No pupil will be accepted in Chambers who has not come through the Chambers selection procedure.
It is Chambers’ intention to ensure that the opportunity to undertake pupillage is open to all upon merit and ability. We have developed a system of selection over the years that we believe helps us recruit the pupils whom we believe will be able to work with us and at the same time is open and fair. We are looking for candidates with proven academic ability and with a character that we think will fit in and work well with Chambers. Selection will be made from Pupillage Gateway applications as follows:
Initial Selection: The Chair of the Pupillage Committee oversees the selection process. The whole of Chambers is involved in the initial consideration of paper applications forms. Two members of Chambers, using a standardised scoring procedure, independently review each application form. No application is rejected unless at least 2 members of Chambers have read the application form and reached the same conclusion. In the event of disagreement between the 2 members, the Chair of the Pupillage Committee will assess the application and his/her decision will prevail. A random selection of application forms, together with the scores awarded by the allocated 2 members, will be further reviewed by the Chair of the Pupillage to ensure the consistency of approach to candidates in the selection process.
First Interview: We try to interview as many candidates as possible. This usually amounts to approximately 60. The candidate is asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to the allotted interview time, and is given a short piece of advocacy to prepare, such as a plea in mitigation or bail application. Each candidate will then be asked the same two topical legal questions following the advocacy exercise. This is to ensure consistency, yet gives the applicant an opportunity to display individuality and originality. Each interview lasts a maximum of 15 minutes and requires no specific preparation on the part of the applicant in advance. Interviewers will be drawn from the whole of Chambers with a minimum of two members on each panel.
Second Interview: A short-list of between 10 and 15 applicants will be called for a second interview. Again, the candidate is asked to arrive 30 minutes beforehand, when they all will be asked to perform a further pre-arranged advocacy exercise. The advocacy exercise is followed by a 3-minute speech to the Pupillage Committee on any non-legal subject of the applicant’s choice, which should have been prepared in advance. Candidates will be advised in advance of the interview as to its structure but will not be provided with the advocacy exercise until they arrive. Interviewers will be drawn from the whole of Chambers with a minimum of 4 members including one Silk.
Following the second interviews, a shortlist of candidates is invited to meet a cross-section of Chambers and working pupils in a more informal environment.
In the event (and only in the event) that Chambers fails to locate suitable applicants through the Pupillage Gateway system, or a pupil ‘pulls out’ for whatever reason, Chambers may invite and accept non-pupillage gateway applications (in accordance with the regulations, procedure and timetable). Such applications will be assessed and interviewed in the same manner (and upon the same terms) as Pupillage Gateway applicants.
From time to time, Chambers will also invite applications for 3rd six pupillages. Such applications will be assessed and interviewed in the same manner (and upon the same terms) as Pupillage Gateway applicants.
It is a very impressive set, with quite a diverse range of characters. There is something for everybody.