Pupillage places jump by 7%

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New stats show 510 pupils started their training last year

The number of registered pupillages at the bar is up by nearly 7%.

Fresh figures, which form part of the Bar Standards Board’s (BSB) 2018-19 business plan, show that 510 pupils started their on-the-job training in 2017. This is compared to just 478 rookie barristers in the previous year, equating to a rise of 6.6% or 32 pupillage places.

The business plan also shows there were 1,423 students studying the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) in the last academic year. That’s also ever so lightly up from 1,409 (1%).

Unfortunately, this glimmer of pupillage hope doesn’t detract from the uphill battle bar hopefuls face in securing a traineeship.

Last month, Legal Cheek revealed that 2,089 wannabe barristers submitted an eye-watering 14,516 pupillage applications via the Bar Council’s Pupillage Gateway this year. And the number of pupil places they were fighting over? Just 224, down 1.8% on last year’s figure of 228. (Some chambers have their own recruitment timetable and do not advertise through the Gateway, hence the large discrepancy between Gateway and BSB pupillage figures.)

The 2018 Chambers Most List

The new stats come just days after the regulator confirmed, following a consultation, that the four Inns of Court will continue to have an essential role in the training of barristers.

In a policy statement released on Friday, the BSB’s top brass said aspiring barristers will still need to hold a “student membership of an Inn” and complete compulsory “professional development activities” known as qualifying sessions.

As part of a consultation paper published back in October, the BSB had suggested that qualifying sessions and standardised 12-month pupillages could be scrapped. Confirming that the former is here to stay, the regulator said it would consider responses to the latter at board meetings in April and May.

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Is that a “jump” or is it a “slight increase”?


loljk m8

Freakin’ huge m8



The Bar is a dying profession and is not sustainable, young tenants are still being recruited every year and are simply cheap fodder for silks who use them for the first few years to do their work and then move on to less expensive juniors. At my set new juniors are taking home more than 20 year call barristers.



Following the abolition of tribunal fees in Unison v Lord Chancellor, expect to see even more next year.






upsurge in work m8 innit



In terms of competition for pupillage, I wonder about the significance of the number of enrolments on the BPTC when the number of students who actually complete the course appears to be much lower. In 2015/16 for example (the latest year for which such stats have been released) there were 1399 enrolments on the course but only 777 actually completed the course. Given the five year time frame the stats still aren’t amazing, but the trend suggests that there is a clear, if slow, decrease in the number of students actually coming out of the BPTC and competing for pupillage.


Bob the goat

It’s easy to get a pupillage in some crappy chambers. It’s only difficult to get one in a decent set.

It’s like training contracts. Some of the solicitors I’ve been instructed by can barely read and they got training contracts.

If you can’t get a pupillage it’s because your either not up to it or youre trying to play in a league you’re not good enough to play it.

More pupillages or less won’t make a difference. There have always been enough for people who deserve them




Clearly those solicitors instruct a barrister who fails to know the difference between ‘less’ and ‘fewer’.


Bob the goat

Oops got you on a pupillage rejection day..


Granny Grammar




thats such a bad point…



It is all about whites vs niggros ! Apocalypse is coming.


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