Chambers is a family. Each and every member of Chambers is approachable and willing to share their knowledge and experience with you. Everyone wants you to succeed, and there is a real sense of comradery within Chambers. Do not expect to spend your time photocopying or making cups of tea at 7BR: you will be thrown right in at the deep end and learn so much as a result.
Overcoming travel sickness was a crucial part of the pupillage process for me: 7BR has links all over the country, from Manchester to Leicester to Lincoln. This often requires early starts and late finishes, but there’s something about working on the train that is quite therapeutic.
Pupillage at 7BR is divided into 3 sets of 4 months: Civil, Criminal and an option of your choosing. I opted for Family and thoroughly enjoyed all three seats equally. The first six months are non-practising: during that time you learn how to tackle your supervisor’s paperwork, progressing from proof reading on Day 1 to drafting complicated advices, schedules and pleadings by the end of your first six. Supervisors at 7BR provide a constant stream of feedback, so you are able to continually improve and take your work to the next level. Pupils also undertake a series of written and advocacy exercises throughout the year. This is a great opportunity to receive further feedback, and ensures that your advocacy skills improve and do not go rusty prior to dusting off your wig and gown and commencing the second six.
Second six is terrifying, but it is made easier because you are supported by every single member of Chambers. There are plenty of people around who you can turn to for help, including your Mentor, your Supervisor, recent ex-pupils and even the Head of Chambers. 7BR provides you with a fantastic support network: you are never alone.
The transition from Pupil to Tenant at 7BR is seamless. The end of pupillage is terrifying, but it comes around so quickly that you barely have time to think about it. 7BR does not interview Pupils prior to Tenancy. 7BR operates on the basis that Pupils will become Tenants, provided you meet the selection criteria. All members of Chambers have a say in the decision, and the decision is based on how you have performed throughout the whole of your pupillage year. As a result, you are treated like a member of Chambers from Day 1.
Pupillage is a challenging year, but like any good parent 7BR prepares you properly for the big, wide world that is life at the Bar. Joining 7BR is a commitment for life, and I am so proud to be a member of such a wonderful family.