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We believe that pupils should be involved in every aspect of their pupil supervisor’s work. 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.

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.

Applying for pupillage at Blackstone Chambers:  the Pupillage Gateway

Every applicant for pupillage at Blackstone Chambers must complete an assessed mini-pupillage. Our preference is for mini-pupils to come to Chambers sometime in the months up to mid-April in the year they start their Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).

If you wish to apply for pupillage at Blackstone Chambers, and irrespective of whether you have made a separate application for mini pupillage, you will need to apply through the Gateway.

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 pupillage@blackstonechambers.com with any queries about the application process and timetable.

The timetable is as follows:

  • 7th January 2019 – Gateway opens for applications
  • 7th February 2019 – Gateway closes
  • Late April 2019 – Pupillage interviews at Blackstone Chambers
  • 7th May 2019 – Offers of pupillage for 2020 and any deferred offers for 2021 will be made.

References 

In addition to completion of the Gateway on line form we ask you to forward at least 2 academic references direct to us at Pupillage@Blackstonechambers.com

mailto:Pupillage@Blackstonechambers.com

 at the time of making your application to us through the Gateway.  Please note that references are vital and it is your responsibility as an applicant to ensure that they are sent directly to Chambers when you apply. We will not ourselves seek or chase up references if they are missing and this could seriously delay or forestall your application if the references are not supplied to us.  You may supply more than two references if you wish.

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

If you have already provided us with references in support of a successful application for mini pupillage, you will not need to supply them to us again, unless you wish to do so, or have additional/new ones for us to review.

We have taken the decision to operate the provision of references in this way in order to try to reduce the time period between application and possible interview/mini pupillage. 

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
  • Ability to react to pressure
  • Suitability for a career at the Bar
  • Provide confirmation of examination results where known

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