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What is a pupillage?
A pupillage is the final stage in training to be a barrister. It is your opportunity to put everything you have learnt so far into practice. It is possible to look at a pupillage as the equivalent to the trainee solicitor’s ‘training contract’. Although you will already have under taken the BPC (Bar Practice Course) and will have been ‘called to the Bar’; a pupillage is essential for anyone that wishes to practice. It is the only way to secure a tenancy (a permanent place) within a set of chambers. Pupillage usually takes a year to complete and is divided ‘sixes’; two six month periods. After these you may apply for tenancy or, if you are unsuccessful, you may apply for a 'third six' You may continue to do these until you secure tenancy. Often the 'first six' is shadowing a barrister and the 'second six' is where a pupil can take on their own cases and clients.
Applications take place in January through to the start of February. You can submit up to 20 application sin this period. You can apply to most pupillages through the pupillage gateway but some chambers do have their own process, so make sure to check!
Pupillages are paid pupillage awards but this is varies depending on chambers and location.
What do you learn?
Under the supervision of a junior barrister, you will build on what you have already learnt; combining your academic ability with your BPC vocational experience. You will partake in the day-to-day practical work of chambers. A pupillage will also provide chambers with an opportunity to assess you as a potential permanent tenant.
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