Session one

  • Maximum number of places: 10
  • Deadline for applications: 31 October 2023
  • Notification of places: 9 November 2023
  • Dates: 21 – 22 November 2023

Session two

  • Maximum number of places: 10
  • Deadline for applications: 31 October 2023
  • Notification of places: 9 November 2023
  • Dates: 5 - 6 December 2023

Session three

  • Maximum number of places: 10
  • Deadline for applications: 5 March 2024
  • Notification of places: 15 March 2024
  • Dates: 26 - 27 March 2024

Session four

  • Maximum number of places: 10
  • Deadline for applications: 10 June 2024
  • Notification of places: 20 June 2024
  • Dates: 2 - 3 July 2024


Wilberforce Chambers is committed to giving those interested in the Bar an idea of how Chambers operate, and what life as a practising chancery barrister might be like. We run a series of non-assessed mini-pupillages each year in four ‘sessions’ and we offer 40 mini-pupillage places.  So, while obtaining a space is often competitive, there is plenty of opportunity to do a mini-pupillage at Wilberforce.

While we were an early adopter of remote mini-pupillages during the pandemic, we believe that mini-pupillages in person in chambers are the best way to gain the greatest insight into the Bar and Chambers, and the richest occasion. A mini-pupil visits Chambers and spends two days participating in various talks and discussions with members of Chambers and staff, and visiting Court or otherwise shadowing members of Chambers as they go about their work. The talks include sessions with the Head of Pupillage, our current pupils and other juniors, as well as a member of the clerking team to get a true insight to chambers. There is also a more casual opportunity to speak to members of chambers

Should a session be held remotely, a mini-pupil can expect the same talks and discussions with members of Chambers and staff, and to shadow members of Chambers, across two days.

Who will I get to meet?

A mini-pupil can expect to meet Head of Pupillage (or another member of the pupillage committee), members of the clerking team, our current pupils and junior tenants, as well as other more senior members of Chambers In addition to seeing Court work and meetings, each mini-pupil will be assigned to a member of Chambers who will act as a mini-pupil supervisor outside designated trips to Court or in Wilberforce. There will be opportunities to discuss with that person, and with other members of Chambers, practice at the Bar generally and in Chambers in particular.

What will I see and do?

The content of each mini-pupillage will vary depending on the work being undertaken in Chambers at the time, but the programme will include reading and discussing paperwork and participating in various talks and discussions with members of Chambers and staff. While it is dependent on events and the Court listings, we strive to ensure that mini-pupils can attend conferences with clients and hearings in Court with members of Chambers.

Our mini-pupillages are not usually assessed, and this programme is no different, but you may be asked to consider a problem question or some papers with a mini-pupil supervisor. If you are given some work of this sort, it is a great opportunity to discuss and get into the meat of a piece of work with a member of chambers, and understand the reality of the work, and is not taken into account in any pupillage application.

Equality and diversity

We are committed to the promotion of equality and diversity across all aspects of our practice. The information in the form will be used only for monitoring purposes and not for the purpose of assessing the merits of your application.

Equality of opportunity is essential for the maintenance of high standards and the provision of a 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 mini-pupillage recruitment this involves the use of application forms 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.


In May 2024, The Bar Council awarded Wilberforce Chambers a Wellbeing Certificate of Recognition for “invaluable work demonstrating commitment to wellbeing in the barristers’ profession”. The Bar Council remarked, “Wilberforce Chambers’ continuous work and dedication to wellbeing is very impressive.”

Other information

Lincoln’s Inn have launched a scheme to assist students fund mini pupillages – The Mini Pupillage Grant Scheme.

While we offer a small contribution of £100 towards travel for all pupils, the Mini Pupillage Grant Scheme offers financial assistance to students who have secured a mini pupillage but need additional funds to complete it. The fund is intended to help with the cost of long distance travel, commuting, accommodation and purchasing appropriate professional clothing. The value of each grant is calculated based on the applicant’s anticipated expenses up to a maximum of £500. This will not affect the contribution that Chambers provide.

Applicants do not need to be members of Lincoln’s Inn, but must meet certain social mobility based criteria to be eligible for a grant. More details including all of the application criteria and application form can be found on the funding page of the Lincoln’s Inn website here. Applications are open all year round.