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Aspiring barristers offered chance to win £12,000 pupillage bonus

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Pupils vying for ICLR’s cash top-up will be judged on financial need and merit

A leading legal charity is offering wannabe barristers a chance to boost their pupillage award by £12,000.

Courtesy of the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting (ICLR), the hefty sum will be awarded to one successful would-be barrister based on both their financial need and merit, but irrespective of their chambers’ core practice area. To be eligible to apply, rookies must have a confirmed offer of pupillage to commence between 1 October and 1 December 2019.

In a tweak to last year’s selection criteria, the pupillage award offered by chambers cannot exceed £25,000 (previously £18,000), including guaranteed earnings. This means one lucky pupil could see their total award increase to a hefty £37,000.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Chambers Most List

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to complete a short legal report based on an unreported judgment, with the final winner selected by a three-strong judging panel: 1 Crown Office Row‘s Margaret Bowron QC, Mr Justice Roth and ICLR’s editor, Clive Scowen.

The application window opens today and closes on 31 March.

The ICLR’s latest cash add-on follows confirmation that minimum pupillage awards across England and Wales will be set in line with the salaries recommended by the Living Wage Foundation (LWF) from 1 September. The Bar Standards Board (BSB) confirmed the minimum pupillage award will be £18,436 in London and £15,728 everywhere else. These will increase at the start of each year, following the publication of LWF’s recommended hourly rate for the year ahead.

As things stand, the minimum a chambers can offer a pupil is £12,000 a year regardless of location. However, Legal Cheek’s Chambers Most List 2019 shows that many of London’s top commercial sets offer awards in excess of £70,000.

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