Frequently Asked Questions




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1. What can I expect from pupillage at 1 Chancery Lane?

Hopefully you have already explored the website to find out about the work we do and who we are. The purpose of this page is not to answer those questions, but to give more detail about why we think our pupillage scheme is one of the best.

We pride ourselves on a pupillage programme that produces competent and confident barristers at the end of the year. In order to achieve this, we place key importance on feedback, transparency and variety when training our pupils.

Please click here to read our Pupillage Job Description.

Structure

Pupillage is divided into three seats of four months, each with a different pupil supervisor. We believe this structure is ideal. Four months gives pupils and supervisors enough time to become properly acquainted and for the pupil to demonstrate progress and development. Exposure to three supervisors enables pupils to experience a range of personalities, practice areas and seniority.

During the first six months pupils are exposed to a variety of paperwork, court work, alternative dispute resolution and conferences. Pupils shadow their supervisor in all aspects of their professional life and can expect to prepare pleadings, advices, written submissions and other paperwork, receiving feedback and the opportunity to compare their work with that of their supervisor.

Towards the end of the first six pupils spend time attending court with junior members of Chambers, obtaining vital experience of the types of cases they will shortly be handling in their own right.

Pupils receive instructions across a range of County Court matters and interim applications during the second six months. Although it varies from year to year, pupils can expect to be in court on average several times each week.

The Bar Council requires pupils to work to and complete checklists during pupillage that reflect matters that should be covered and experience that ought to be acquired during the year. We have created our own checklist, specific to our areas of expertise and this has been endorsed by the Bar Council.

We hope to provide pupils with the opportunity to spend time marshalling with a Circuit Judge and in some years are able to arrange short placements with solicitors’ firms.

Assessment

We place great weight on the importance of feedback and transparency during pupillage. It is important to us that we keep an open and discursive relationship with our pupils so that everyone has common aims and objectives during the year, problems can be identified early on and misunderstandings or worries can be addressed.

In addition to the feedback that pupils receive on every piece of work, at the end of each seat pupil supervisors fill out an appraisal form. Pupil and supervisor then meet to discuss the form. The purpose of this system is to identify the areas in which a pupil is doing well, those that need further development and to provide a forum for the pupil to raise any issues, questions or identify areas that he or she is keen to see more of.

Pupils also meet during the year with the Chair of the Admissions Committee who oversees pupillage, providing a forum to discuss progress and any concerns the pupil might have.

Working Life

We are a friendly and supportive set of Chambers and we hope that this is reflected in the experience of our pupils. We recognise that pupillage is a stressful year, being the culmination of many years of hard work and study and we go to great lengths to ameliorate the pressure that pupils are under.

Our pupils should be punctual, working hard and with commitment during the working day, but are not normally expected to work late into the evening or at weekends.

Pupils are valued as a member of the professional team. Supervisors encourage their pupils to engage with cases and express an opinion when appropriate, appreciating the input and fresh perspective.

We also value pupils as an important part of Chambers. Pupils are encouraged to attend Chambers tea each afternoon and certain social events, providing an opportunity to get to know a wider range of members.

Our experienced clerking team provides crucial support to pupils during the nerve-wracking early days of independent practice in the second six. They provide invaluable practical support and pupils learn a great deal from them about professional client management and marketing.

Professional Development

Pupils are encouraged to attend lectures and seminars on relevant legal issues in order to develop a wider knowledge and understanding of both law and practice. Opportunities occur both in-house and to attend Bar Association lectures with pupil supervisors.

The Bar Council requires pupils to take part in a variety of compulsory training, as do the Inns of Court. We are wholly supportive of this, both financing courses where necessary and by recognising that these courses often require time for preparation. Barristers are required to complete a forensic accountancy course during their first few years in practice. If undertaken during pupillage we will fund this too.

Tenancy

Tenancy decisions normally occur in July. The decision is made by the Admissions Committee (“AdCo”) and we pride ourselves on a system that is fair, transparent and rigorous.

Pupils do not compete with one another for tenancy. Should our pupils apply for tenancy we consider each one independently.

AdCo places significant weight on the appraisals, views and recommendations of supervisors. In addition pupils are asked to undertake assessed work for each member of AdCo during pupillage. This enables all the people taking part in the recruitment decision to have direct and objective experience of the abilities of each pupil.

Wherever possible we aim to recruit junior tenants from our pupils.

In the event that a pupil’s application for tenancy is unsuccessful, we work hard to provide him or her with assistance to find an alternative placement at the Bar or in other legal fields if the pupil prefers to take a different route.

2. Who are 1 Chancery Lane looking for?

We have transparent criteria when selecting pupils, examining skills, qualifications and experience.

Please click here to read our Person Specification for Pupils.

Those criteria are assessed variously by way of our application form, structured interview, practical exercise and by taking up the references proffered in certain circumstances.

We are looking to recruit candidates who fulfil our criteria and, in doing so, demonstrate passion for the law, commitment to forging a career in the profession and real interest in the areas in which Chambers specialises. Interpersonal skills are fundamental to the areas of law in which we practice.

3. How do I apply?

Please see the main Pupillage page for an explanation of the application procedure and a link to our pupillage application form.

4. Where can I find out more?

To learn more about 1 Chancery Lane please explore this site and read our entries in Chambers and Partners (www.chambersandpartners.com). These resources also provide useful information about the Bar in general.

To meet us, we encourage you to apply for a mini-pupillage.

Please click here for mini-pupillage information.   

Finding out more about the Bar and life as a barrister can be intimidating at first, but below are listed some of the organisations that provide information and support to prospective barristers.

The Bar Council

For information about the Bar Council that is not related to its education and training function, visit www.barcouncil.org.uk.

The Inns of Court

The Inns of Court are an important resource for students, providing finance by way of scholarships, information and support. All four have education and training departments. Their contact details are:


Middle Temple
Students' Department,
Treasury Office,
Middle Temple
London EC4Y 9AT
Tel: 020 7427 4800
www.middletemple.org.uk


Inner Temple
Education and Training Department
Treasurer's Office
Inner Temple
London EC4Y 7HL
Tel: 020 7797 8421
www.innertemple.org.uk


Gray's Inn
Education Department
8 South Square
Gray's Inn
London WC1R 5EU
Tel: 020 7458 7900
www.graysinn.org.uk


Lincoln's Inn
Students' Department
Treasury Office
Lincoln's Inn
London WC2R 3TL
Tel: 020 7406 1393
www.lincolnsinn.org.uk

 

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