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We believe that pupils should be involved in every aspect of their pupil supervisor’s work which will be very varied through the pupillage year. We give our pupils a rounded overview of a barrister’s role, and equip them for the legal and practical challenges they will face in practice.

Pupillage Standards

We are looking to recruit pupils of exceptionally high academic ability who can demonstrate an interest in and aptitude for a successful career at Blackstone Chambers. We place particular emphasis on a candidate’s written and oral advocacy and communication skills, which we assess throughout the application procedure. It is by no means necessary for your first degree to be in law.

The work

As a pupil at Blackstone Chambers, you will have four supervisors through the year. Pupil supervisors are chosen to ensure that each pupil gets a solid grounding in the three core areas of Chambers’ work – commercial, employment, and public law. Beyond that core, you will experience your supervisors’ particular areas of expertise. In recent years, for example, supervisors have been experts in areas including competition law, immigration law, and financial regulation.

Pupillage at Blackstone Chambers is very much a hands-on experience. From your first day with your supervisor you will get stuck into whatever cases your supervisor is instructed on at that moment. The typical work involves doing first drafts of the documents which your pupil supervisor is working on. You will therefore develop a wide experience of drafting pleadings and other court documents, writing skeleton arguments and compiling written advices. You may also be asked to do a first draft of questions to be used in a cross examination, or to prepare opening or closing submissions.

You will also be involved in every step of the advisory and litigation process. Pupils attend conferences with clients, listen in on phone conversations where appropriate, and are encouraged to discuss the strategic, procedural and ethical elements of cases with their supervisors.

The emphasis which we place on the close working relationship between pupil and supervisor means that pupils do not do any additional work for other members of Chambers. You will be able to focus entirely on the cases which you are involved in on a day-to-day basis.

Because Blackstone pupils are exposed to such a wide range of legal areas, the whole year is non-practising, which means that pupils do not take on any of their own paid work during pupillage. On the other hand, we strongly encourage our pupils to take on pro bono cases with FRU or other charities, and we will provide support and ensure that you have the time you need to dedicate to pro bono work.

For more information about the training at Blackstone Chambers, please refer to our detailed Pupillage Brochure

Applying for pupillage at Blackstone Chambers:  The Pupillage Gateway & Selection Criteria

All applications for pupillage, including from those who have applied directly to us for mini-pupillage, must be made through the Pupillage Gateway, which will open for applications on 4 January 2023 and close on 8 February 2023. We encourage candidates, in particular those who have not already applied to us directly for mini-pupillage, to complete their applications early in the applications window.

For more information about the Pupillage Gateway please refer to the Pupillage Gateway website or contact the Bar Council via telephone 020 7242 0082, or visit their website:

In the event you have not completed a mini-pupillage application at the time of your Gateway application, we will consider this as a joint application for both mini-pupillage and pupillage. Please contact [email protected] with any queries about the application process and timetable.

Your application form will be assessed by a member, or members, of the Pupillage Committee who will decide whether you should be invited for interview. Their focus will be on: your academic achievements; legal and non-legal employment and work experience relevant to a career at the Bar in general and Blackstone Chambers in particular; written and oral advocacy experience; and your written communication skills. Please find full details of our guidelines and selection criteria for mini-pupillage/pupillage available here.

Pupillage interviews and offers

After all mini-pupillages have been completed the Pupillage Committee will select those candidates to be invited to a final pupillage interview, which will take place in late April 2023. In recent years we have interviewed around 16 candidates for pupillage following completion of mini-pupillage.

We will offer pupillages to 4 candidates, and one reserve candidate, on 5 May 2023. 

Applications timetable

  • 04 January 2023 – Pupillage Gateway opens for applications
  • 08 February 2023 – Pupillage Gateway closes for applications (Mini pupillage interviews and mini pupillages will be conducted through period 10 October 2022 – mid April 2023)
  • Late April 2023 – Pupillage interviews at Blackstone Chambers
  • 05 May 2023 – Offers of pupillage for 2024 will be made.

References, university certificates and transcripts 

We will not take up references or require university certificates or transcripts until a candidate’s application has progressed through to offer of a mini pupillage.  We will contact you at the relevant time to make this request.

We will require at least two academic references and a copy of your university official documents sent direct to [email protected]. We strongly advise that you have contacted your referees and your universities well in advance of these possible requirements so that these supporting documents can be submitted by 9 April 2023 at the latest. Any delay may prejudice the processing of your application.

If you are a GDL candidate, we ask that you forward at least two academic references from your previous undergraduate/post-graduate studies.

Please ask your referees to address the following matters in their references:

  • Intellectual capabilities including analytical skills both oral and written
  • General clarity of expression and effective communication skills
  • Ability to react to pressure and general resilience
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to build working relationships and work well as part of a team
  • Suitability for a career at the Bar
  • Confirmation of examination results where known

Julia Hornor

Chambers Director

+44 (0)20 7822 7300 Email Julia
Julia Horner, Director (new).jpg
+44 (0)207 5831770