General information about pupillage
Wilberforce Chambers looks to offer up to four 12-month pupillages each year, with substantial funding. Chambers has an excellent retention record. It is unusual for pupils not to be recruited as tenants at the end of their 12-month pupillage.
There is no limit to the number of tenancies we offer at the end of the pupillage process. Chambers offers pupillage with a view to taking on all pupils as tenants at the end of their time with us, so we take great care in our selection process to identify candidates who have real potential to join Chambers at the end of their pupillage. Importantly, our pupils are not in competition with one another for a tenancy but are assessed solely on their own abilities and performance.
In addition to the substantial pupillage award, substantial amounts of barrister time (both of supervisors and others) are spent on pupils, and we look to give pupils a structured and comprehensive introduction to life at the Bar. That includes:
- sitting with at least five different pupil supervisors during their 12 months with us;
- sharing the daily professional life of their pupil supervisor;
- seeing a spread of chambers’ work;
- producing pleadings and opinions in their pupil supervisor’s cases;
- attending conferences with their pupil supervisor, the solicitor and the lay client;
- attending Court with their pupil supervisor and other members of Chambers;
- receiving regular feedback on their work from their pupil supervisor;
- having their work-load monitored by their pupil supervisor;
- having an opportunity to work with a variety of junior tenants and silks;
- getting to know our clerks and begin to learn what skills and approaches will assist in building a successful practice; and
- having an opportunity to contribute to life in chambers.
We are looking for pupils with (i) high intellectual ability, (ii) good oral and written communication skills, (iii) an interest in Chancery Commercial work, who are (iv) mature and confident, (v) have the ability to work with others, and who (vi) can analyse legal problems well, demonstrating (vii) good practical and commercial sense. We have a minimum requirement of a 2:1 degree in law or another subject.
We have a strong record of recruiting non-law/GDL students and as explained below we take care to ensure that our interview process does not disadvantage those who have only recently commenced their legal studies.
We are committed to promoting and achieving equality and diversity in Chambers, so we want to receive applications from anyone who has the qualities and skills we are looking for, no matter what university they have attended, no matter what age, race, gender or sexual orientation. It is with that commitment in mind that we joined the Pupillage Gateway a few years ago, as we consider the process to be beneficial to pupillage candidates.
We use contextual recruitment (specifically, RARE Contextual Recruitment) as part of our recruitment process, if a candidate wants us to have that information. The RARE contextual recruitment system provides us with information about applicants which assists us to select candidates with the potential to become pupils. We take account of the contextual data acquired via the system at the first stage of our application process (see further below). Provision of the information is voluntary and no candidate will be marked down for choosing not to supply it.