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I joined Chambers as a tenant in 2016. Before this, I studied law at the University of Glasgow and the University of Oxford. After graduating, I volunteered with a number of NGOs, and I also taught debating in prisons and worked at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law.

CR 16

Celia Rooney

I was drawn to the Bar, in part because I never wanted a job in which I watched the clock. Instead, I sought a career that would continue to test my abilities. While life as a junior barrister is fast-paced and demanding, it is also rewarding. The satisfaction of the job comes from solving real life problems. Academic ability is undoubtedly essential, but so too is a strong sense of pragmatism. A sound understanding of the law is a prerequisite, but equally important is an ability to apply this to the case at hand. While I have always enjoyed public speaking, courtroom advocacy is only one part of the job and the work involved is really varied. Barristers are asked to give advice, prepare persuasive written documents, and negotiate on behalf of their clients. This is also a good profession for those who value their independence. I control my own working hours and practice and, even at a junior level, barristers are given a lot of responsibility.

 

So, why Blackstone Chambers? The Blackstone model strives for excellence across a broad range of practice areas. Both the specialists, who dominate their respective fields, and the polymaths are valued and able to thrive here. Members of Chambers are involved in some of the most high profile legal disputes of the day. Perhaps most notable in recent years is the Article 50 Brexit challenge, but it is only one of many examples. It is a privilege to work on cases with a genuine social value, as well as those which define the law. 

"Pupillage at Blackstone is the best possible preparation for life as a junior tenant."

As a year-long job interview, pupillage is always going to be a challenge. However, Chambers goes out of its way to make sure the experience is fair. Pupils play an active role in their supervisors’ practices. They work on current cases, drafting notes of legal advice, draft pleadings, and skeleton arguments. There are also numerous opportunities to attend court and learn from the experienced advocates in Chambers. Pupils at Blackstone are also encouraged to get involved in life in Chambers and also to be active members of the wider legal community. As a pupil, for example, I was encouraged to attend the annual conference of the Bar European Group in Sicily.

 

Pupillage at Blackstone is the best possible preparation for life as a junior tenant. Chambers ensures that all its pupils are trained to a high standard, such that they are well-equipped to deal with the challenges ahead. While new tenants are encouraged to take advantage of the broad range of expertise in Chambers, it is also possible to start shaping and developing your practice from a relatively early stage. Like all other barristers at Blackstone, junior tenants work hard. We do so, however, as valued and supported members of a fantastic community, such that it is always a privilege.  

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