The 2020 Chambers Most List goes live

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Barrister-to-be careers resource contains key facts and figures for over 50 sets

The authoritative student guide to life at the leading chambers across England and Wales has gone live with its 2020 edition.

The Legal Cheek Chambers Most List features over 50 sets, including all the magic circle, the other major commercial chambers, the human rights sets and the main regional powerhouses.

They can be benchmarked by factors including pupillage numbers; size of pupillage awards; junior/QC stats; gender diversity figures; and most Oxbridge-educated new tenants.

Continue to an individual chambers’ profile to read ‘The Legal Cheek View’ analysis of what they’re like as a place to work (featuring interesting titbits from our anonymous insiders), alongside an ‘Insider Scorecard’ with the grades (ranging from A* to D) they received in the Legal Cheek Junior Barrister Survey 2019-20.

The Scorecards, which rank different chambers across five categories, including training, quality of work and facilities, feed into our annual Awards ceremony. Next year’s bash takes place at Sea Containers House on 26 March 2020.

NEW: The 2020 Legal Cheek Chambers Most List

The enhanced profiles have a ‘What the junior barristers say’ section charting a junior tenant’s career journey and aims to provide prospective pupils with a snapshot of life in chambers. They are also a jumping off point to chambers’ social media and graduate recruitment pages.

Check out the recently revamped Legal Cheek Key Deadlines Calendar, which contains all the major chambers’ pupillage and mini-pupillage deadlines. Legal Cheek iPhone and Android app subscribers get key deadline notifications delivered straight to their phone.

One pupillage seeker explains why he uses the Chambers Most List:

Conor Courtney, LLM student at UCL

“My experience using Legal Cheek’s Chambers Most List has been extremely helpful for looking at my career options. I’ve used it to weigh up different chambers to see which ones suit me best. I like how the system can facilitate searches under categories such as ‘Most QCs’ or ‘Work/Life Balance’, because that has helped to take away a lot of the guesswork for which pupillage I should apply for. It’s an easy way to get a sense of a chambers’ work atmosphere or culture, all on one page.”

Other Legal Cheek law careers resources include the Firms Most List which went live last month with its 2020 edition, BPTC Most List, LPC Most List and GDL Most List.

NEW: The 2020 Legal Cheek Chambers Most List


Legal Officer with a 2.ii

Are they going to talk about the number of divorces, proliferation of alcoholism and the number people signed off with mental health problems at their chambers too?


Hi Des

Oh, I am sorry you failed in your dreams. That chip on your shoulder is huge.



Possibly true, but the “it’s all fine and everyone is jealous because we’re superior” attitude of the Bar is uncouth and will be its undoing.



Awful how barristers aren’t willing to be open about mental health in their chambers, isn’t it?



We are self-employed. If 100% of your employees have a mental health problem that impedes the business then the business is not going to work.





You’ll go where you actually manage to get a pupillage offer



Precisely. All but the top 10% of the 1% enter into the pupillage fighting pit under the impression they’ll be picking up enough offers to warrant a bit of decision making.



“It’s an easy way to get a sense of a chambers’ work atmosphere or culture, all on one page.”

Correction: it’s an easy way to get a sense of what Legal Cheek THINKS a chambers’ work atmosphere or culture is like.

As for whether Legal Cheek is actually right…



Just one comment on the Oxbridge/Non-oxbridge criteria in your reports. Just be honest and stop giving people false hope. Take Essex Court Chambers for example. Out of the 11 most junior tenants, only 4 went to Oxbridge for their undergrad. But 10 out of the 11 went to Oxbridge for undergrad and/or masters. To have a shot at these chambers, you need an Oxbridge degree, whether a first as an undergrad, or top your year in a redbrick and then the BCL. Many also trained at top solicitors firms. Also your list includes Aus/Kiwis who don’t have the option of Oxbridge as an undergrad, and who almost all have an Oxbridge masters, but it gives the impression that its possible to make it without an Oxbridge degree at these very top sets. Just be honest to folk, and let that kid with a 2.1 from Warwick not think he can become a barrister at Fountain Court.



I completely agree, but also believe chambers themselves often give people false hope. Five years ago, I had an assessed mini at Fountain, on application and following an interview. Ironically, finishing the interview by asking why they thought it was important that plebs like me (not my exact words) had access to chambers was probably what swung it.



Or she. Or are women not allowed to apply?!?!


Rumpole’s Old Clerk

There isn’t the lavatory accommodation.



Fucking add it then you prick!!!!!


Charideee Saint

They never specify a First explicitly.

They need that 2.i wiggle room for the fit one, the one from the public school that the Head of Chambers sends his kids to, the one who has paralegalled for four years at the solicitors who bring in the most work or the Catholic one.



South Square states they look for a good 2.1 degree. Yet I believe not a single one of their most recent juniors has less than a first. It is a bit ridiculous. Why not just state you are looking for exceptional academic ability like Brick Court, or even just come out and state ‘firsts only’ like One Essex Court. Even with a first from a top redbrick, unless you have a distinction on the BCL and/or a parent who is a QC (you’ll find the kids all over the bar), I wouldn’t even consider the top commercial chambers.



Especially since outside of Oxbridge, a modern day 1st is really an old school decent 2:1.



It’s laughable too because few of the barristers on the committee will actually have Firsts or BCLs.

They’ll also state they expect years of paralegalling, voluntary tribunal work in Sutton and CAB volunteering on a candidate’s CV, but wouldn’t themselves be caught dead doing any of those things as they consider it beneath them.

Don’t listen to what people say – look at what they do.



The volunteering aspect really fucked me off. Looking at how much volunteering someone has done is a surefire way of knowing they’re from money. Most normies can’t jet off to the ICC or the Louisiana death row to work for free for half a year.


Well I suppose it’s the minium entry requirement. The minium may be a 2.1. But it is super competative in a process that is already super competative. If for commercial sets there are 10 applicants per place and 5 of them have firsts, then you really are going to need a first to get a look in. There is a difference between the absolute minium requirement to apply and what you will realisticly need to have a chance.


Morning owl

The only way you can get a job in the top commercial or chancery or public law chambers is if you became a solicitor and ended up as head of competition law at Freshfields, Under-secretary general at the UN or General Counsel at BP, and then they will welcome you to practice mediation in chambers within your specialism. Other than that, don’t kid yourself.

The Toilet Wizard



There you go!

🚽 👩



I wonder which one of these chambers Alex applied to.



If I didn’t want to be at a Northern Superset that keeps it in the family, I’d exchange Chambers for another one!


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