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The Pupillage Interview/Acceptance/Rejection Thread 2012

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    (Original post by Brevity)
    ...
    You are correct that most people with American law degrees will have enough of a debt and other obligations to not want to enter the pupillage rat race and, in fact, I don't know anyone with an American law degree - the JD - at the Bar. However, that situation did not apply to me because I just had an American BA (as did, I suspect, Isherwood and Crimson). In the US, law is not taught to undergraduates and you have to do a BA in other fields - I had Economics - and then go to law school. So, when comparing the US Dollar 150K for a law school in the US and under US Dollar 40K for the GDL and BPTC/LPC (even less if you get funding, which you rarely do in the US), the economics makes sense, if one is willing to subject oneself to the pupillage process. If anything, I am surprised that more Americans do not turn up to explore the possibilities, especially for the solicitor profession which has a lot of big brand name American law firms operating in London.

    For me the decision was even more basic: I knew I wanted to live in England and that I wanted to practice law. That left me with having to choose whether I wanted to be a solicitor or a barrister, and - for similar reasons to most other people on this thread - I chose the latter.
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    (Original post by GDLIsStupid)
    You are correct that most people with American law degrees will have enough of a debt and other obligations to not want to enter the pupillage rat race and, in fact, I don't know anyone with an American law degree - the JD - at the Bar. However, that situation did not apply to me because I just had an American BA (as did, I suspect, Isherwood and Crimson). In the US, law is not taught to undergraduates and you have to do a BA in other fields - I had Economics - and then go to law school. So, when comparing the US Dollar 150K for a law school in the US and under US Dollar 40K for the GDL and BPTC/LPC (even less if you get funding, which you rarely do in the US), the economics makes sense, if one is willing to subject oneself to the pupillage process. If anything, I am surprised that more Americans do not turn up to explore the possibilities, especially for the solicitor profession which has a lot of big brand name American law firms operating in London.
    Oh, I see, you didn't do your JD there... That makes sense then.
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    Regarding interview offers/rejections - are these notified through the pupillage portal, by every provider regardless of the outcome, and any ideas as to when this usually is?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by manutd2011)
    Regarding interview offers/rejections - are these notified through the pupillage portal, by every provider regardless of the outcome, and any ideas as to when this usually is?

    Thanks
    Sometimes you will receive an email rejecting you as well as the portal being updated to reflect this. Sometimes you will just get an email, with the portal updating sometime in the future. Sometimes you will not hear anything at all.
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    Letter from Middle Temple this morning but not at home to open it! Anyone had theirs yet?
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    (Original post by outofthefryingpan)
    Letter from Middle Temple this morning but not at home to open it! Anyone had theirs yet?
    Check out this thread:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...1967283&page=3
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    What is the general etiquette on shaking hands at interviews?

    We are not yet pupils/barristers but since it is to do with being one, does the rule of not shaking hands apply? (Or does it depend on the Chambers?)
    Thanks
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    (Original post by tnedutS waL)
    What is the general etiquette on shaking hands at interviews?

    We are not yet pupils/barristers but since it is to do with being one, does the rule of not shaking hands apply? (Or does it depend on the Chambers?)
    Thanks
    I don't think there are any right or wrong answers to this. If you are offered a hand to shake then shake it.

    When it comes to deciding whether to initiate a hand shake, consider the size of the interview panel - if there are a few of them, shaking hands with everyone may not be practical. What if only one of the panel stands to greet you? Or if none of them are standing... does this change matters? Will you have to 'disturb' a panel member who is reading/writing something in order to shake hands?

    Don't let this issue worry you. The best thing, I think, is to walk in confidently, respond to what ever greeting you get and just do what they say (usually take a seat.)

    As an aside, some barristers will offer handshakes to other barristers. I have heard stories (probably false) of older members of the bar refusing to shake hands, however common courtesy would be to return the handshake even if you wanted to maintain the old tradition. Having spoken to tutors/barristers, the only piece of common practice seems to be that one should think twice before shaking hands with one's client...
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    Spot on InnerTemple.


    For heaven's sake, don't feel like you are ever being "tested" on this issue. It is very much an outmoded practice and the vast majority of barristers have no time for it. If you have a large panel, then don't go around offering individual greetings/handshakes. They will have lots of interviewees to get through, and they won't appreciate you wasting time. It is enough that you make firm and cordial eye contact whilst smiling. If they make a point of shaking your hand (and that is rare), then do so. It's very much a situational/judgment call.

