We assess applications on paper first and would not normally shortlist applicants with lower than a 2:1 degree. We do however appreciate that sometimes an applicant’s ability/potential is not necessarily reflected by their degree result and therefore we will always have regard to any extenuating or relevant circumstances in this regard, which should therefore be identified on the application form. There are two rounds for selection of all candidates who apply prior to drawing up our list of those to be interviewed.
Our assessment will normally include a first-round interview with a team of at least two members of Chambers. Those interviews typically last for approximately 15-20 minutes and candidate will be scored against a number of criteria with an emphasis on their ability to engage with the panel members with a view to passing to the next stage.
The second-round interview is normally conducted by a panel of members of Chambers, including at least one King’s Counsel. During this interview candidates will typically give a presentation to the members of the panel on a topic of their choice.
There might, in addition, be additional assessments for applicants to undertake at one or both stages. Details will be confirmed to successful applicants when they are invited to assessment.
For example, in previous years, candidates have been asked to provide a submission in respect of a problem which has been provided to the candidate in advance of the interview along with any relevant text they would need to be able to complete this task. Written assessments have also previously been undertaken by candidates.
Generally, the purpose of these assessments is to demonstrate that the applicant has the skills necessary to become a successful barrister, as opposed to requiring any specialist legal knowledge. The candidate is, however, expected to be able to present a general understanding of legal matters that they will have encountered in their law degree or GDL. The exercises are designed to test intellectual and analytical skills as well as written and oral advocacy. They may also require a general knowledge of current affairs, equal opportunities, legal issues, or law. Other questions are designed to assess your ethical judgment and personal qualities such as resilience, motivation, and dynamism.
Candidates will also be expected to demonstrate their interest in their chosen specialist area of law.
Following an interview, an applicant will be marked on their interview and (where relevant) assessment performance by reference to an agreed set of criteria. These marks are then considered with the applicant’s application and references. A shortlist is then drawn up for second interviews and (where relevant) further assessment. We do not limit the number of available interviews. We expect to be able to make a decision following a second interview/assessment. The performance of an applicant in interview and in any assessment undertaken is considered with their application and references.
Throughout the process, we are looking for applicants who demonstrate the potential to become excellent barristers. We do this by considering, among other things:
A useful guidance is to remember that we are looking for applicants who can show the potential to be excellent advocates.
We must stress that we are not looking for the “finished article”. Pupillage is intended to produce the “finished article”.
We value equality and diversity, and we welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds and all sectors of the community. Candidates for pupillage and for tenancy are assessed solely on the grounds of merit. If you are disabled and require any adjustments to be made at any stage of the application and selection process, then please inform us of this and we will endeavour to accommodate your needs.