Pupillage Gateway deadline extended as system struggles to cope with ‘unprecedented levels of traffic’

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Aspiring barristers now have until 1:30pm today

Bar hopefuls have taken to social media to vent their frustrations over the Pupillage Gateway’s apparent inability to cope with an influx in online traffic.

With today’s scheduled 11am application deadline coming and going, Legal Cheek understands that many pupillage hunters, who have spent weeks fine-tuning their applications, logged on the Bar Council-backed system only to find it running at a cripplingly slow speed.

One aspiring barrister tweeted: “This weary applicant can confirm it was crashing since around midnight and has been that way since,” while another wrote: “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.”

Responding to the numerous complaints, the Bar Council said “heavy traffic” was responsible for the slow running of the site and urged users to allow for more time to submit applications.

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Many students who were still struggling urged the Bar Council to extend its deadline, pointing to the fact its advice to allow for more time came just 21 minutes before the Gateway was due to close.

Citing “unprecedented levels of traffic”, the Bar Council has now confirmed the deadline has been extended until 1:30pm today.

This, however, isn’t the first time the Gateway has hit Legal Cheek headlines. In 2016, a copy and paste glitch meant many users inadvertently submitted applications with key pieces of information missing, including Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) grades.

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Pupillage Hunter

Waiting until the very last moment to submit ALL of your applications is rather asking for trouble…



No, hang on. People are entitled to use all the time afforded to them within the deadline. It matters not if they attempt to submit a second before. The system should adequately handle predictable traffic.



Of course, that goes without saying. But the Gateway allows you to upload applications for a month. Waiting until the last minute of the last day does seem a little foolhardy!


Pupillage Hunter

Nobody is questioning their entitlement to use the allotted time in full, but they have to acknowledge that there are risks to leaving it so late. Leaving submission to hours before the deadline means they have very little contingency if there are any issues (be it the website, their own IT, or even an internet outage). It is no different to posting a physical application and aiming to make the last post the day before; you are entitled to do it but it is risky.

Simply, it is an unnecessary risk, especially if you have your applications already prepared.



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.


Yosser Hughes, BPTC Graduate

Probably not the best idea to take to social media with your meltdowns caused by leaving everything to the last minute.

Won’t look that good when people in chambers do their inevitable bit of Twitter stalking.



Nor boasting that you’re making 18 applications. I bet every one is their “dream set”…



Gateway to Hell ?



“Unprecedented levels of traffic” yet this is a near-perennial problem. Brexit-level preparation by the operators of the gateway.



Every. Single. Year.

Not sure they understand the meaning of “unprecedented”



The psychic fair has closed early, due to unforeseen circumstances.



Mate, you overestimate your importance. We really have better things to do than to read your social media.






Alan Blacker, tallywacker, meeka makka moo,
Alan Blacker, tallywacker, ikka akka ooh,
Hum dum agga-pang, bing bang boo,
Alan Blacker, tallywacker, meeka makka moo.


Alan Blacker, Tallywacker

The yearly outage is a planned phenomena. The result of an internal conspiracy to keep those who are thoroughly disorganised from ever becoming barristers.

Ikka akka oohh


Prof. Alan Blacker VC, Earl of Rochdale.

Wacking tallies is a reserved activity. I no longer wack tallies since the SRA shut me down. Sometimes, when it’s just me and my mum, we pretend to tallywack, but we always use a safe word.


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