Welcome to the recruitment section. Here you will find all the information needed about how to apply for tenancy with us. You will also find information about our pupillage program,from the application procedure through to the selection process as well as some first hand information from pupils who have trained with us.
Your first point of contact will be our Senior Clerk. In line with our equality and diversity policy, we monitor the recruitment of tenants. Please complete a monitoring form and submit it with your application. Should your application progress you will be called for a single interview before our recruitment committee. References will be followed up. If your application is successful you will usually be informed within 48 hours.
Please send your applications to:
No.1 High Pavement Chambers
1 High Pavement
Or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
A pupillage at No.1 High Pavement is designed for criminal practitioners only.
The pupillage programme
The pupillage is for twelve months with a nominated Pupil Supervisor for the full period. During the first six months the pupil will be expected to read and become familiar with the supervisor’s current cases and be in a position to discuss in detail the relevant issues and how they might be approached during the trial. You will attend Court and conferences with your pupil supervisor, do research into areas of the law and work on his or her papers.
These expectations continue for the full period of the second six when you are not undertaking work of your own.
There will be occasions, particularly during the first six months, when you will spend time with other members of Chambers with three or more years experience to broaden your experience of work in Chambers. You may be asked to assist other members of chambers with research or paperwork.
Chambers has to cover courts all over the Midland Circuit, and sometimes beyond. Chambers will meet a pupil’s reasonable traveling expenses when necessary.
We use the Bar Council checklist as the basis of the work that you should undertake in pupillage.
You will be expected to achieve specified standards and competencies in the following four core skills:
• Conduct and etiquette
• Conferences and Negotiations
• Drafting, paperwork and Legal Research
In addition you will be expected to have mastered the fundamentals of criminal procedure so as to make you a competent criminal practitioner.
It is a necessary part of your pupillage that you attend training sessions organised by your Inn and the Circuit. Chambers will meet a pupil’s necessary traveling expenses in respect of such training.
Towards the end of your first six months you will spend a period with the more junior tenants to witness the type of work that you will be expected to deal with in your second six months.
In recent years second six pupils have usually been in the magistrates’ Court several days a week with a gradual move into Crown Court work.
Chambers operates a shared desk policy and has computers available in Chambers to access all recent case law, statutes, reports and articles.
We expect you to work hard during your pupillage and in return we will ensure that you have a breadth and depth of experience needed for a successful career at the criminal bar.
You will meet your Pupil supervisor for an introductory session on a mutually convenient date before your pupillage starts. During that meeting you will be taken through the Pupillage Policy Document, our expectations of you as a pupil, our commitments to you as a pupil, our Equality and Diversity Policy and our grievance procedure. You will be introduced to the members of the Clerks’ room. You will be shown around the building, made aware of the health and safety considerations relevant to the building and its users and issues concerning security. If the opportunity arises you will be introduced to the Director of Pupil Training and the Head of Chambers.
Feed-back, monitoring and assessments
You will receive continuous assessment and informal feedback from your pupil supervisor throughout your pupillage. Your progress will be monitored with reference to the “four core skills” and criminal practice. You will be set written exercises such as drafting documents and advices. You will be expected to keep a portfolio of written work. You will be set practical exercises in advocacy and professional ethics and conduct. In your second six your own work will be supervised by your pupil trainer when practicable and review outcomes; you will receive feedback from the Clerk concerning your court work: this will include feedback back from solicitors, tenants and judges. You will receive periodic formal assessments, using the BSB pupillage check list. The Director of Pupil Training will periodically check that these procedures are being followed and discuss your progress with you.
Complaints or grievances
Chambers has a complaints and grievance procedure in place for pupils, the overarching aim of which is to resolve grievances both fairly and as soon as possible.
During the first six months you will receive an award of £1000 per month at the end of each month. During your second six you will continue to receive the same monthly amount less any fees you have received as a barrister during the preceding month up to that amount. You will be expected to pay Clerks Fees from your earnings during your time as a pupil but no Chambers expenses.
You will be allowed to take a break during both your first and second six up to a maximum of four weeks in all. The timing of such breaks must be agreed in advance with your pupil supervisor and Clerk so as to fit in with your training and professional commitments.
What we are looking for in every candidate is his or her potential to become a first class advocate. We are looking for your potential to become a new tenant. We look for candidates who see their future in these Chambers. However, an offer of pupillage does not bring with it any guarantee of a tenancy at the end of it. It may not be in the broader interests of Chambers at that time to consider taking another tenant. Any application for a tenancy at the end of pupillage will be considered on its merits using the same criteria as used for pupil recruitment.
