After requests from both chambers and students, the Bar Council is to move the Pupillage Gateway timetable starting in January 2017. This means that students applying for pupillage will know the result of their applications prior to committing to Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), which is well known for its expensive fees. Furthermore, pupillage interview dates will not risk clashing with exams, which was a feature of the current system that was particularly unpopular with students.
The majority of chambers support the change in the application timetable and the move has received an overwhelmingly positive response from students. The Bar Council have stated that they will work with those who identified some issues with the new timetable, for example, chambers who choose to recruit earlier in the year, to make the new timetable work for them. Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC, Chairman of the Bar, summarised the reasons for moving the Pupillage Gateway timetable, however continued that “…this was never going to be about simply changing the date of Gateway. The Bar Council has an ongoing and crucial role to play in supporting students and pupillage providers. Over the next year we will be raising awareness about mini-pupillages, providing support via the Bar Council’s Pupillage Fair and continuing to equip students with the knowledge they need before they commit to the BPTC”.