Pupil barrister spotted sweeping chambers’ front step with dustpan and brush

They don’t teach you this on the BPTC


A London barrister has taken to Twitter claiming he’s spotted a pupil outside chambers sweeping up with a dustpan and brush.

David Peachey, a property and commercial specialist at Lincoln’s Inn’s Enterprise Chambers, “thinks” he might have spotted a pupil who’s moonlighting as another set’s cleaner.

Peachey — tweeting earlier this week — makes clear that the aspiring cleaner barrister isn’t a pupil at his chambers.

Legal Cheek understands that pupils are often required to do things that aren’t mentioned on the pupillage page of the chambers’ website. Coffee runs, dry cleaning collection and even babysitting are tasks that a young wannabe may be called upon to do.

With ‘cleaner’ now apparently added to the list, at least you’ll have a well-rounded CV if you don’t secure tenancy.



SPOTTED: Magic Circle trainee puts coffee cup in the sink after use.
“WOAH, I didn’t realise that being a Barista was part of the training contract!!”


I hear that cleaning a shit out of the pool is one of the additional ‘duties’ on a Clifford Chance TC


that’s only if you failed to catch the turd as it was dropping out

The Bounder

My pupil master sometimes asked me to top up his parking. But he was very nice about it. He also used to steal my Times 2 for the sudoku. And he’d often greet me by saying, “yo mother f**ker!” And he’d send me out for sweets when we were co-defending.

“What have you got today?”

“Murray mints”

“What? They have loud wrappers”

“Oh sorry”

(Don’t tell Charlotte Proudman, she’ll have him infront of the ECJ)


Sounds like you won the Pupilmaster lottery.

I’m crossing my fingers to avoid babysitting and stoop sweeping.


Is the picture hinting the pupil is at 4KBW? Not surprised.

Sir Viv

Wouldn’t be surprised if the order came from Mr Power……

Monckton Chambers Molester

It could be worse – the pupil could be spotted handcuffed and gagged, bent over a leather chair all covered in lube with a large three-pronged silicone dildo up their arse while their Pupilmaster, having gulped down a couple of tabs of Viagra, stands by hurriedly thumping his little bishop to get him into action.

Think about it.

Lord Lyle of the Isles

There was the story of the pupil who was greeted by his pupil master with “I have the largest cock in Chambers!”
to which the pupil instantly replied “not any more”.

Lord Lyle of the Isles

Then there was the pupil who was asked to stand behind his pupil Master’s computer and move one inch to the right every 15 minutes. After several hours the pupil realised he was being used as a


That’s a good anecdote; shame you stole it from Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe (applied to runners on TV shows).

Stories like this are bit like ones they run every year about Oxbridge interviews; half of them are probably exagerrated or made up. I know it’s very entertaining, and you probably think it’s harmless, but it contributes to reinforcing a negative and inaccurate stereotype about the Bar.

The reality is less newsworthy; the vast vast majority of pupils work hard, have a lot expected of them, and are held to a very high standard. Inevitably a story like this will attract a lot of real or fabricated war stories; I would recommend you look on them with considerable scepticism. Pupillage isn’t about hazing or ritual humilation, it’s just hard, stressful work.

Not Amused

I completely agree.

Moreover people who peddle myths and lies (who do so for mischief or because it is ‘fun’ or because of envy and spite) have a serious and negative impact upon social mobility and diversity in this country.

Peddling myths about Oxbridge. Lies about the Bar. Pretending everyone is secretly racist or secret snobs. Pretending there is rampant sexism. These have all morphed in to being far more corrosive than the supposed ills they purport to combat.

The simple truth is that Britain in the 21st Century is the most diverse country on the planet with some of the best rights and protections but more importantly with a genuinely inclusive and multi cultural world view. The factors inhibiting social mobility are:

1) Money; and
2) A lack of confidence in certain groups of young people

Any action which increases 2 is fundamentally wrong.

Monckton Chambers Marauder

You’re about as useful as a cock-flavoured lolly, NA. Sod off with this crap will ya?


The utility of a cock-flavoured lolly would depend on ones inclination would it not?

Barista to Barrister

So what? I did my pupillage at a Northern super-set in the 2000s the pupils were expected to make and serve the coffee at lunch before sitting in silence during lunch, speak when spoken to and not smile too often lest it undermine a professional image. Other chores as required. Pupils were also expected to be first into Chambers in the morning and last to leave. Pupilmaster was a legend who also paid for lunch every day I was out with him during first six, though. All of us were just glad to have a pupillage in the first place!


I call bullsh1t – no such thing as a northern “super” set.

Monckton Chambers Marauder

“Northern super set” – I looooooooooled


I was at Peel Court too. I well recall the ‘sandwich ordeal’ as the common-room lunch gathering was called.


what a non story – I once did the hoovering after a chambers party where I had to serve drinks, its what you do at small sets, you muck in, roll your sleeves up and become part of the team and what does this teach you – something very important – you stop being a snob, you value your clerks and you remember to be nice to the cleaner when they come in in the evenings to tidy up and do the washing up barristers are too lazy to do.


So did I, along with a fellow pupil who is now a QC.


Excuse me: all the above stories are lies and utter rubbish! Even the worst chambers would not subject their pupils to those things.

I was pampered at my chambers!

Naughty secrets of the chambers

Pampered eh? Well I guess that plenty of grease and a couple of fingers in first are good manners when it’s your turn to receive the sausage.


Roll up! Roll up! Post your exaggerated and improbable pupillage stories here.


In my old set a senior barrister once said to his (female) pupil “they don’t usually let me have female pupils but I think they allowed me to have you because you’re too old for me to shag”


At my set in [unverifiable date] I was buggered senseless by Leroy and Tyrone on a weekly basis while my pupil master and head of chambers had a good laugh at me spread eagled getting my shit pushed in.

It was character building and I thank my unnamed set for the opportunity.

Having completed pupillage I am now the letter instead of the letterbox.


My pupil master used to take me out for a drink and was the person who introduced me to Green Lane and Southall. A truly lovely man.

James A

Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down Chambers, and pay pupil master for permission to come to work, and when I got home, me Dad would kill me, and dance about on my grave singing “Hallelujah.”


But you try and tell the young people today that… and they won’t believe ya


Every day of my pupillage I worked from 10 to 12, then had lunch in a nice restaurant (often the Savoy Grill or the Ivy), returned to chambers and drank Dom Perignon until 5pm, before going home in a cab, all paid for by my pupil master. True.

Boh Dear

I haven’t commenced my pupillage yet but I do recall several interviews with ‘advocacy exercises’ where I was required to fit as much pork sausage into my mouth as possible. This confused me no end.


If all these story’s are true glad I am independ and did my pupillage with my uncle


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