Pupillage

We value equality and diversity and we welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds and all sectors of the community. Candidates for pupillage and for tenancy are assessed solely on the grounds of merit.  If you are disabled and require any adjustments to be made at any stage of the application and selection process then please inform us of this and we will attempt to accommodate your needs.

At Kings Chambers, we believe that our clients' interests are best served by strong dedicated teams in an uncompromising attitude to quality and client service. Kings Chambers is committed to providing clients with high quality specialist legal services through barristers with the highest reputation for advocacy, knowledge, and professional standards.

Kings Chambers and the members therein have a national reputation. Chambers is based in Manchester, Leeds, and Birmingham though members work all over the country and outside the jurisdiction.

Chambers is divided into the following departments:

  • Administrative & Public Law
  • Chancery and Commercial Law
  • Planning and Environmental Law
  • Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence

Within those departments members offer a number of areas of specialisms, details of which can be found by reference to the entries for the relevant departments on the website.

One of our most recent pupils has put together his top ten tips for pupillage at Kings Chambers. Click here to view.

 

Pupillage at Kings Chambers

Kings Chambers was founded in Manchester in 1946, with premises in Leeds opening in 1996 and Birmingham in 2012.   We are firmly established as a leading civil set, trusted by national and international law firms, public and private sector organisations and individuals who all value the first-class representation and practical and commercial advice that Kings Chambers prides itself on.

The set now comprises more than 120 barristers including 19 Queen’s Counsel and combines advisory work with litigation and advocacy services. Our Members regularly appear in courts and tribunals across the country and frequently appear in leading cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.  We are ranked nationally as one of the country’s leading sets, providing barristers with the highest reputation in their fields of expertise.

The success of Chambers has been built on the recruitment and development of pupils of the highest calibre and potential. Our recruitment process and the remuneration package we offer are intended to ensure that we recruit the best candidates in each year.

All offers of pupillage are made with a view to tenancy. This means that if you accept a pupillage and complete the same successfully you will be offered a tenancy in Chambers.

We aim to make pupils feel a part of Chambers from the time that they accept their offers of pupillage. To this end, pupils are invited to chambers events, both formal and informal, and encouraged to get to know both members and staff.

One of our recent pupils has written a helpful guide for candidates to give some insight into the process which can be found by clicking here.

 
What do we offer?

Our pupillage package totals £45,000. We provide an award of £20,000 in the first six months of pupillage and guarantee our pupil’s income in the second six months up to £25,000. A draw down is offered of up to 50% of the award in advance of commencement and upon receipt of the signed pupillage contract and accompanying paperwork. Chambers is committed to selecting the best candidates irrespective of their personal circumstances.  We do not accept unfunded pupils.

 
The Structure of Pupillage Training

We offer up to four specialist pupillages each year across our locations. Pupillage commences in the Autumn each year and lasts for 12 months. 

A pupil is allocated to a department within Chambers and a Pupil Supervisor within that department. During the non-practising part of pupillage which takes place in the first six months, our pupils will shadow their respective pupil supervisor as well as other members of Chambers, carry out research and drafting on cases they are privy to.  During this period, pupils will attend all mandatory training either online or externally.  We also host our own internal training sessions for pupils.

When the second six-month period commences pupils are assigned to a different Pupil Supervisor. Our clerks keep pupils very busy with their own caseload providing every opportunity to develop their advocacy skills. Pupils can expect to be in court 3 - 5 times a week.

In addition to having their allocated Pupil Supervisors, all pupils are also assigned to a ‘buddy’ who will be a junior member of chambers nearer to their year of call and who themselves will recently have gone through pupillage at Kings, is not involved in the assessment process and is there to provide pastoral advice and support.  Chambers is fully committed to protecting the Health & Wellbeing of its members and pupils.  Chambers has an established policy which found by clicking here. 

At the commencement of pupillage, we host a group induction for all pupils in our Manchester Chambers which includes talks by Head of Chambers, Heads of Department, Director of Pupillage Training, Chief Clerks and other stakeholders by way of introduction to each other, to life in Chambers as well as explaining Chambers’ policies and procedures and the assessment process.

 
How is pupillage assessed?

