Pupillage Inside Out

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However, all other matters in particular, selection of pupils are dealt with by the Pupillage Committee. Its members reflect the diversity within chambers. Its members are of varying levels of seniority and have differing areas of practice. The overriding goal throughout the selection process is to find pupils who might, in due course, become members of Chambers. Selection is on the basis of merit. Each application for pupillage will be read by a member of the Committee who will shortlist candidates for interview.

Where shortlisters cannot agree, the Pupillage Committee will moderate the shortlisting decision.

Isabel McArdle

When considering whether to invite candidates for an interview the following factors will be taken into account: degree classification applicants with a 2. We tend to conduct two rounds of interviews on separate days. Around twenty five candidates will be invited to the first interview. Of those approximately one half will continue through to the second interview. Candidates are not required to submit any written work or undertake a written assessment at any stage of the application process.

All applicants will have the opportunity during both rounds to ask the Committee any questions which they may wish to put about any aspect of pupillage at 29 Bedford Row. Candidates are not required to prepare a specific piece of work for, or give any kind of presentation at, their first interview. Questions will be of a general nature and will not involve any analysis of the law. First round interviews will be conducted by a panel consisting of up to three members of the Pupillage Committee and will last approximately ten to fifteen minutes.

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Applicants proceeding to the second round will be interviewed by a panel consisting of at least five members of the Pupillage Committee. They will be asked to discuss a a specific legal problem which will be sent out to them in advance to prepare; and b a topic of their choice unrelated to the law for example, on a particular political, social or cultural issue of the day. Candidates will be allowed to bring into the second interview with them any notes prepared in the course of their research. This will be a more substantial interview lasting approximately thirty minutes.

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A shortlist of candidates will be drawn up at the end of each round according to the scores achieved by each candidate. At the end of the second round the panel will offer pupillages to the two highest scoring candidates in that round. In the event that any applicant to whom pupillage is initially offered does not accept, we may make further offers in order of rank to those further down the list. Chambers will make offers within the rules of the Pupillage Gateway. The pupillage award is paid in two instalments during the first six months of pupillage. Any payment of pupillage awards within the first six months is tax-free, giving a substantial saving to our pupils.

This will be supplemented by Second Six earnings. Chambers pays for all compulsory pupillage courses and also the Forensic Accountancy Course if completed during the pupillage year.


Pupillage is divided into periods of four months spent with three different Pupil Supervisors. Pupils will be notified of the name of their first Pupil Supervisor about two weeks prior to the commencement of pupillage. Pupils are asked to liaise with the Secretary to the Pupillage Committee to register their pupillage before it commences. Within the first week of pupillage, a meeting is arranged with the Senior Clerk, the Head of Chambers and the Pupillage Secretary. There will also be a meeting with the Pupillage Welfare Officer see below.

A drinks party is also arranged in the first week of pupillage to welcome the new pupils to Chambers. Especially during the first six months, pupillage is a close professional relationship. During the second six months pupils can expect to appear in court regularly.

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Over this period as a whole each pupil is likely to have, on average, between two and three court hearings per week. The initial frequency may be less, but more work becomes available during the long vacation months of August and September. Court work and paperwork is allocated by the clerks in strict rotation between the pupils. A written record is kept by the Senior Clerk of every court booking allocated and this is reviewed by the Pupillage Secretary every 2 months and is open to inspection if necessary. We are anxious that all pupils should get the broadest training possible and also that they should have a chance to impress widely.

To this end, we encourage pupils to offer to help members of Chambers other than their Pupil Supervisors, particularly during their second six months. We expect pupils to accompany other members of Chambers to court if their Pupil Supervisor is on holiday or otherwise unavailable.

We also try to ensure that pupils spend time with the most junior members of Chambers so that they can experience the type of work that they will undertake in their Second Six. Subject to the individual requirements of a Pupil Supervisor, an average working day in Chambers may commence around 9 a. Chambers does not encourage pupils to do this. Pupils will receive work on their own account during their second six months of pupillage. If pupils encounter any working time problems they should consult with the Welfare Officer immediately and in complete confidence.

Pupils must liaise with their Pupil Supervisors to arrange holiday dates during their first six months. However, during their second six months pupils will also be required to notify the Senior Clerk. The negotiation and collection of fees is the responsibility of the clerks. There is inevitably a delay before any significant amount of fees are received by pupils. Cheques are distributed as soon as they are received. It is a Bar Council requirement that, at the conclusion of pupillage, the relevant checklists are completed by each pupil.

Pupils at 29 Bedford Row will be expected to complete the specialist Family Law checklist and are encouraged to update it at regular intervals throughout the course of the year. Pupils can expect to be in Court most days once in the second six. Chambers attaches great importance to pupillage and always aims to recruit its junior tenants from its pupils.

We expect pupils to have excellent academic credentials and to have obtained relevant experience. Chambers is an equal opportunities employer.

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Members of the pupillage selection and interview panels have received training in respect of equality and diversity in the field of recruitment. We encourage pupils to participate in all aspects of the work and social life of chambers at an early stage and we are both known to be, and consider ourselves, a particularly friendly and approachable group of people.

Pupillage at 4KBW will give you a valuable, and these days rare, mixture of breadth and depth of experience in various areas not often found under one roof, including family, civil, crime, employment and immigration. Your first six is a chance to see the kind of complex work practiced by senior members in those areas, but also to get a grounding in the kinds of cases you will be instructed in during second six.

Pupillage Inside Out: How to Succeed as a Pupil Barrister

Week on week it can be almost impossible to predict what you are doing, but it makes for a very exciting, challenging and engaging time. You will quickly develop a strong common law practice with numerous appearances in the Magistrates, Crown and County Courts.

It will be a steep learning curve as every day you will need to be researching unfamiliar areas of law and will be faced with many unexpected situations, but members of Chambers are always on hand to give you urgent advice or to discuss cases with you. We do expect high standards from our pupils and barristers. However, all pupils who reach the high standards that we set for ourselves will benefit from the security of an employed position upon successful completion of pupillage.

Compensation packages can be tailored to individual needs and circumstances, but newly qualified barristers typically enjoy the following:. We will not accept hard copy applications or consider any other material provided. Applicants must have at least a degree, and in addition demonstrate a commitment to the Bar, an impressive academic or employment history, and an interest in our specialist area of work.

Our successful candidates tend to be confident, articulate and interesting individuals with the right aptitude for working directly with members of the public. Neither undertaking a mini-pupillage with us or employment as a legal associate are prerequisites for a successful pupillage application. Applicants are encouraged to refer to our Pupillage Selection Criteria. The opportunity to delve deeply into all aspects of immigration law alongside expert practitioners in the field is unparalleled and ensures an excellent training ground for budding immigration barristers.