Applying for pupillage? Read this advice

Josh Richman - Applying for pupillage? Read this advice

The Pupillage Gateway opened last week on 8 January, giving aspiring barristers a month to apply for pupillage at their chosen chambers before the Gateway closes again on Thursday 7 February. Meanwhile, a handful of other barristers’ chambers have set earlier application deadlines.

January is obviously a crucial time for prospective barristers. Here are a few tips for producing polished, well-researched applications over the next couple of weeks.

Submit before the deadline

It is important to apply before the deadline because chambers will begin reviewing applications as soon as they come in, while the rush of forms that come in on deadline day will contain way too many rushed and half-hearted applications. And as recruiters continually tell us, even those organisations that don’t start reviewing applications as soon as they arrive will review them in the chronological order that they were received – so it really pays to submit early.

Make every application unique

It's crucial to make the most of the time available to carefully hone applications, tailoring each one individually to the relevant chambers before submitting. The best chance of success is to submit a handful of highly-polished, targeted applications, as opposed to firing off as many as you can. While you still have time, be sure to read this extensive guide to pupillage applications by Simon Myerson QC, who runs the excellent blog, Pupillage and How to Get It – the blog isn’t updated often, but its most recent posts are filled with expert advice.

Some chambers have also been supplying pupillage application tips via Twitter. We highly recommend that you follow 5 Essex Court (@Pupillages) and Henderson Chambers (@HendersonPupils), if you don’t already, and take on board their advice. Simply searching ‘pupillage’ on Twitter will also open up a whole conversation between barristers, chambers’ official accounts and the legal press on the subject.

And after applying comes interview preparation, so don’t forget to check LCN’s advice on pupillage interviews for tips on this most crucial stage of the application process. Best of luck with your applications!

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