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10 must-dos for Pupillage Gateway applicants from the barristers who assess them

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By The Careers Team on

Avoid jokes and jargon, embrace business blurb and Blaise Pascal — and spend ages filling out the form


On Wednesday evening a host of barristers gathered at City Law School to offer their pearls of wisdom to a crowd of bar wannabes preparing to submit pupillage applications when the centralised Gateway system opens on 1 April.

The event, which was very comprehensibly live-tweeted by the @CLSPupillageAdvice account, featured contributions from Hardwicke’s Morayo Fagborun Bennett, 9 Bedford Row’s Michael Edmonds, 11 Stone Building’s Gary Lidington and Paul Skinner of Henderson Chambers.

Here are the most useful pieces of advice …

1. Commercial awareness is for wannabe barristers as well as solicitors.

… even wannabe criminal barristers.

2. Somehow you must figure out what the hell a ProcureCo is.

3. Mooting-obsessed law geeks: make something up about your love of tennis or something.

4. Jokes on your application form have to be really good ones.

5. Think of completing a Pupillage Gateway form as like working for free, nine-to-five, for three weeks.

6. Invoke the spirit of great figures from the worlds of philosophy and literature while completing your application form.

7. You should not write long-answer questions like a journalist …

8. Nor should you write long-answer questions like an academic.

9. Incomprehensible jargon and Latin: that’s for when you’re qualified.

10. And finally … get someone to proof read your application (who knows the difference between ‘practise’ and ‘practice’?)

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