Pupillage

Pupillage

7BR is one of the most respected barrister sets in the legal market today, prized by solicitor and lay clients alike for the fresh and straightforward approach members bring to their work, as well as for chambers’ long history of legal and advocacy excellence.

We pride ourselves in the investment we place in our pupils. Our pupillage programme is designed to develop and challenge our pupils, equipping candidates with the skills and experience needed to enjoy a successful and stimulating career. We are looking for exceptional and committed applicants to join our diverse and busy set.

You will need to demonstrate that you have the necessary intellectual and analytical skills to be able to identify, and advise, on complex legal issues across a variety of practice areas. You will need first-rate communication skills, both oral and written. Added to this, a significant proportion of Chambers’ work, particularly criminal work, is outside London (predominantly in the Midlands). You will therefore be expected to travel to some distant court centres and follow a demanding schedule. We need to be sure that our pupils are truly keen on, and committed to, life at the Bar and life in our Chambers in particular.

We welcome applications from candidates with a qualifying degree in any discipline and give no special preference to those with a law degree. We are happy to consider those embarking on the Bar as a second career.
7BR is committed to equal opportunities. We encourage and welcome applications from groups under-represented in the legal sector and we are happy to make reasonable adjustments for candidates with disabilities.

The structure of pupillage at 7BR

As a pupil, you will have three pupil supervisors, each one for four months in different areas of practice. We give you as broad an experience as we can of our work and provide a reasonable balance between criminal, civil and family work. Your time will also be divided between that spent “on circuit” (i.e. in courts outside London) and that in Chambers and in courts in the London area.

The first four months of pupillage will introduce you to civil work, the second four months to criminal work. During this first eight months you will see at least two weeks of family work. Six months into your pupillage, once you have a feel for what we do in Chambers, you will be given a choice as to how you wish to spend your final four months of pupillage, either choosing a different area of civil or criminal work from that done in your first eight months or you may wish to choose family, employment or one of the many other areas in which our members specialise. This unique arrangement means that pupillage can be tailored to your interests. Whichever field you choose, you will receive the highest standard of training, but expect to work very hard!

During your pupillage you will be asked to attend court and conferences with your pupil supervisor, do research into areas of law, and work on his or her papers. You may also be asked to assist other members of Chambers with research or paperwork. If you have any special interests and would like to gain experience of a particular type of work, this can usually be arranged.

In your second six months you can expect to appear in court in your own right. Care is taken to ensure that work is distributed fairly between the pupils so that they all obtain as far as possible the same amount of court experience, although even in pupillage some of our pupils begin to attract their own loyal following of clients.

You may gain trial experience in the Magistrates Court, and in the Crown Court are likely to conduct sentencing, plea and case management hearings and appeals against Magistrates Court convictions and sentences. Civil work is also available for pupils. You may, for example, handle an arbitration or small claims trial, or an assessment of damages hearing following a minor accident.

You are entitled to keep all your earnings as a pupil. You do not have to pay clerks’ fees or any other Chambers rent from your earnings during your time as a pupil.

Monitoring & Assessment

We make strenuous efforts to ensure that the assessment of pupils is open and fair, and we have measures in place to ensure that our pupils can raise any concerns they have in confidence.
Individually, pupils will receive regular assessment and feedback from their pupil supervisors in relation to his or her day to day work. In addition, all pupils will be assessed every three months and have a meeting with Chambers’ pupillage training monitor at which any concerns about pupillage can be raised.

Apart from the work set or authorised by pupil supervisors, there will be a number of marked written and advocacy exercises in which all pupils participate.

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