Where a tenancy is not available at the end of pupillage Chambers will consider whether it is appropriate to allow the pupil to become a squatter for a set period; relevant to such consideration will be whether the pupil would satisfy the criteria for a tenancy had one been available and an assessment of Chambers’ future business interest at that time.
Where a pupil does not satisfy the criteria for a tenancy or a tenancy/squatting arrangement is not available he or she will be given three months notice to make arrangements elsewhere. He or she will continue to be clerked during that time and will be expected to uphold the rules and standards of Chambers during that time.
All applications are to be submitted directly to Chambers and will be accepted by hand delivery, as well as postal services, but not electronically. Please address it as set out below and mark it “Pupillage Application”.
Before you apply please bear in mind that:
a) we are a purely criminal set.
b) we are offering two pupillages for a period of 12 months, within the 2018/19 academic year.
c) we are not seeking applications for first, second or third sixes.
d) the first pupillage is expected to commence at the end of September 2018; the second pupillage is expected to commence at the end of March 2019.
e) we do not accept advance applications for the following year, specifically academic year 2019/2020; nor are we willing to defer pupillage.
When you apply please bear in mind our requirements and the selection criteria upon which you will be marked (please refer to Selection Process).
We operate the Bar Council’s Equality and Diversity Code in relation to members, staff and pupils. The members of the pupillage committee have received training from the Bar Council in fair recruitment practices. We welcome applicants regardless of age, sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, marital status or disability.
Please let us know if you have a disability that may require us to make reasonable adjustment for the application or interview process.
We encourage applications from those groups who are under-represented in chambers.
All applicants should also download and complete an anonymous Equality and Diversity form for monitoring purposes. It is not a mandatory requirement that this is completed but it is helpful for chambers to collect such information to ensure that our recruitment procedures are fair. This should be submitted with the application form but note it will be separated off upon receipt and kept entirely separate from the application throughout the process.
The timetable for applications is:
4th December 2017 – Application process commences. Applications will be welcomed from this date.
12th January 2018 at 5pm – Closing date for applications.
20th February 2018 – All applicants will be notified if they have been successful in proceeding to the second stage.
26th February – 9th March 2018 – Second stage advocacy exercises.
17th March 2018 – Prospective date for final stage interviews. All candidates will need to keep this date free, until notified otherwise.
Please address applications to:
The Senior Clerk
No.1 High Pavement Chambers
1 High Pavement
If you have any queries, please email the clerks: email@example.com marked ”Pupillage Enquiry”
Selection of candidates for Second Stage
In deciding whether to offer you an opportunity to undertake the advocacy exercise and then possibly to progress to interview, we mark your application in accordance with the following scheme:
1) Degree awards.
We require an upper second class honours degree, irrespective of the subject or the educational establishment you studied at. Points will be awarded for a first class honours degree, other academic awards, scholarships or prizes. In wholly exceptional circumstances a 2:2 honours degree may suffice but only where verifiable circumstances exist to explain why an expected 2:1 honours degree was not achieved.
2) BPTC results
Most of our applicants will have applied before they know their BPTC results but we are looking for candidates who have or are expected to pass the course with a “Very competent” grading or higher. Applicants who have completed the BPTC should supply us with their final overall grade and grades for individual subjects. We expect from applicants currently on the BPTC the grades that they have achieved so far.
3) Advocacy potential
Students of the BPTC are obliged to undertake advocacy exercises and we take such results into account. However we are looking for applicants that have demonstrated a real desire to practise their communication skills. This may be demonstrated, for example, by extra-curricular activities at university or other forums such as mooting, debates, acting or other forms of public speaking. Tell us what you have done, with what measure of success and what it taught you about communicating effectively and persuasively.
4) Advocacy potential
Very few members of these Chambers have family links with the legal profession and none are looked for. We also bear in mind that it is not as easy as it was to obtain legal-related part-time work as a student; points will be awarded for such work but such experience is not a requirement. Nevertheless we do look for candidates that have made some kind of commitment to gaining relevant experience of life at the Bar such as mini-pupillages and/or some form of judicial marshalling. We expect you to have done your homework about us. Work experience linked to the Criminal Justice System will also be taken into account. Points will also be awarded for active participation with FRU, CAB or other advisory services in the community. Again, tell us what your experiences have taught you.
5) Life experience
We are a purely criminal set. Whether prosecuting or defending we are normally dealing with people whose experience of life and outlook is very different to our own; most of our pupillage applicants have led a relatively sheltered and/or cultured life in comparison. Tell us about your own background and your experience of life in so far as it may make you a better advocate for it.
