1 Crown Office Row is committed to providing excellent training for pupils. We want each of our pupils to be a future star of the Bar.
You will quickly become involved in whatever your Pupil Supervisor is doing at the time, so be prepared to hit the ground running. You will be expected to contribute meaningfully – so please don’t expect a quiet life in the shadows providing administrative support. We are much more interested in your brain than your photocopying. As a friendly set you will get to know us, and more importantly, we will get to know you, in no time.
Each year, Chambers offers up to two funded 12-month pupillages. We will update the below information if COVID-19 impacts future pupillages.
- Awards & Training
- Selection Criteria
- Recruitment Process
- Third-six Pupillage
- What You Can Expect
- Early Years Of Tenancy
Awards & Training
Currently, chambers offers pupillage awards of £20,000 to each pupil with £10,000 of the award paid monthly in advance as a grant in the first six months. In the second six months, the further £10,000 is paid on a “guaranteed earnings” basis. In this arrangement, any earnings received in this period (i.e. not work billed but payments actually received from clients) are offset against the award paid. In this way, pupils are guaranteed a minimum income of £10,000 during this period and if they were to receive fees of more than £10,000 in their own right they will retain all those earnings with no deductions for Chambers expenses.
In the case of fees, which are collected after completion of the pupillage period for work done during that period, Chambers levies a 10% percentage fee to cover its clerking costs. There is no such levy on fees collected during the pupillage period.
Once offered a confirmed pupillage place, the future pupil may apply to draw down up to 20% of the award in advance to assist in meeting his or her costs arising during the Bar Vocational Course training (or any other suitable education or experience undertaken in the year before the start of pupillage), subject to signing an undertaking to repay the sum so advanced in the event of not eventually taking up the pupillage place.
In addition, Chambers will pay for all training courses which pupils are required to complete during their pupillage, currently including the Bar Council’s Advice to Counsel course and the Compulsory Accounting course.
Chambers selects pupils (and tenants) solely on merit. We are committed to a comprehensive Equality & Diversity policy and the age, sex, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, political views or religion of any applicant is disregarded. Disability is also disregarded, save in those limited circumstances in which it is genuinely material to a person’s ability to be a tenant or pupil in Chambers.
Applications will be evaluated at each stage by considering how each applicant meets the following selection criteria:
- Intellectual and analytical ability, including an ability to present written ideas succinctly and persuasively;
- Oral communication and advocacy skills;
- Temperament, including a commitment to hard work and ability to perform under pressure;
- Interpersonal Skills, including a capacity to understand and to show understanding of the needs and problems of those for whom and with whom they work;
- Motivation for a career at the Bar and pupillage at 1COR.
Successful applicants tend to have at least a 2.1 degree and often have higher degrees. Extra-curricular experiences which would assist our applicant in pursuing their chosen career (eg publications, successful mooting or debating experiences, lecturing skills, etc) are also viewed favourably.
Chambers selects pupils solely on merit, against the agreed selection criteria (see above) and in comparison with the other applicants. Applications and offers are dealt with in accordance with the timetable established by the Pupillage Gateway Scheme, although we do not participate in the Scheme.
As regards applications for third 6-month pupillages, the selection process is similar to that in respect of funded 12-month pupillages and the same selection criteria will be applied.
Interviews will take place at our Brighton conference rooms.
Any queries should be directed to The Pupillage Committee, preferably by email or, if urgent, by telephone on 01273 625 625.
As stated above, specially qualified applicants, such as a qualified and experienced solicitors are permitted to apply directly to Chambers outside the above timetable and should contact Chambers directly for more information. Specially qualified applicants will also be selected solely on merit and in accordance with Chambers Equality & Diversity policy.
Lastly, applications for third 6-month pupillage must also be made directly to Chambers. Any vacancies will be advertised.
Where applications are made directly to Chambers they should be addressed to Lynn McFadyen, Head of Pupillage.
What You Can Expect
Currently, pupillage is divided between two pupil supervisors, each supervising the pupil for six months. In addition, pupils are encouraged to travel to court with, and to do paperwork for, other members of Chambers.
The role and duties of a pupil include reading papers, drafting proceedings, researching and writing opinions, attending conferences and Court hearings.
It is also the pupil’s duty to ensure that his or her pupillage file is completed correctly (Chambers use the General Council of the Bar’s General Common Law Pupillage Checklist), to undertake the required further training in advocacy and the Advice to Counsel course and to study the rules of conduct and etiquette at the Bar.
In summary, at Crown Office Row, pupils gain a wide experience of Court and paperwork in a variety of different specialisms (as described in the Areas of Law section of this website) and receive a thorough training in the skills and techniques that are needed to pursue a career at the Common Law Bar.
Furthermore, given that Chambers emphasises the importance of specialist advocacy, in their second 6-months pupils are generally regularly in court on their own account, whilst also continuing to be given interesting written work by, and attend Court with, members of chambers.
The offer of tenancy to our pupils is quite a regular occurrence at Crown Office Row.
The decision as to whether or not to offer a pupil a tenancy is made by a full Chambers’ meeting, which all members of Chambers are expected to attend. This meeting usually takes place in June each year.
In deciding whether to offer a tenancy, Chambers considers the merits of the candidate, Chambers resources and the fit with Chambers practice needs at the time. Pupils will be assessed on the basis of their performance throughout their pupillage and fully in accordance with the non-discriminatory principles set out in our Equality & Diversity policy. Performance is assessed against the following criteria:
- An analytical mind;
- Intellectual ability;
- An ability to express ideas clearly and persuasively, both in writing and orally;
- An ability to think under pressure;
- A commitment to hard work;
- An organised approach to work;
- A capacity to understand and to show understanding of the needs and problems of those for whom and with whom they work;
- Good interpersonal skills.
Pupils who are not offered a tenancy are permitted to remain in Chambers at the conclusion of their pupillage for a reasonable period or until such time as they are able to make alternative arrangements. Chambers will make every reasonable effort to assist such pupils to find a further pupillage, a tenancy or employment elsewhere. The early scheduling of the tenancy meeting enables pupils who have not been taken on to make applications for third 6-month pupillages elsewhere in good time.
Early Years Of Tenancy
For those who are offered tenancy, Chambers waives any rent payment for their first year of tenancy and heavily subsidises rent during the second year.
In respect of all working pupils and junior tenants in their first three years of practice, Chambers operates a fully monitored fair rotation system of all unallocated work coming into Chambers to ensure that it is distributed fairly in a way consistent with our Equality & Diversity policy.