Pupillage

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

When we recruit pupils, we do so with a view to them being future tenants. We are looking for exceptional candidates who are looking to build a successful career in Chambers after pupillage and who can demonstrate the following:

  • High level of academic achievement (minimum 2:1 degree in any subject);
  • Good quality analytical skills; the ability to assimilate complex factual information quickly and accurately and to explain it in relation to the relevant law;
  • Excellent advocacy skills and the ability to persuade people to your point of view;
  • 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.

What are we looking for?

We're looking for pupils who are committed to a career as a barrister in a common law set. We want to recruit pupils who have a good understanding of what a career in chambers entails, and are energised by the realities of the role.

We are a common law set so all pupils undertake work in civil, criminal and family law. We try to match pupils with supervisors who specialise in areas where they have a particular interest. We offer unparalleled advocacy opportunities, and expect pupils in their second six to be in court most days. Earnings in second six typically exceed the Pupillage Award.

In conjunction with on the job training, we provide weekly training from established practitioners during first six focussing on aspects of practice that pupils and juniors will encounter. Each pupil has a mentor from our junior tenants to provide additional support, as well as working closely with our staff team.

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, followed by a longer interview including an advocacy exercise with our Tenancy and Pupillage Committee. Currently all interviews are being conducted virtually. 

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

We make offers of pupillage through the Pupillage Gateway. We have a high rate of retention following pupillage. 

Abridged pupillages

We accept 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). We have a strong history of accepting applications from solicitors transferring to the Bar. 

If you are looking for an abridged pupillage, please contact our Chambers Director in the first instance with a copy of your CV, 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.