However much an advocate may have the “gift of the gab”, preparation for a case and the ability to persuade by written argument can count for a lot. The way in which you present yourself in your application form, your ability to present the issues simply but persuasively, will count for a significant number of the points.
7) Reasons for Practice
We are interested to know why you want to practice criminal law in these chambers on the Midlands Circuit.
8 ) Other exceptional features
There will always be the possibility of some feature specific to a particular applicant that is not covered by the generality of this marking scheme. The Selection Committee may, in its discretion, award a proportionate number of additional points to reflect such a matter; however this discretion will only be exercised in exceptional circumstances.
Applications are marked by members of the Pupillage committee, who are all practicing barristers. In the event that the selectors cannot agree the selection committee will moderate the decision.
The top candidates judged by these criteria will then be invited to proceed to the second stage. All candidates will be notified by 20th February 2018 if they have been successful in progressing to the second stage.
The Second Stage
The second stage consists of a short criminal advocacy exercise such as a plea in mitigation in front of members of the Pupillage committee. This will take place on a week day after 5.30pm in the latter part of February and early March 2018 in chambers. Candidates will be notified of the exact date and time on 20th February 2018. Time will be given when you arrive in chambers for preparation.
You will be marked on the following:
a) Ability to identify essential issues
b) Ability to communicate those issues clearly, fluently and persuasively;
c) Ability to deal on the spot or afterwards with points arising.
d) Overall presentation.
From this round a short-list will be compiled of the candidates scoring highest under the above criteria.
You will be informed of the outcome of the first interview within ten days unless exceptional circumstances intervene.
The Final Interviews
The final stage consists of an interview with the Pupillage Committee in chambers; the interviews are due to take place on 17th March 2018. Your interview panel will normally comprise six members of chambers drawn from different levels of experience, gender and race. The interview will last approximately twenty minutes.
The interview exercise will include an ethical question. No notice of the question will be given. There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer. The panel are interested in the candidate’s ability to think through the problem in an ethical way and articulate his or her thought process clearly.
A formal offer of pupillage will normally be made within seven days of the final interview unless, exceptionally, a consensus cannot be achieved on a particular candidate; in that case a mini-pupillage will be arranged for each of the relevant candidates with the proposed pupillage supervisor; he will report his views back to the Selection Committee for a final decision to be taken. The successful candidates must be available to start pupillage as advertised. The offer of a pupillage is conditional upon the candidate providing evidence that he or she has passed the BPTC to the required standard and the receipt of suitable references. Candidates are expected to inform us promptly if this condition has not been met.
From day one I was made to feel very welcome by everyone at 1 High Pavement, from the most junior tenant to the most experienced silks. The first few months of my pupillage were spent with my sole pupil supervisor and we found ourselves in court most days. I would be given work to do by him most nights in preparation for the next day: this would include preparing cross-examination plans or ideas for a closing speech. I would sit in on all his conferences. I was also set practical exercises in advocacy and drafting advices, indictments and grounds of appeal.
After the first few months I spent time with other members of chambers of all levels of call; this ensured I was able to gain an insight into all different types of work at various levels. Whilst all of this experience was helpful, what was most helpful was the time I spent with the junior tenants in chambers observing the type of work I would be doing in my second six and the early years of practice. There were frequent reviews of my work throughout pupillage and feedback from both my pupil supervisor and Senior Clerk.
From the first day of my second six I was in court with the conduct of my own cases. I found myself in the Magistrates court nearly everyday for the first few months conducting trials. This provided me with an invaluable grounding in conducting my own cases and improving my own style of advocacy. As I progressed through my second six I started to make appearances in the Crown Court. As 1 High Pavement has a strong presence in the local court centres there was always someone from chambers at court to ask advice of, or someone at the end of the phone.
I would sum up my pupillage as busy and rewarding. As well as supporting me professionally Chambers were keen to ensure I engaged in its social life and felt one of the team: something that I found very helpful during the uncertain times of a pupillage.
I was offered a tenancy shortly after the end of my pupillage and have never looked back.
The student may be allowed access to Counsel’s papers but will not be required to prepare any written work.
The student may be allowed to sit in on conferences when Counsel deems it appropriate and the client consents.
For an application to be considered it must be in writing and include any dates the applicant is available during the periods March to May and July to September. Owing to demand all placements are reserved for those who are studying law at an undergraduate or professional level.
Address all applications to:
The Senior Clerk
1 High Pavement Chambers