Pupillage Manager+44 (0) 207 583 1770 [email protected] Email Carla
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.
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.
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 core areas of Chambers’ work, which usually includes 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.
THE PUPILLAGE GATEWAY
We have made some changes to our application procedure this year, following a review of our process.
From 2023, we will no longer be inviting applications for mini-pupillage before the Pupillage Gateway opens. Instead, all applications for pupillage commencing in September 2025 will be made through the Pupillage Gateway, which will open for applications on 3 January 2024 and close on 7 February 2024.
We encourage candidates to provide contextual information through the CRS platform.
The other main change to our procedure is that there will no longer be any interviews for mini-pupillage. Additional competency-based questions on our Pupillage Gateway application form will now provide candidates with the opportunity to demonstrate their aptitude for a pupillage with us. We will invite the top rated applicants – around 50 of them - to do an assessed mini-pupillage between late February and mid April 2024. We explain the process further below.
For more information about the Pupillage Gateway please refer to the Pupillage Gateway website www.pupillagegateway.com or contact the Bar Council via telephone 020 7242 0082, or visit their website: www.barcouncil.org.uk
Our selection criteria, and information about the way in which the applications are assessed throughout the process is available here.
INVITATION TO ASSESSED MINI-PUPILLAGE
Written pupillage applications received through the Gateway will be reviewed by one or more members of the Pupillage Committee after a thorough calibration process. Applications will be assessed for evidence of academic ability, analytical ability, communication and advocacy skills, motivation, ability to work with others, resilience and determination, and the ability to work independently. Application forms are anonymised and we also use the Gateway’s scheme for redacting information, including information about academic institutions and personal details. Candidates will be rated, with the top 40-50 candidates being invited to attend an assessed mini-pupillage. Further information about the way in which written applications are assessed is available here.
We welcome repeat applications. Please note that if you have applied for pupillage before, and done an assessed mini-pupillage as part of the application process, the Pupillage Committee will where relevant consider whether you have demonstrated that your application has improved since then when deciding whether to offer you an assessed mini-pupillage in this application round. Pupillage will only be offered to candidates who have completed an assessed mini-pupillage with us. This is because we rely heavily on assessed mini-pupillages to provide Chambers with a deeper understanding of a candidate’s abilities and aptitude for a career at Blackstone Chambers.
Since our mini pupillages are assessed and form part of the overall pupillage applications process, we are only able to offer mini pupillages to candidates who apply for pupillage at Blackstone Chambers through the Gateway. We do participate in a number of schemes to provide access to experience of Blackstone Chambers which you can read here, but these are in any event separate from the pupillage application process.
We will aim to invite candidates for mini-pupillage as early as possible after the Gateway closes and we will continue to offer mini-pupillages until mid-April 2024.
As a mini pupil you will spend three days in Chambers, so that you can gain a useful insight into life at Blackstone Chambers. You will normally be with one or two members of Chambers, but may also have the opportunity of seeing the work of others. The object of a mini pupillage is for you to get to know us and for us to get to know you and assess your aptitude for a career in Blackstone Chambers. You will be asked to undertake a set piece of work on one of your days in Chambers – this set work is common to all candidates in your applications year. Candidates’ work will be anonymised and formally assessed by a small panel of barristers from Blackstone.
PUPILLAGE INTERVIEWS AND OFFERS
After all mini-pupillages have been completed the Pupillage Committee will select a small group of around 10 candidates to be invited to a final pupillage interview. Final interviews will take place in late April 2024.
We will offer pupillages to 4 candidates, and one reserve candidate, on 10 May 2024.
We will not take up references or require university certificates or transcripts until a candidate’s application has progressed through to offer of an assessed mini pupillage. We will contact you at the relevant time to make this request. References do not form part of the mini-pupillage assessment process and will only be considered by the Pupillage Committee if you are offered a final pupillage interview.
At that point 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 14 April 2024 at the latest. Any delay may prejudice the processing of your application.
If you are currently studying for the GDL, we ask that you forward at least one academic reference from your previous undergraduate/post-graduate studies.
Please ask your referees to address the following matters in their references:
Please contact [email protected] if you have any queries about the application process and timetable that are not answered elsewhere on our website.
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