The road to becoming a barrister can be a challenging one, and the pupillage application process can be especially daunting. But don’t worry, there are plenty of free resources available to help you along the way. In this blog post, we’ll be detailing some of the best resources for aspiring barristers completing pupillage applications and interviews.
Inns of Court Sessions
First and foremost, it’s important to take advantage of the resources provided by the Inns of Court. Each of the four Inns of Court (Lincoln’s Inn, Gray’s Inn, Inner Temple, and Middle Temple) offer sessions on pupillage applications and interviews, as well as other aspects of the profession. These sessions are open to all and provide valuable information and advice on the application process.
Our Founder Blessing Mukosha Park has previously spoken at panel events for the Inner Temple and can attest that these talks add immense value. Attend every single session you can, and if possible ask for recordings of sessions you may have missed.
Pupillage Websites and Blogs
Another great resource for aspiring barristers is pupillage websites and blogs. Many chambers and barristers’ associations have their own websites and blogs that provide information on the application process, tips on how to stand out, and even past reports from earlier pupillage rounds. It’s a great way to get an idea of what the process is like and what to expect.
Some of the best blogs and websites available:
- LawCareers.Net is an elite and established platform for aspiring barristers tackling pupillage applications. The original BLESSING AT THE BAR YouTube series was hosted in collaboration with LCN and our Founder Blessing has regularly contributed to their “LCNSays” series where you can read blogs about the process of making it into law. LCN produces content and books to help you learn more about chambers and the process of applying.
- Chambers Student is another established platform serving future barristers. It provides detailed timelines for gateway and non-gateway pupillage opportunities, as well as profiles on chambers to allow you to get first hand insight into what it may be like to complete pupillage there.
- Pupillage and How to Get it is a great website and resource for the aspiring barrister. It compiles excellent advice that is tried and tested, and is a great practical guide as you work through applications and interviews.
Pupillage Podcasts are also a great resource. These podcasts are typically created by barristers who have gone through the process themselves and offer their advice and insights on the process. They can be found on various platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, and Soundcloud. A personal favourite is ‘The Pupillage Podcast’ by Middle Temple.
Mentorship schemes are also a great resource for aspiring barristers. Many organisations, such as the Bar Council, Bridging the Bar, THEMIS, Women in Criminal Law, COMBAR and more offer mentorship schemes that match aspiring barristers with experienced practitioners in their area of interest. This can be an invaluable resource, providing you with a sounding board for your ideas and a source of advice and guidance.
You can also find your own mentor by networking and using linked in. Read our earlier posts on networking and finding a good mentor for some support.
Finally, it’s important to look at past reports from earlier pupillage rounds. These reports can be found on the websites of the Bar Standards Board and the Inns of Court and provide valuable information on the number of applicants, the number of pupillages awarded, and the number of applicants who succeeded at each stage of the process. This information can help you to understand the competitive nature of the process and give you an idea of what to expect.
5 Essex Court Pupillage Report – This compiles data and feedback from earlier rounds of applications. 5 Essex was one of the first chambers to start publishing data around the application process, and this resource is invaluable – even if you aren’t applying to the areas of the law that they offer.
You might be discouraged by the statistics around diversity reported by the Bar Standards Board and Bar Council, however we encourage you to not be deterred – you are not just a statistic and if you have the skill and determination to make your own luck, you can do this.
In conclusion, the pupillage application process can be a challenging one, but there are plenty of free resources available to help you along the way. Take advantage of the resources provided by the Inns of Court, pupillage websites and blogs, pupillage podcasts, mentorship schemes, and past reports from earlier pupillage rounds. With the right resources and a little bit of hard work, you’ll be well on your way to a successful pupillage application.
If you’re looking for one-on-one coaching for your professional applications and interviews, BATB offers limited slots for personal coaching. Book your session below.
Organising all of those applications can be hectic too, so consider using our BATB Pupillage Application Research spreadsheet to stay on top of your drafts.
Head to study.blessingatthebar.com for a helpful workshop on ‘Using Data to Draft Pupillage Applications’ featuring Barrister Vinesh Mistry.