Back to overview

The Oracle

How does the 2022 pupillage application process work?

updated on 04 January 2022

Dear Oracle

Do I have to apply for all pupillage vacancies through the Pupillage Gateway or do some barristers’ chambers have different application processes?

The Oracle replies

Reading time: one minute

Candidates can submit pupillage applications on the Pupillage Gateway from 11:00am on Wednesday 5 January 2022 to 11:00am on Wednesday 9 February 2022. Chambers are then expected to hold interviews between Wednesday 9 February to Thursday 5 May 2022, with pupillage offers to be made on Friday 6 May 2022.

Non-gateway pupillage applications

Most chambers require you to apply through the Pupillage Gateway, but some still ask candidates to apply directly to them. However, all pupillage vacancies are advertised on the Pupillage Gateway regardless of whether you need to apply separately, so this should always be the first place you look for opportunities. The pupillage vacancies advertised on the Gateway that require a separate application will clearly state this information.

Candidates generally apply for pupillage around 18 months in advance, although for some non-law graduates this can be just 12 months. This means that most of the pupillage vacancies you can apply for this January will be starting around October 2023.

An ideal time to apply through the Pupillage Gateway is during the second year of a law degree (or the third/final year for non-law students). However, with stiff competition for a limited number of pupillages, many aspiring barristers must apply again during or after the Bar course.

You can submit up to 20 applications through the Pupillage Gateway, and as many as you like to chambers that require direct applications.

For more, read this advice on writing pupillage applications by top QC Simon Myerson, as well as the Bar Council’s guide to using the Pupillage Gateway. Finally, LCN has a full list of pupillage application deadlines.