Day to day operation of pupillage. What to expect from us and what we expect from you.
Our appointed Head of Pupillage will oversee your pupillage arrangements. The day-to-day running of your pupillage will be with your Pupil Supervisor.
Chambers has a number of registered Pupil Supervisors available to provide a pupillage, one of whom will be your registered Pupil Supervisor.
The pupillage is for twelve months with a single nominated Pupil Supervisor for the full period.
We will arrange for you to meet your Pupil supervisor for an introductory meeting before the start of your pupillage.
During that meeting you will be taken through the Pupillage Policy Document, our expectations of you as a pupil, our commitments to you as a pupil, our Equality and Diversity Policy and our grievance procedure.
You will be introduced to the members of the Clerks’ room. You will be shown around the building, made aware of any health and safety considerations and briefed on security and data protection.
If the opportunity arises you will be introduced to the Head of Pupillage and the Head of Chambers.
During the first six months the you will be expected to read and become familiar with your supervisor’s current cases and be in a position to discuss in detail the relevant issues and how they might be approached during the trial.
You will attend Court and conferences with your pupil supervisor, do research into areas of the law and work on their papers.
These expectations continue for the full period of the second six when you are not undertaking work of your own.
There will be occasions, particularly during the first six months, when you will spend time with other members of Chambers, with three or more years’ experience, to broaden your experience of work in Chambers. You may be asked to assist other members of Chambers with research or paperwork.
It is a necessary part of your pupillage that you attend training sessions organised by your Inn and the Circuit.
Chambers will meet your necessary traveling expenses in respect of such training and will also pay for the costs of mandatory training courses.
Towards the end of your first six months, you will spend a period with the more junior tenants to witness the type of work that you will be expected to deal with in your second six months. In recent years second six pupils have usually been in the magistrates’ Court several days a week with a gradual move into Crown Court work.
Travel & Resources
Chambers covers courts all over the Midlands Circuit, and sometimes beyond. Chambers will meet your reasonable traveling expenses.
You are required to have your own laptop or tablet, as the majority of Chambers work is accessed in digital format and a number of Crown Court hearings are now conducted via CVP video link. You will also need to access the Crown Court digital case system, other digital evidence (including video footage), recent case law, statutes, reports and articles. Chambers has a subscription to online legal resources.
Chambers operates a shared desk policy and you will also be expected to work remotely from home.
We expect you to work hard during your pupillage and in return we will ensure that you have a breadth and depth of experience needed for a successful career at the criminal bar.
We expect our pupil's income to be about £40k over the course of the pupillage, comprising the Pupillage Award and fee income.
Chambers has set the minimum Pupilage Award at £20k p.a. This is above the amount set by the Bar Standards Board for Pupillage outside London.
During your 1st Six you will receive an Award, paid on the 1st of each month, one month in arrears, of 1/12 of Chambers' minimum pupillage award.
During your 2nd Six we anticipate that you will earn around £30k in fee income.
Nevertheless, we still guarantee a minimum income to the value of the Pupillage Award. We expect the fees you receive as a barrister will far exceed that amount. If not then Chambers will top-up the difference, based on your fee income during the preceding month.
You will pay not Chambers' rent, Clerks' Fees or other Chambers' expenses whilst a pupil.
You will be allowed to take a break during both your first and second six up to a maximum of four weeks in all.
The timing of such breaks must be agreed in advance with your pupil supervisor and the clerks so as to fit in with your training and professional commitments.
Feed-back, Monitoring & Assessment
You will receive continuous assessment and informal feedback from your pupil supervisor throughout your pupillage.
You will have a written training plan.
Your progress will be monitored with reference to the “core skills” and criminal practice. You will be set written exercises such as drafting documents and advices. You will be expected to keep a portfolio of written work.
You will be set practical exercises in advocacy and professional ethics and conduct.
In your second six your own work will be supervised by your pupil trainer when practicable and review outcomes; you will receive feedback from the clerks concerning your court work: this will include feedback back from solicitors, tenants and judges.
You will receive periodic formal reviews.
The Head of Pupillage will periodically check that these procedures are being followed and discuss your progress with you.
We use the Bar Standards Board Professional Statement and the Bar Qualification Manual as the basis of the work that you should undertake in pupillage.
Our training is in accordance with guidance issued by the Bar Standards Board.
You will be expected to achieve specified standards and competencies in the stated areas.
In addition, you will be expected to have mastered the fundamentals of criminal procedure so as to make you a competent criminal practitioner.
Complaints or Grievances
Chambers has a complaints and grievance procedure in place for pupils, the overarching aim of which is to resolve grievances both fairly and as soon as possible.
An offer of pupillage does not bring with it any guarantee of a tenancy at the end of it. Whilst we are looking for your potential to become a first class advocate and a new tenant it may not be in the broader interests of Chambers at that time to consider taking another tenant.
Any application for a tenancy at the end of pupillage will be considered on its merits using the same criteria as used for pupil recruitment. Application for tenancy is by letter to the Head of Chambers and the application is voted on by all members of chambers at an AGM.
Where a tenancy is not available at the end of pupillage Chambers will consider whether it is appropriate to allow you to become a squatter for a set period. Relevant to such consideration will be whether you would satisfy the criteria for a tenancy had one been available and an assessment of Chambers’ future business interest at that time.
Where you do not satisfy the criteria for a tenancy or a tenancy/squatting arrangement is not available you will be given three months notice to make arrangements elsewhere.
You will continue to be clerked during that time and will be expected to uphold the rules and standards of Chambers during that time. You will be expected to pay clerks’ fees on earnings during that time and other Chambers’ expenses such as subscriptions to legal websites or other services that Chambers provide.