Why choose a multi-disciplinary set for pupillage?

16th January 2023

When considering pupillage applications, why should you consider a multi-disciplinary set? We believe that there are 6 great reasons: 

  1. You will get exposure to a wide range of work which is great if you are not sure what area of law you would ultimately like to specialise in (if you want to specialise rather than having a mixed practice). Pupillage is a fantastic time to explore different options, to find out what you like and to rule out those areas which you do not enjoy.   
  2. Even if you feel certain that you know which area of law you want to specialize in, you might find that there are other areas that you have not considered but which you actually really enjoy. Ultimately, you might end up with a practice which does not resemble the one you set out to get – and that may well be a very good thing! 
  3. You will get exposure to different types of work, advocacy and clients which will result in you having transferable skills that benefit you in the long term. For example, criminal work will give great advocacy opportunities, family work will often bring you into contact with vulnerable clients and teach you to manage very stressed clients, and civil cases will require you to focus on rules and procedure.
  4. A broad background of work will stand you in good stead as you progress through your career and may well mean that you are able to spot issues or advise more widely. Many cases touch on a variety of legal issues after all. For example, if you specialise in family work and act in a care case where there are concurrent criminal proceedings, you will be able to understand and advise on the status of those proceedings, the potential outcomes and the likely timescales. This provides added value to your client.
  5. A mixed practice can allow you to balance your time, your earnings and your stress levels. Some areas of work pay better than others. Some require you to advise clients in very high stakes situations. Managing many low paid cases, or many cases where the outcomes can be very stark can be difficult to live with in the long term. A mixed practice allows you to find the work-life balance which best suits you.  
  6. Having a background in a mixed practice may help any application you make to the judiciary, especially to the senior judiciary. After all, judges from the High Court upwards (and particularly in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court) hear a wide variety of cases and are not restricted to one narrow area of practice. Being able to demonstrate that you are familiar with different areas of law, or at least willing to step outside your comfort zone, is a really important aspect of the role.   

We are recruiting two pupils to start in October 2024 through the Pupillage Gateway, one of whom will have a multi-disciplinary pupillage. For more information, click here. Good luck!