Pupillage Gateway deadline extended AGAIN in wake of IT problems

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Aspiring barristers now have until 11am Monday to submit applications

The Bar Council has extended the deadline for pupillage applications through its centralised system for the second time in 24 hours, it confirmed this morning. Confirmation of the new deadline, 11am on Monday, follows a wave of complaints concerning the Gateway’s crippling slow operating speed.

As reported by Legal Cheek, pupillage seekers took to social media yesterday to vent their frustrations over the systems inability to cope with the influx in traffic in the run up to the 11am deadline.

One “weary applicant” claimed the site had been “crashing since around midnight”, while another said: “I started uploading my applications at 5.40am or at least trying to. Between 6am and 8.30 I could only upload 2 applications. I have only been able to upload 8 of my 18 applications.”

In response to the complaints, the Bar Council pointed to the “unprecedented levels of traffic” as the cause of the problem but agreed to extend the deadline to 1:30pm.

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This, however, wasn’t good enough, according to a group of barristers, solicitors and academics.

In an open letter published by Pupillage and how to get it, a legal advice blog run by Goldsmith Chambers pupil Beheshteh Engineer and Leeds-based silk Simon Myerson, they argued that the extension did “not sufficiently remedy the prejudice suffered by applicants.” The letter continues:

“We submit that a group of applicants who are placed at the most significant risk of prejudice by this outage are those who have work, study, or caring responsibilities to attend to during ‘normal working hours’. It therefore follows that a last-minute extension of the deadline to a time further in to the working day is of little to no assistance to those candidates who were likely to be caused the greatest prejudice by this outage.”

The letter’s signatories include Lamb Building’s Bernard Richmond QC, Felicity McMahon of 5RB, 42 Bedford Row’s Keri Tayler, Dr Hannah Quirk, a criminal law lecturer at KCL, City Law School and the Young Legal Aid Lawyers group.

Now, in a further update this morning, The Bar Council apologised to those affected by the “IT problems” and confirmed a new deadline of 11am on Monday.

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Definitely the right thing for PG to do and a bit disappointing that it appears to have taken pressure from the profession to get this concession.

Here’s hoping this is the last year we see this kind of issue, it’s unfair to the applicants and the Chambers.


Exchange Chambers Pupillage Team

We require applicants to submit their application on velum parchment, written in copperplate, with a quill pen and ink.

Applicants are required to answer the questions, to the letter, without knowing what the questions are.

Any spelling errors, smudges or improperly formed letters will result in the application going in the bin, and the applicant being required to present themselves at Chambers to receive six of the best.


Bad Decision

If you leave your application until the last minute what do you expect?



I think it’s reasonable to expect that the system will work as promised.



This now disadvantages those that got their applications in on time.



How so?



Pupillages for all!



You’re the least humorous troll on this site.



Anyone who cannot anticipate a likely problem based on the past performance of the system has no place at the bar.

Applicants should have been done and dusted weeks ago.

Applications should be time-stamped to make the sift at chambers easier.



Yeah but with something like Pupillage applications, a lot of people might want to hold off until the last minute checking their applications again and again so they can make sure it’s perfect. I think it’s reasonable for an applicant to make full use of the time allocated to them and if IT problems crop up with the PG they should expect that they will not suffer for it. They have a right to expect that they will be able to submit their applications as close to the deadline as they need or want. After all, if you are told that you have until this date to submit your application, you should not be told that you will suffer a detriment for failing to submit a week before that given date. And while yes a good candidate should be able to anticipate problems when similar ones occur regularly, they have a right to expect that the bar Council will deal with it and that they will not suffer because the system does not work as promised



The autism of this post is off the charts



Ted Bundy, is that you?





Ted Bundy

No. It wasn’t me. I’ve been dead for years.



‘Anyone who cannot anticipate a likely problem based on the past performance of the system has no place at the bar’ says the OP. Its the bar council who should have anticipated the problem not the applicants.

This year they can apply to up to 20 sets, many of these sets choosing to pose quite complex legal problems that need research. These are not available until a month before hand.

It is also fact that the bar council chose to move the pupillage gateway to earlier forcing students to try and get the minis, mooting, FRU on there in a shorter period of time also forcing last minuteits.

Finally you should be able to to trust that a system actually works. If its says it closes on the 7th and you try to submit afternoon and evening of the 6th that is perfectly reasonable behavior.

As others have said people are honing their forms until the last minute, indeed the Inns ran a last minute panel evening on ‘last minute applications’. As they say ‘a poem is not finished merely abandoned’, same for the Gateway forms.

And for all of you saying that this is just wannabe pupils – kindly reflect on judicial applications, how many times the qualifying tests have crashed and now most wannabee judges also get their forms in at the last minute, and thats 1 form not 20.



Have it all prepared and do the last minute perfection checks earlier – then when the deadline is looming quick check and hit the button.


Eager Beaver

These last minute Leonards should have their applications struck out. There’s not enough spaces anyway.

The only concession should be that if they are able to fix the IT systems in question before the deadline, they are given pupilage straight away.



They should have their “applications struck out”? Shut up.



why would you only quote that part when you’ve quoted more of the extract? Genuinely curious.


Granny Grammar

“There’s not enough places anyway.”

Appalling grammar.

It should be “There ARE not enough places anyway.”

Your applications will be going in the bin, methinks!

The joke is on you!


Eager Beaver

I am not planning to join the Bar any time soon. There’s not enough places as it is. I hope that statement enrages you, just as applications not submitted by the deadline and regardless of the forces at play, does for me.



There should be a system whereby I can peruse the applications and if I don’t like the cut of somebody’s jib I can delete their application and declare them a non person.



It’s a difficult one.

Doing everything at the last minute is one of the finest traditions of the Bar.

But so is sucking up the consequences when it all blows up in your face.

On balance, I’m against.



Must not start on the consequences this afternoon at work. Wait until the pub.



I too was thinking along those lines.





Blowbunny Buchanan

It was always a great tradition at school, at my college and delighted to find it so at the bar too






It is all too centrally controlled. I remember the days of a nudge from one’s tutor, a pleasant day in London for lunch with a couple of members of the set in question and a lovely pupillage offer with the cheese course. Things were much more efficient back then.


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