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Pupillage Policy

Wilberforce Chambers Pupillage Brochure

What are we looking for?

What will my pupillage include?

What is the selection process?

What award is offered?

When are the interviews?

Tenancy and pupillage privacy notice

Contact Details


Please note we are now closed for application commencing October 2019


What are we looking for?

We offer two 12-month pupillages each year, with a view to taking on both pupils as tenants at the end of their time with us. Importantly, our pupils are not in competition with one another for a tenancy, but are assessed solely on their own abilities and performance.

We look for pupils with high intellectual ability, good communication skills and an interest in commercial chancery work.
You should be mature and confident, have the ability to work with others and be able to analyse legal problems well, demonstrating commercial and practical good sense.

It is our policy to offer pupillage only to those candidates whom we consider to possess real potential to join us as tenants at the end of their pupillage. This means that we set high selection standards, take great care in our selection process and put a great deal of effort into providing an excellent pupillage. We carry out a process of continual assessment to determine the suitability of pupils as tenants rather than a separate, formal assessment procedure at the end of the pupillage.

We choose to manage the application and selection process ourselves and are not members of the Pupillage Gateway.

We have a minimum requirement of a 2.1 degree in law or another subject and have a track record of taking on GDL students, as well as undergraduate law students, as pupils and tenants.

Click here to read the CHAMBERS STUDENT review on Wilberforce

What will my pupillage include?

Our well-structured pupillages are aimed at providing a pupil with experience of the work done in Chambers across our different practice areas. Pupils can expect to sit with at least two different pupil supervisors within their first six months and:

  • share the daily professional life of their pupil supervisor
  • produce pleadings and opinions in their pupil supervisor’s cases
  • attend conferences with the solicitor and lay client
  • attend Court with their pupil supervisor and other members of Chambers
  • receive regular feedback on their work from their pupil supervisor
  • have their workload monitored by their pupil supervisor
  • work with a variety of junior tenants and silks
  • get to know our clerks and begin to learn what skills and approaches will assist in building a successful practice
  • contribute to life in Chambers.

We aim to reach a decision about tenancy after approximately 9-10 months. All pupils are entitled to remain with us for the remainder of their pupillage on a full pupillage award. Any money earned or received by pupils during their second six months will be in addition to the pupillage award and expense-free.

What is the selection process?

Following consideration of your pupillage application, we may invite you to attend a long-list interview. This will be an interview with two members of Chambers involving discussion of a problem question. You may then be asked back for a short-list interview, which will include a more in-depth examination and analysis of a legal problem with up to four members of Chambers.

We aim to make pupillage offers to successful candidates in the week following short-list interviews.

What award is offered?

We offer a generous and competitive pupillage award, which we review annually with the intention that it should be in line with the highest awards available. The award for 2018/2019 will be £65,000 and is paid in monthly instalments. A proportion of the pupillage award (up to £20,000) can be drawn down during the BPTC year.

We also fund attendance at the compulsory courses which pupils are required to undertake by the Bar Council.

When are the interviews?

Pupillage October 2019

Maximum number of places:  2
Closing date for applications: 3 January 2018
Long-list interviews week beginning: TBC
Short-list interviews week beginning:  TBC
Pupillage award: up to £65,000
Maximum draw down during BPTC year:  £20,000
Offers made:  1 March 2018

Please note: All our interviews are carried out in person and we are unable to accommodate requests for an interview by Skype or video-link.


Pupillage contact details

If you need further assistance, please call and ask for the Pupillage Secretary in confidence on 020 7306 0102 or email us on

All electronic applications should be sent to and/or


Equality and diversity

Wilberforce Chambers are committed to the promotion of equality and diversity across all aspects of our practice.

Equality of opportunity is essential for the maintenance of high standards and the provision of a high quality service to clients. It also ensures a harmonious working environment for members of Chambers and staff.

In particular, we seek to follow best practice equality and diversity procedures in all aspects of recruitment. With pupillage recruitment this involves the use of application forms, a two-tier interview process and the use of objective selection criteria in accordance with the recommendations of the Bar Standards Board’s Equality and Diversity Rules of the Code of Conduct.

Applicants with a disability should contact the Pupillage Secretary in confidence if there are any reasonable adjustments that may be made in relation to their applications.

Equality and Diversity Policy 2014