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There are many different kinds of barristers' chambers, and where you train has a significant influence on your career, as the style, size and clientele of each will vary. Consider the following broad categories to establish which type of set might best match your career goals and working style.
Central London: commercial sets
Just as the solicitors' profession has a 'magic circle' of law firms, so too does London's commercial Bar.
Central London: public law sets
Public law can take many forms, from conflicts over EU legislation to planning appeals, from individuals' entitlement to community care to international extradition.
Central London: common law sets
If you are seeking a wide-ranging pupillage with ample court time and a chance to earn your own fees during the second six, then the common law Bar will suit you well.
Central London: crime sets
Motoring offences, juvenile misdemeanours, gruesome murders, child abuse, terrorism, white-collar fraud, regulatory breaches – crime sets handle just about every kind of violation you might imagine.
Regional Bar: supersets and beyond
According to Bar Council statistics, just over half of the 750 or so chambers in England and Wales are located outside London, and just over one-third of all barristers in private practice work from within them.
Public sector pupillages
Both the Crown Prosecution Service and the Government Legal Service offer pupillages leading to permanent roles with fixed salaries, holiday and sickness pay, pensions and all the usual employment protection rights.