As London’s leading criminal defence chambers, 25 Bedford Row is committed to improving access to the Bar and providing opportunities for aspiring barristers from all backgrounds to gain valuable work experience and an insight into a career in criminal law.
25 Bedford Row can accommodate a maximum of two mini-pupils per week, and will endeavour to offer that number of placements each week of the year, with the exception of August and the Christmas period.
Mini-pupils will shadow one or more members of Chambers in the Crown or Magistrates’ Court for a period of one week. Wherever possible, mini-pupils will not be required to travel outside of the London area to attend their placement. All placements are unpaid.
We are unable to reimburse for any travel or expenses.
All applications for Mini Pupillage should be by CV and cover letter to MiniPupillage@25BedfordRow.com.
The cover letter should be no longer than 1 page of A4, and should set out your availability within the relevant application period.
There will be 3 application windows in the year, as follows:
- Applications received between 1 January and 30 April will be considered for mini-pupillage placements in June to September of that year;
- Applications received between 1 May and 31 August will be considered for mini pupillage placements in October of that year to January of the following year;
- Applications received between 1 September and 31 December will be considered for mini pupillage placements in February to May of the following year.
All applicants for mini-pupillage must be 18 or over at the time the mini pupillage is to be undertaken.
We regularly receive more applications than we are able to accommodate. Taking into account the stage in their legal education that an applicant has reached, priority will be given to those candidates who:
- Demonstrate an interest in and commitment to a career in criminal law; and
- Express themselves concisely and clearly in their application.
Confidentiality and Data Protection
All mini-pupils will be required to sign a confidentiality and data protection undertaking prior to commencement of their mini-pupillage. As part of this undertaking, the applicant will be asked for their consent for us to disclose their details to those necessary in order for the mini-pupillage to take place (i.e. the Member(s) of Chambers who the applicant will shadow, the Court the applicant will be attending etc.).
All applicants' details will be kept securely and only disclosed to the panel of Members of Chambers who review the applications received. In accordance with our data retention policy, all applications will be securely destroyed at the end of year in which their application was made.
Any notes or case papers obtained must be returned or securely destroyed at the end of the placement.
The attention of all Members of Chambers involved in the supervision of mini pupils is drawn to the Bar Council guidance on mini pupils, data protection and confidentiality, which can be found here.
Code of Conduct
If you are successful in your application for mini-pupillage with us, please note the following:
- Bring a laptop or notebook with you so that you can keep a note if the barrister you are accompanying asks you to do so.
- Dress professionally and appropriately for court. This means a suit if possible; or plain, smart clothing in professional colours. Shoes, not trainers.
- Attend court in good time for the hearing.
- Ensure that you have completed and signed our confidentiality and data protection forms, and returned them to our chambers' Administration Manager, Varuna Askoolum, or Administration Assistant, Twinkle Plowman, in advance of your placement.
- On completion of your mini pupillage, return all hard copy case documents and delete any electronic versions you may have been provided with during your placement.
- Respect and follow any instructions given to you by the barrister you are with. For example, they may ask you to wait outside whilst they speak with a client or solicitor if a sensitive matter arises.
- Behave in a professional and respectful manner at all times.
- Approach or engage in conversation with any witnesses, police officers or family members of parties to a case, unless authorised to do so by the barrister you are with.
- Never intervene in open court or in conference with a client or solicitor unless expressly invited to do so by the barrister you are accompanying. Keep any questions or comments you may have until an appropriate moment (not in the presence of the client or solicitor).
- Post anything about any cases you have seen during your placement on social media.
- Keep any case papers or other confidential documents that you may have come into possession of during your placement.
- You are welcome to ask any member of chambers that you accompany for a reference. However, please bear in mind that it is entirely within the discretion of the member of chambers whether they agree to this request or not. Please do not advance as a referee any member of chambers without their knowledge and agreement.
Pegasus Access and Support Scheme (PASS)
25 Bedford Row is a member of the Pegasus Access and Support Scheme (PASS) as established by the Inner Temple.
The aim of PASS is to improve access to the Bar profession and to support high-achieving students from under-represented backgrounds by securing a mini-pupillage in Chambers, and so providing the experiences they need to be able to thrive at the Bar. The associated travel and accommodation costs for PASS are covered by the Inner Temple so that the participants can fully enjoy the mini-pupillage experience and the development programme.
Please click here for further information including how to apply to become a participant of PASS.
Bar Placement Scheme
25 Bedford Row are a proud participant in the Bar Council’s Bar Placement Scheme.
The Bar Placement Scheme gives students the opportunity to figure out if a career at the Bar would be suitable for them. During the Scheme, students spend two days shadowing their barrister in Chambers and in court, or taking part in a virtual placement. Participants also receive advocacy training from the Inns of Court College of Advocacy.
The Scheme is an excellent opportunity to build up your skills and CV. For further information, including details of how to apply, please click here.
10,000 Interns Foundation
We are proud to be a partner of 10,000 Interns Foundation, which seeks to offer 2,000 internships each year for five consecutive years. Each internship offered presents the opportunity to change a life. Each interview offered provides invaluable experience and each training session can genuinely change an individual’s trajectory. For further information, please click here.
Informal Shadowing / Work Experience with an individual Member of Chambers
All applications for mini-pupillage at 25 Bedford Row must be in accordance with the above scheme. If members of Chambers wish to be shadowed by an individual outside of the mini-pupillage scheme, they should ensure that Chambers’ Administration Manager is informed, and the necessary confidentiality forms are completed. For data protection reasons, such shadowing opportunities should only be offered to those aged 18 or over.
This does not fall within the 25 Bedford Row mini-pupillage scheme, and should not be described as such on any CV or application form.
It is a very impressive set, with quite a diverse range of characters. There is something for everybody.