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Pupillage Explained

When a student finishes their Bar Professional Training Course they still have the practical requirement left of Pupillage before they can become a proper barrister. Pupillage is generally undertaken in a Barristers Chambers, but has been known to also happen in certain other approved organisations.

A pupillage takes one year to complete, and is divided into two halves. The first half is non-practising, just shadowing the supervisor/barrister, doing legal research, and drafting documents. During this first 6 months, pupils are also required to satisfactorily complete an Advocacy Training Course.

The second 6 months is considered the practising six months. This is when the pupils are allowed to start to undertake some of their own work in supervised conditions. Another requirement of these 6 months is to successfully complete a Practice Management course.

Pupillage has a minimum salary requirement from the chambers or company hiring the Pupil of £6,000 pounds every 6 months, meaning a total of £12,000 over the year.

At around 10months into the Pupillage the chambers or company will decide if they want to offer that student Tenancy. If Tenancy is not offered the student may go to another chambers for another 6 months and do some more training.

Tenancy means that the student becomes a self-employed barrister within that set of chambers. So the chambers is essentially giving them a free office, the offices’ reputation, and maybe tea and coffee, but the now qualified barrister will earn their own salary. You can also act as junior council to barristers during tenancy, in which case they will pay you.

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