Bar Council ups Pupillage Gateway application limit from 12 to 20

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Centralised system reopens on 28 November

Aspiring barristers will be able to submit up to 20 applications through the Pupillage Gateway from next year, up from a previous limit of 12.

The Bar Council has confirmed that pupillage hunters will receive an additional eight throws of the dice when the Gateway reopens for browsing on 28 November. Bar hopefuls can submit applications from 7 January 2019, until the Gateway closes on 7 February 2019. Pupillage offers are then made through the system on or after 7 May 2019.

For the unversed, the Bar Council-operated Gateway is a centralised site which allows chambers to post pupillage vacancies. It’s also worth noting many chambers operate their own recruitment timetable and do not advertise pupillage vacancies through the Gateway.

The 2018 Chambers Most List

Application limits aside, the pursuit for pupillage remains as ruthless as ever.

Earlier this year, we reported that 2,089 students fired off at least one application via the Pupillage Gateway during the 2017/18 window — a rise of 4% on 2017’s figure of 2,004. However, the total number of applications submitted through the portal was actually down by 6.5% to 14,516 from the previous year.

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the Bar Council’s application system. In 2016, a glitch meant many users fired off applications with key pieces of information missing.

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Absolutely love how LC call that piece posted just before this on gender quotas a “careers” article so people cannot comment on it. Absolute shambles.



Manly hands holding the wig as well…



are you assuming xir’s gender


Giorgia Letwin

This isn’t the real issue when it comes to pupillages.

Chambers should set aside pupillages specifically for women and BME candidates to help boost diversity.



It’s insulting to assume that I (as a BME person) cannot attain pupillage by my own merits in competition with everyone else; so you lower the standard for me



Surely that applies to all quotas including things like all-women shortlist’s?


Charlotte Proudfoot

Well, squidge my skiddy panties!

Someone who agrees with me!!!!!

This post is all about MEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!






Comment is only free when it concurs with the prevailing Woke view.



Check your privilege, bro!



It will probably just mean more dross for selection committees to screen out.


Shivani Jegarajah

But even making my 100 applications is pointless if there are limited pupillage s available. small chambers cannot offer pupillage because they can’t afford it. The big popular chambers will cherrypick the elite aside from a few overwhelmingly qualified BAME applicants. Leaving a big mountain of applicants going for paralegal jobs or masters getting further and further away from pupillage. If they don’t have rich mummies and daddies – they will be drowning in loans. Either the Bar Ckuncil doesn’t know what is going down or don’t care.



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


Common Law, Common Sense

BME/BAME are used interchangeably, actually.

By the way, ‘forever’ should not be hyphenated.



I think the OP was referring to words such as “Ckncil” and “pupillage s” when suggesting that proof reading ought to be employed!



And “live-forever” is clearly meant to be sung.


That Bame meme thing isn’t usually deleted. It’s become part of LC folklore ok varying degrees of irritation!

Criminal hack

Sorry, but that doesn’t make any sense at all.

“But even making my 100 applications is pointless if there are limited pupillage s available.” — What would you suggest, unlimited pupillages?

“small chambers cannot offer pupillage because they can’t afford it” — What chambers cannot afford £12k between all members? They may decide not to take pupils, and fair play to them. Or they may decide they would, but no-one wants to be pupil supervisor that year. But It would have to be a really crappy set not to be able to afford the £12k you need to pay a pupil.

“The big popular chambers will cherrypick the elite” — Again, what do you suggest? Do you suggest chambers should choose applicants they don’t consider the best? Make offers to the two who performed the worst at second interview, because “picking the elite” is bad?

“Leaving a big mountain of applicants going for paralegal jobs or masters getting further and further away from pupillage. If they don’t have rich mummies and daddies – they will be drowning in loans.” — You’re contradicting yourself. If they go for paralegal jobs, they’ll be earning money. In any case, isn’t it exactly what graduates should be doing? Getting a job? Obviously not everyone gets the exact job they want. The more elite the job, the more difficult to get. The best get pupillage, the others become paralegals and try again next year. Every law student knows or should know that’s the deal. In other news, the sky is blue, shit stinks, and Prince Philip is old.



The Bar Council seems to think adding more deckchairs will solve the problem of insufficient lifeboats.



I cannot overstate how thankful I am to not have to apply this year. Doing 20 applications through the gateway sounds like hell on Earth.


Common Law, Common Sense

Agreed. Particularly since chambers can now set as many and as particularised questions as they like. Most people I know who secured pupillage didn’t even apply to 12 last/this year, and (generally speaking) the more sets people applied to, the lower the typical quality of their application(s).


My stats.

Applications- 5

Interviews – 3

Pupillages – 1


My Stats Two

Applications – 3

Interviews – 1

Pupillage – 1

I strongly believe quality goes much further than quantity. One should tailor applications to specific Chambers. That takes a LOT of time.



Should one


You forgot to add a question mark to that sarcasm.


smug gits


Applications 40

Interviews (first round) 14

Interviews (final round) 3

Pupillages 1 (and that’s all you need!)



At least 50 applications over 2 years

5 first round

1 second round

1 pupillage.

5 years call billing £260k. Lots of luck involved along the way.


Pics or it didn’t happen.

The Stal’

Cool story, Bruh.


Genuine questions.

1. Area of practice?

2. How much do you receive?

3. How many days a week do you work?

My stats.

1. Crime

2. £55K taxable

3. 4/ 5 days/wk. 8 wks hol.


1. Commercial Chancery (2015 Call)
2. £200k raw billing, £140 taxable
4. 4 maybe 5 or some weeks 7 some weeks 2 days


When DWF has an in-house Chambers it will open the floodgates to applicants to join its state of the art team.

It really will.



Of course it will. Maybe it will rival the great in-house advocacy team of Lyons Davidson.



Ah yes, the aggressive little PI hacks they send to the county court to go up against real counsel who think that aggression and passionate submissions can make up for the deficiencies in their case or knowledge of the law.



I sharply exhaled from my nose



I saw one of them do that during XX once.

A snorter flew out and landed on his papers.

Client looked disgusted.

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