Throughout your pupillage your supervisor will meet with you regularly to discuss allocation of work and the progress of your pupillage and in addition, you will receive support from the Pupillage Committee with advocacy and business development training.  Pupil Supervisors are (in conjunction with the Director of Pupillage Training) responsible for devising and providing the pupillage. You can expect to be provided with frequent feedback throughout your pupillage and for your progress and development to be monitored. At the end of each 3 month period pupils undergo a review of their progress and development with their Supervisor and the Director of Pupillage Training.   This will include looking at the feedback of other practitioners, the structure and development of your pupillage and the requirements of the Professional Statement.   

If there are any issues for the pupil to work on then these will be identified at this review and a structure devised for the pupil to address the same.

 
Requirements for pupillage applications

When considering applications for pupillage, candidates will need to have completed or be scheduled to complete either a law degree or GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law - law conversion course for those who have completed a non-law undergraduate degree).  Additionally, the BPTC (Bar Professional Training Course) or another England and Wales bar qualification (e.g. Bar Transfer Test) needs to have been completed and passed prior to commencement of pupillage.

Chambers is looking for outstanding individuals wanting to succeed in their chosen specialist areas of work.  Chambers select pupils with a view to tenancy and therefore our selection criteria and application process is structured to ensure that the most dedicated candidates prosper.

 
Equality and Diversity

Our application process is designed to ensure fairness and we are wholeheartedly committed to the Bar Council’s Equality and Diversity Code.

Pupillage application forms are assessed ‘blind’ in that the name, address, and date of birth of the applicant is removed prior to the paper assessment.

We monitor diversity by anonymised forms in which applicants are requested (but not required) to complete with their application. These forms are kept separate from the application forms and are only used for monitoring purposes.

 
Our Selection Process

We assess applications on paper first and would not normally shortlist applicants with lower than a 2:1 degree. We do however appreciate that sometimes an applicant’s ability/potential is not necessarily reflected by their degree result and therefore we will always have regard to any extenuating or relevant circumstances in this regard. There are two rounds for selection of all candidates who apply prior to drawing up our list of those to be interviewed.

The first-round interview will be conducted by a team of at least two members of Chambers.  Those interviews typically last for approximately 15-20 minutes and candidate will be scored against a number of criteria with an emphasis on their ability to engage with the panel members with a view to passing to the next stage.

The second-round interview is conducted by a panel of members of Chambers, including at least one Queen’s Counsel.  During this interview candidates will typically give a presentation to the members on a topic of their choice.  Candidates may also be expected to provide a submission in respect of a problem which has been provided to the candidate in advance of the interview along with any relevant text they would need to be able to complete this task.

The problem presented does not require any specialist knowledge. The candidate is expected to be able to present a general understanding of legal matters. These exercises are designed to test intellectual and analytical skills as well as written and oral advocacy. They may require a general knowledge of current affairs, equal opportunities, legal issues or law.  Other questions are designed to assess your ethical judgment and personal qualities such as resilience, motivation and dynamism.

Candidates will also be expected to demonstrate their interest in their chosen specialist area of law.

Following an interview, an applicant will be marked on their interview performance by reference to an agreed set of criteria. These marks are then added to the marks allocated to the applicant’s application and references. A shortlist is then drawn up for second interviews. We do not limit the number of available interviews. We expect to be able to make a decision following a second interview. The performance of an applicant in interview is not determinative of their application.

Throughout the process, we are looking for applicants who demonstrate the potential to become excellent barristers. We do this by considering, among other things:

  • The intellectual ability of the applicant;
  • The ability of the applicant to consider, formulate and advance a position both orally and in writing;
  • The ability of the applicant to engage;
  • The ability of the applicant to exercise judgment;
  • The commitment of the applicant to a career at the bar.

A useful guidance is to remember that we are looking for applicants who can show the potential to be excellent advocates.

We must stress that we are not looking for the “finished article”. Pupillage is intended to produce the “finished article”.

We value equality and diversity and we welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds and all sectors of the community. Candidates for pupillage and for tenancy are assessed solely on the grounds of merit.  If you are disabled and require any adjustments to be made at any stage of the application and selection process then please inform us of this and we will endeavour to accommodate your needs.

 
The Pupillage Gateway

Recruitment for pupils of Kings Chambers is carried out via the Bar Council Pupillage Gateway scheme which allows potential pupils to apply to up to 20 participating sets. Full details of our vacancies and awards are published on the Pupillage Gateway website. Please click here for more details.

Any queries regarding the pupillage application or selection process, please email pupillage@kingschambers.com

 

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