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Exclusive: Aspiring barrister asked to pay £10 for feedback after unsuccessful 3PB pupillage interview

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139

And she’s paid it

An aspiring barrister hoping to train at 3PB was “astonished” when she was asked to pay a £10 administration fee to obtain pupillage interview feedback.

The student in question told Legal Cheek she recently interviewed at the chambers’ London HQ for a position at one of its regional outposts. Having thought the interview went well, the wannabe barrister — who we have chosen not to name — was “surprised” when she didn’t get through to the second round.

Keen to find out where she went wrong, the Russell Group university student requested feedback and scoring from 3PB, a mixed practice set. Then, she was told:

We have a policy of not providing feedback or marks for any candidate who is unsuccessful in the paper sift or the first round interviews at 3PB.

Though there are no specific rules requiring chambers to provide feedback to unsuccessful pupillage applications, the Bar Standards Board’s (BSB) ‘Pupillage Handbook’ lists it as “good practice”. A spokesperson for 3PB wished to point out to us it does give “substantive feedback to candidates after second interview.”

Not content, the unhappy student — who has made “well over” 100 pupillage applications and “always” asks for feedback — told us she sought advice from her university’s careers service. She was advised to make a Data Protection Act 1998 “subject access request” which she did. The 3PB team informed her it was “happy to comply” with the request, but:

[T]here is a standard administration charge of £10 which you will need to pay 3PB before any further action is taken.

The student, “desperate” for feedback, has now paid. According to her correspondence with the set, seen by Legal Cheek, 3PB has 40 days to “collate and send everything” it has about the student to her. She has described the whole experience as “demoralising”, and told us:

I think if chambers show they are unwilling to support those at the start of the recruitment process, then it is debatable whether they will be a supportive pupillage provider long term and during tenancy.

A spokesperson for 3PB said it receives “an enormous number of applicants” and this year interviewed just over 50 candidates. He added:

We have to strike the balance between giving as many people as possible a chance to interview and being in a position to give substantive feedback on each candidate. I regret time does not permit the latter when we interview so many… It is always possible for anyone to make a request under the data protection act. The charge is set out and is discretionary.

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139 Comments

zan

At least they can spell. Your post made me cringe. Stop ruining the fun.
This might be useful to you. http://www.readingrockets.org/article/basic-spelling-vocabulary-list
Just trying to help

(2)(0)

Sue r pipe

This is fun for you is it you stupid tosser?? Ahaha,, pathetic you belong in the law alright, don’t know arse from elbow just a failed lawyer ah ? Couldn’t get pupillage or tc? Wanker

(0)(3)

zan

I meant stop ruining the thread with your bile.
I will take that as an accurate description of yourself.

(1)(0)

Sue r pipe

Take what as an accurate description? Are you thick or something?

(0)(1)

Sue r pipe

If any body else made these allegations they would be before and officer of the court in no time , that’s just it its one law for barrister and solictor an one for the regular man fighting for justice.

(0)(1)

Genial Genitals of Grays Inn Square

Sue r pipe, I know who you are, you are a barrister at 3PB.3PB must be going down, they trying to raise funds from pupillage applicants! how very sad. To all aspiring pupils, please apply to Mansfield1GIS, a proper set.We are well known for giving our pupils treats, like giving finger sandwiches in the park after court and great advocacy skills.

If this applicant was a pupil at 1 Gray’s Inn Square, we would treat her like a queen. Treat her like a queen and she will treat you like a king, treat her like a game and she will show you how it is played!

