Number of pupillage spots on offer hits a record high

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By Rhys Duncan on


But number of applicants also up

The total number of pupillage spots up for grabs rose in 2022-23 to a record high of 638 positions, new data shows.

The Bar Council’s annual Pupillage Gateway Report marks that last year’s offering was 10.4% higher than the previous year’s figure of 578. With extra positions, however, came extra applicants, 2,979 budding barristers throwing their hats into the ring, up from 2,782 in 2021-22.

Whilst all chambers are required to advertise their pupillage slots on the Bar Council’s Pupillage Gateway, sets have discretion over whether to accept applications through the portal, or via their own application forms.

Of those who received offers through the Gateway, 60.1% had a first class degree, with 36.1% holding an 2:1. The report also notes that of those who had attended a mini pupillage, 12.7% received an offer compared to only 1.7% of candidates who hadn’t completed a mini-pupillage.

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Elsewhere, the report highlights the value of Inns of Court scholarships, with 53.1% of those offered places through the Gateway receiving an award.

Sticking to previous trends, a higher proportion of pupillage offers went to women (57.3%) over men (38.9%). This is comparable to 2021-22 where the split was 57.5% and 36.2%.

The report also offers an insight into the average pupillage award by practice area. Taking the top spot (unsurprisingly) was commercial law with the average pupil taking home £74,000 in their training year. This was followed by chancery on £64,000, general civil sets on £54,000, family on £33,000, and mixed practices with £31,000. Crime came in last position, offering the average rookie £30,000.

In response to the findings, Bar Council chair, Sam Townend KC, said:

“I am delighted to see that the number of pupillages offered on the Gateway has hit a new record, surpassing the numbers seen before the pandemic. The encouraging increase in pupillage awards shows that the Bar overall is doing well with chambers having confidence in the future of the profession. I hope aspiring barristers and those who have already begun their careers at the Bar find the contents of this report useful. It offers insight into the trends emerging at the recruitment stage of the profession.”

Earlier this week it was revealed that 25% of pupil barristers who joined the CPS between 2016 and 2022 left the service within 12 months of qualifying.

1 Comment


Great news.

There’s a shortage of counsel
in many areas of law so it’s a great time to be coming to the Bar!

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