening to January for 2016 is too soon and that there will be logistical problems for chambers already in the process of recruiting pupils for next year. Equally, some students have expressed a desire for us to hold off changing the date. Rather than turn a blind eye to what chambers and students are telling us, we are keen to take on board all concerns. It is therefore vital that we consult further on this matter.

Previously:

Pupillage Gateway moved to January so students know if they have chambers place before committing to BPTC [Legal Cheek]