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7BR is a friendly, diverse, long-established set, with a reputation for legal and advocacy excellence. We are a multi-disciplinary chambers, covering a wide range of work including most aspects of civil, criminal and family litigation. Whilst our members usually specialise as they become more senior, all of our junior tenants are expected to undertake a mixed practice, giving them broad-based advocacy experience at the start of their career. We believe that early experience across practice areas, on our feet and in our written advocacy, provides firm foundations for success in any specialism. We are leaders in our practice areas: many of our senior members and silks appear in the most prominent trials and appeals in our fields every year.
We are looking for highly motivated, hardworking applicants who have the potential to be exceptional advocates. We pride ourselves on the investment we place in our pupils. The structure of pupillage at 7BR ensures that all pupils receive training in civil, criminal and family law, with a unique arrangement that allows pupils to choose a practice area for their last four-month “seat” and tailor their pupillage to their interests. Our pupillage programme is designed to develop and challenge, equipping candidates with the skills and experience needed to enjoy a successful and stimulating career.
You will need to demonstrate that you have the necessary intellectual and analytical skills to be able to understand 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 regularly travel to court centres some distance from London and manage a demanding schedule. We need to be sure that our pupils are truly committed to life at the Bar and life in our Chambers in particular, with all the rigours and hard work that this involves.
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. We use the RARE contextual recruitment system to assist us in selecting the best candidates for interview. On receipt of your application we will send you a link and ask you to complete an online form. When selecting candidates for interview, both the candidates name and university on the application form are anonymised to ensure an unbiased selection process.
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 trial preparation hearings and appeals against Magistrates Court convictions and sentences. In the civil courts you may, for example, handle small claims or fast track trials, interim applications, 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.
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 may 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.