(3)(2)

Sue r pipe

I’m not even a barrister, God your thick. Go play with you’re bees domestos

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Big Al Blacker’s back

(5)(0)

zan

oh dear

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I don’t know if the above exchange is a p*ss take or a genuine mudslinging match, but if it’s the latter, I echo Sue’s comments – you’re members of (or affiliated with) one of the most respected professions there is, and this comment section is embarrassing.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

When Alex gets back to work on Tuesday, the comments on this piece are either going to be deleted in 11 seconds, or they’re going to provide the material for a week of stories…

(1)(0)

zan

Can they actually be deleted?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

These exchanges are amusing. I am a solicitor and I have spoken to the clerks of 3PB in the last few weeks and I was intending to instruct 3PB on a number of matters. after reading this, I have decided not to instruct them. As a neutral, I have to say 1GIS are definitely winning the match on here so far!

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Lol you are definitely not a solicitor, and quite obviously a 1GIS barrister

(3)(0)

zan

I apologise in advance but can someone answer this q. No more q’s to follow I promise lol.
If obligations under a contract are divisible/severable then the contract itself is not severable, but just the obligations under the contract. Is this correct? The lecturer keeps saying that where a contract is severable, it consists of separate contracts -How does that make sense, or should I just give up now lol.

(2)(3)

See thru blouse

So not amused at recent 1gis recruits, I thought i had escaped from that crowd and their inappropriate comments !

(0)(0)

ICO

They have basically charged the admin fee allowed by way of the DPA etc for data subject access requests. This is fine if this is what the candidate was asking for. She wasn’t. She was asking for rhyme or reason for the nepotistic process we all know and oddly accept.

(0)(1)

zan

I find it quite unbelievable when people are genuinely shocked if they get a rejection. It’s as though they actually believe they are the ‘best’ candidate and there has been some kind of injustice. There are a bunch of candidates on the right side of the bell curve who would probably be as good or maybe would turn out to be better than the chosen few, but that’s life. Why be a pain in the arse asking for such requests…move on. Self-belief is essential but not to the point of being delusional lol

(1)(0)

Anonymous

The key is deciding when to move on. Some opt for a career at the Bar in a passing fancy – for others, it’s an ambition they’ve held onto tightly for years.

(0)(0)

Backdoor Charlie

Everyone knows that many barristers have applied to 3PB from Mansfield1GIS, some who are current members of their MC. One particular barrister who touts himself as a specialist “employment” barrister with a redundant practice has constantly tried to get into 3PB. One of their clerks was begging to get into 3PB. They were shown the backdoor by 3PB!

(1)(0)

nocaan do

I’m outraged by your reference to unethical practices, I caan assure you that proper front door procedures are always followed at 3pb

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Turned down by 3PB, ouch.

(2)(0)

snowball

oh this is a great little bit of bickering. Mansfield is a god but IGIS is not Tooks.

This post has been moderated because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(0)

I am not the barrister you are looking for

Interviews conducted by chambers are extremely time-intensive and involve independent practitioners giving up their time to sift, interview and re-interview candidates. They do not get paid and in fact give up billable time to do this.
Any large set gets a lot of enquiries and will try to interview a sizeable number of candidates.
Our set (I’m not in 3PB) has a modest number of requests for feedback but if they became sizeable, its a huge administrative task. Unfortunately, a lot of the request for feedback become argumentative very quickly (“I can’t believe you didn’t consider I had good inter-personal skills, all my friends love me…”) and therefore chambers become ever more reluctant to give feedback as a matter of routine to pupillage interviews
That said, it is clear from the story that 3PB did not charge anyone anything for feedback.
The interviewee says they have had 100 interviews and always ask for feedback.
How about not doing that?
If you’ve not worked out the issues after 100 tries with multiple feedback replies, maybe the problems lies not with the chambers?

(2)(1)

Back door tenant

The reality is that commercially driven sets don’t have time for feedback. Not sure why you’re attacking the person who sought feedback though given your priveliged position

(0)(1)

I am not the barrister you are looking for

That was an attack?
Crikey.

(2)(0)

Boots

100 applications, not 100 interviews. Attention to detail….

(1)(0)

I am not the barrister you are looking for

I think the point of the comment may have somewhat sailed over your head.

(1)(0)

Comments are closed.