Day to day operation of pupillage. What to expect from us and what we expect from you.
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 the health and safety considerations relevant to the building and its users and issues concerning security.
If the opportunity arises you will be introduced to the Head of Pupillage and the Head of Chambers.
Our appointed Head of Pupillage will oversee your pupillage arrangements on a day-to-day basis.
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.
During the first six months the you will be expected to read and become familiar with the 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 his or her 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 Midland Circuit, and sometimes beyond. Chambers will meet a pupil’s reasonable traveling expenses as necessary.
You are expected to have your own laptop as the majority of Chambers work is accessed in digital format.
You will need to be able to access to the Crown Court digital case system, other digital evidence, 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.
During the first six months you will receive an award per month at the end of each month.
This is the minimum award as set by the Bar Standards Board for pupillage outside London.
During your second six you will continue to receive the same monthly amount less any fees you have received as a barrister during the preceding month up to that amount.
You may be expected to pay Clerks Fees from your earnings during your time as a pupil but no Chambers expenses.
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 Clerk 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
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.
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.