Clerksroom became an Authorised Education and Training Organisation (AETO) on 27 February 2023. We are currently considering our strategy for advertising pupillage opportunities.
In the meantime, you may find the information below useful:
What is pupillage and what are the rules?
Pupillage/work based learning is one of the stages (or components) of training to become a barrister. The Bar Standard Board (BSB) has full details of the process and the various pathways on their website which you can read here.
The BSB Authorisation Framework sets out the mandatory requirements for pupillage/work-based learning as follows:
- 2.2 or equivalent degree required, either a law degree, or a non-law degree plus further graduate/post-graduate study and in both cases must cover the seven foundations of legal knowledge.
- Successful completion of the vocational component.
- Student is a member of an Inn and has been Called.
- Student has completed the required number of Qualifying Sessions.
It is possible to obtain a waiver/exemption (see here) from any of these provisions either as a transferring qualified lawyer or on the basis of significant work experience. Many individuals who have obtain such waivers/exemptions are still required to undertake pupillage or a proportion of it. Indeed, many of Clerksroom’s previous pupils and members have done just so and we welcome applications from such individuals – once we are authorised.
Therefore, whilst it is possible to apply for pupillage with us at any stage, you must have satisfied the BSB Authorisation Framework requirements before commencing any period of pupillage with us. If we agree that you could secure an exemption/waiver, we will guide you through the BSB application process ahead of your pupillage commencing.
Every organisation which offers pupillage/work based learning must be registered to do so with the BSB; they are called Authorised Education and Training Organisations (AETOs) and they have to comply with a set of rules from the BSB.
There is presently a mandatory timetable for advertising and recruitment for pupillage/work based learning as well as a requirement for all vacancies for pupillage to be advertised on the Pupillage Gateway in line with this mandatory timetable, the most recent of which can be viewed here.
When and where will Clerksroom advertise?
We can only advertise pupillage vacancies in line with the mandatory timetable and once our application has been authorised, we will update this page to advise on the next stage.
Whilst Clerksroom’s application for pupillage for the next recruitment season will be advertised on the Pupillage Gateway as required, we have opted out of processing our applications through the Gateway and instead will link from our Pupillage Gateway advertisement to our own website which will be published in line with the mandatory timetable.
We believe that in this way, we can make the process even more fair and transparent – particularly as Clerksroom have no minimum educational requirements over and above that required by the BSB Authorisation Framework. We can also make the application process as anonymous as possible; reducing the chances of unconscious bias.
What does pupillage at Clerksroom look like?
The purpose of pupillage is for pupils to develop and demonstrate the competences in the Professional Statement for Barristers to the threshold standard. This stage is about using the skills, knowledge and experience you have previously gained in a practical work environment. As pupils are required to meet the threshold standard as a minimum in order to be able to receive a Full Practising Certificate and be authorised to practice by the BSB, by the end of your pupillage, with Clerksroom support you will be required to demonstrate that you have developed all of the competences to this standard.
A summary of the Clerksroom Pupillage Journey can be seen here.
What is Clerksroom criteria for pupils – in other words, what are we looking for?
The BSB have set out the knowledge, skills and attributes that all barristers should have on “day one” of practice in the Professional Statement for Barristers. These are described under four headings:
- Barristers’ distinctive characteristics
- Personal values and standards
- Working with others
- Management of practice
When looking for a pupil barrister we are looking for applicants who will be able to meet this standard on ‘day one of practice’ after they are signed off from the pupillage process. For the purposes of assessing pupillage applicants, we have devised a hypothetical ‘ideal pupil barrister’, based on the competencies set out in the Professional Statement. The ideal pupil barrister will be able to demonstrate this criteria.
We have mapped this criteria against the competences in the Professional Statement for Barristers which you can see here.
That’s great - can you give us an idea of what that might look like in practice?
Of course, we have summarised some of our former pupils’ stories and journeys which you can read here.
Will Clerksroom give feedback to applicants?
Yes, where we can, we will give constructive feedback – the only caveat to this is that to ensure a fair, objective and diverse application process, the first stage of our application process is purely anonymous and we will not be able to give feedback for those who are unsuccessful at stage one. However, we will provide some guidance on how candidates can undertake research to improve their performance and will also provide online videos/webinars which will be open to all.
Talking of diversity, what is Clerksroom’s approach to this?
Clerksroom is already an incredibly diverse chambers and feels strongly about promoting and encouraging equality and diversity at the Bar and encourages applications from any and all members of under-represented groups at the bar. Since its inception in 2001, Clerksroom has gained an increasingly positive reputation for being an incredibly inclusive chambers with many finding a home here who have felt unable to do so at more traditional sets.
You can see and hear more about our approach and policies via these links:
- Our Culture
- Our latest equality and diversity statistics
- Diversity Data Policy
- Anti-racism statement
- Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy
- Harassment Policy
- Fair Allocation of Work Policy
- Flexible Working Policy
- Parental and Extended Leave Policy
There are lots more resources for pupils and junior barristers on the Pupillage Academy website and we are adding to this all the time.