What happens during pupillage

The week before your pupillage is due to start, we will invite you into Chambers for an informal introduction. This will give you an opportunity to meet the members of the tenancy and pupillage committe, the clerks, your first pupil supervisor and your fellow pupils.

During the 12 month pupillage you will have 3 pupil supervisors, each for a term of four months. This arrangement is designed to give the pupil a degree of continuity during the period at the beginning of the second six months, when a pupil starts practising in his/her own right.

Throughout the twelve months, you will be asked to attend court and conferences with your supervisor, research areas of law, and work on papers. You will also be encouraged to assist other Members of Chambers with research and paperwork. If you would like to gain experience of a particular type of work covered within Chambers, this can usually be arranged.

In your second six months you can expect to appear in court in your own right on a daily basis. Work will essentially be in the Magistrates' Court throughout London and the South East. Pupils can expect the full range of Magistrates' Court work from first appearances to summary trials. You will also gain some experience of advocacy in the Crown Court.

5PB also runs an established programme of continuing education for pupils. During the first six, there is a course of seminars presented by tenants and judges. In the second six, advocacy exercises are organised, focussing on the kind of work that you can expect to encounter in your practice as a pupil and as a junior tenant. These include bail applications, pleas in mitigation, opening speeches, abuse of process arguments, and submissions of no case to answer.

Pupils are required to complete the Bar Council checklist during their pupillage with us.

Pupils who are not offered tenancy are allowed to remain in chambers for up to four weeks after being notified of that decision. Our pupils who are not offered tenancy are almost always successful in obtaining third-six pupillages in other leading criminal sets.