Pupillage

5 Pump Court is an exciting, ambitious and flexible set committed to nurturing talent. A great choice for aspiring barristers!

We recruit 2 pupils per year with a view to them being future tenants. We want to recruit pupils who have a good understanding of what a career at the self-employed Bar entails, and are energised by the thought of frequent advocacy across a wide range of work. We are looking for exceptional candidates who are looking to build a successful career with us and who can demonstrate the following:

  • High level of academic achievement (minimum 2:1 degree in any subject);
  • Excellent advocacy skills and the ability to persuade people to your point of view;
  • Good quality analytical skills; the ability to assimilate complex factual information quickly and accurately and to explain it in relation to the relevant law;
  • Good communication skills, including the ability to explain complex legal issues verbally and in writing;
  • Outstanding inter-personal skills and the ability to form effective working relationships with colleagues, solicitors and clients.

We will be recruiting for pupils to start in October 2024 through the Pupillage Gateway. If you are thinking of applying, sign up for one of our Pupillage Information Evenings to get more information about the process and what we are looking for. Sign up on Monday 5 December 2022 or Wednesday 11 January 2023. Webinars are on Zoom, starting at 5pm and lasting for about 60 minutes.

What do we offer?

We are an approved AETO looking for pupils who are committed to a career with us. For October 2023, we have recruited one common law pupil (supervisors in civil, criminal and family law) and one specialist family law pupil and we are likely to offer the same opportunities for pupils starting in October 2024. We offer unparalleled advocacy opportunities, and expect pupils in their second 6 to be in court most days. For those considering a role in the judiciary long term, a mixed set provides a fantastic grounding and the ability to demonstrate your flexibility and adaptability.

We offer a Pupillage Award of at least £24,000: earnings in second 6 typically exceed the Award substantially. We also pay travel expenses in first 6, provide access to online resources allowing you to work from anywhere, and run a bespoke training programme for first 6 pupils. This focusses on applications and hearings that pupils will most commonly encounter in second 6. Our friendly junior tenants provide pupils with peer support, mentoring and frequent socials. 

We are committed to flexibility and have an extensive flexible working policy. We will consider any request for flexibility within the recruitment process and pupillage itself. For a confidential discussion regarding any request for flexibility, please contact our Chambers Director

How to apply

We recruit pupils through the Pupillage Gateway run by the Bar Council. We do not accept any applications outside the Gateway (other than for abridged pupillages or Third Six pupillages). 

We carefully review all applications against our criteria, then invite a small number of applicants for interview. We run a two stage interview process - a short first interview to assess potential, followed by a longer interview including an advocacy exercise with our Tenancy and Pupillage Committee. Currently all first interviews are being conducted virtually. 

The current members of our Tenancy and Pupillage Committee are: Ivan Clarke (Chair); Michael Hayes; Trisan Hyatt, Chris Payne and Holly Symonds

We make offers of pupillage through the Pupillage Gateway. We do not reject by silence, and we offer feedback to all those who interview with us. 

We have a high rate of retention following pupillage and recruit pupils with a view to them moving seamlessly into tenancy. 

Abridged pupillages

We have a strong history of accepting applications from solicitors transferring to the Bar. We consider applications outside the Pupillage Gateway from those who have permission from the Bar Standards Board to undertake an abridged pupillage (where exemption has been granted for part of the pupillage period), but please note that you should go through the Gateway if at all possible. 

If you are looking for an abridged pupillage, please contact our Chambers Director to discuss the process further. We will normally as for a copy of your CV, and a covering letter setting out your position and why you wish to join Chambers. Please attach a copy of the confirmation from the BSB of the length of pupillage you are required to undertake. 

We will review the application and in appropriate cases will arrange an interview, which will normally include an advocacy exercise.