We are always interested in receiving applications for tenancy from established commercial and Chancery practitioners. Anyone interested in joining these Chambers should contact our senior clerk, Justin Brown, in the first instance. All enquiries will be dealt with in the strictest of confidence.
Pupillage at Thirteen Old Square Chambers in 2014
We intend to invite applications for pupillage to commence in October 2014. We are advertising up to two pupillage vacancies on the Bar Council's Pupillage Gateway, but we are not part of the Gateway scheme. Applications may be made directly to us by downloading and completing our pupillage application form by clicking here.
The deadline for completed applications to reach us is 31 March 2014. Please do NOT send us applications electronically; applicants must download and print the application form.
We do also offer a limited number of mini-pupillage places, usually during the summer academic vacation months; please contact us if you are interested in a mini-pupillage, sending us a letter of application and a copy of your CV, together with an indication of the dates when you would be available. It is not necessary to undertake a mini-pupillage with us before making any subsequent application for a pupillage place. Please see our information page on mini-pupillages for further information.
The remainder of this section of the website is provided as general information about our approach to pupillage, and how we like to see it happening. We also provide information on a separate page on our "Pupillage Selection Criteria" setting out what we look for in pupillage applicants. You can find that by clicking here.
What we offer:
Chambers usually offers two pupillages planned to commence at the beginning of October in any year in which we take pupils. Each pupillage will be designed to introduce pupils to a range of work in civil law. Pupillage will be structured and will include a range of assessment activities as well as ensuring that pupils have the fullest opportunity to learn from their pupil supervisors. Our aim is to ensure that pupils have the opportunity to experience as much as possible of chambers work during their pupillage year.
We usually plan to offer each pupil a grant of £12,000 spread over the full twelve months of pupillage. In addition, we expect our pupils to be on their feet during their second six months and earning. Any earnings received will be in addition to the pupillage award; we confidently expect that pupils will therefore be able to increase their income during pupillage by at least a further £3,000 during the second six months. Pupils will not pay any contribution to chambers expenses during pupillage, or in relation to any fees earned during pupillage.
In keeping with tradition at the Bar, we also do not expect pupils to pay for their own travel costs whilst out of chambers on pupillage work with their pupil supervisor; such travel costs as may be incurred will be reimbursed on production of travel tickets.
We appreciate that good training can enhance the pupillage experience. We are particularly keen to ensure that our pupils develop their advocacy and drafting skills. To that end we arrange regular advocacy exercises for our pupils, setting increasingly challenging advocacy problems which are delivered to a panel of chambers members and which then result in feedback and advice on performance. We also set exercises in drafting, which on completion are reviewed by members of chambers; again, feedback is provided on each exercise undertaken.
In addition, we encourage pupils to take full advantage of training programmes and other courses provided by the Inns. We also support, and pay for, pupil attendance at the compulsory Bar Council courses for pupils.
We do not take pupils whom we do not consider have the potential to develop into capable and very competent members of the Bar. We do not have any form of quota system; any pupil who undertakes pupillage with us has an equal chance of being offered tenancy at the end of pupillage, providing that chambers is recruiting new members at the time. To that extent therefore, pupils are not in competition between themselves for tenancy places. If, at the end of pupillage, we are not able to offer a tenancy to any pupil, then we make strenuous efforts to help pupils find alternative placements, and we are usually successful in doing so.
Structure of pupillage:
Each pupil will sit with three different pupil supervisors during their twelve months with us. Each pupil supervisor is likely to have a different style of practice with a variety of work, so that pupils will be able to see and become involved in that range of work. Pupils should expect from the commencement of their pupillage to be asked to undertake tasks related directly to the current work load of their pupil supervisor, including the drafting of advices and pleadings, and the preparation of skeleton arguments. Pupils may also expect to attend conferences with professional and lay clients (on which occasions note-taking skills will be very helpful), and to accompany their pupil supervisors to court hearings.
As well as working closely with their pupil supervisors, pupils may expect to carry out work for other members of chambers from time to time, providing that this is with the agreement of the individual pupil supervisor, and does not intrude into the planned workload, including preparation for advocacy and drafting exercises, arranged for each pupil.
At the end of pupillage:
We expect by the end of the tenth month of pupillage to be in a position where we have a good idea of any pupil's prospects of tenancy. We do not delay in letting pupils know what their prospects are; where we are unlikely to be able to offer a tenancy place, we will let pupils have as much warning of that as possible.