    "Be prompt, courteous and professional" - best advice that I ever received with regards to interviews, from a startlingly ancient mini-pupil supervisor.
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    Hi team, a couple of months ago I posted a link to my blog: http://mini-pupil.blogspot.co.uk/

    If any of you started following it, I apologise that it's been sparse for the last little while - I actually created two blogs, one anonymous, and one with my name on it. Sadly, my auto-uploader was sending my posts to the non-anonymous one, so they've not been showing up in the blog linked above. I'm in the process of transferring the posts across to the anonymous one now, so please do keep checking back (if you're interested) for new content.
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    Inner Temple's post on this is all you need to know. The underlying point being that you should apply common sense and not worry about these out dated 'traditions', which the vast majority of barristers don't give any thought to at all (I know I don't).

    Though on an amusing side note, I was told a story on my BVC about a female pupil who had just started first six. She was introduced to a senior male member of Chambers, who went to shake hands with her. She reacted by not shaking hands, and stated 'Barristers aren't supposed to shake hands'. To which the barrister responded 'Oh, really? Well, I guess a shag is out of the question then?'.

    Which provides a simpe lesson; don't be that girl.
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    (Original post by Crazy Jamie)
    Which provides a simpe lesson; don't be that girl.
    Indeed; no one wants to do themselves out of a shag with a senior member of chambers!
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    Two days to get the CPS applications in. Does anyone else think that the application is the very worst kind of civil service nonsense.

    I followed their links to do a mock "situational awareness" test. One of the questions was:

    On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is "completely disagree" and 5 is "completely agree" please rate the following statement: "I treat everyone equally".

    My immediate answer is "1". I literally do not treat everyone equally. Of course I don't. I treat my fiancee very differently to how I treat chuggers. I know what they're getting at, and I know they want me to answer "5" but it's just so badly drafted.
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    (Original post by Mini Pupil)
    Two days to get the CPS applications in... .
    I must do the app tomo. The website says the application process closes on 9th. So is it correct that the last day for applying would be tomo and not the 9th?
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    It's ambiguous, but yes I agree, the best time to get it in would be tomorrow.
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    May I start by apologising if these questions are irrelevant or dumb but they have been agitating me for years now.

    Guys you know how pupillages are usually divided up into three sections: first, second or third sixes. According to my last pupil master (during a mini), I was told that in reality your actual pupillage lasts more than a year and a half. Well what I am struggling to grasp is how do you actually learn the tricks of the trade?? Is it like mini-pupillages where you just follow a senior around giving advise and photocopy etc. i know in your third-six, You actually carry out some basic work but then how comes your pupillage is longer than 18 months?


    Secondly, you earn the basic in your third-six according to area of practice and sets but then is it true that your yearly salary triples? I am almost certain it doesn't because it seems too good to be true and my mate is pulling my leg but there aint no harm in asking. What is reality financial wise based on average joe in average crime/family or property sets??
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    Pupillages are, traditionally, broken down into first and second six. In the first six you do not have any rights of audience (except in certain tribunals - but we all have those already). You will be doing legal research, drafting opinions/advices for your supervisors, and generally getting to know your way around the system and your chambers.

    In the second six you can start to develop a practice in your own right. You will, of course, be constantly supervised by a member of Chambers, and you won't be doing anything too complex, but the Clerks will start trying to find something for you to do - so you can earn some money.

    In terms of cash, the first six will be paid via an award - a direct grant from chambers' funds. The second six will be a mixture of an award and guaranteed earnings. Anything above the guaranteed earnings is just your money (minus tax and clerks - some sets don't charge clerks fees during pupillage). Currently the minimum award is £1,000 a month. In the first six this is tax free. Depending on the practice area you may earn a lot more than that.

    In terms of the third six, this is effectively a trial period at a new set. I don't know of anyone who has completed a full year pupillage with a set and then taken on a third six with them - normally if they keep you on, they give you tenancy (as I said, I know of no one, it doesn't mean it hasn't happened). A third six comes about if you don't get tenancy in your pupillage set, and you look to go elsewhere. The other set will not just take a punt on you, they will want time to evaluate you so they do another, shorter pupillage called the third six. I say shorter, but a friend of mine did a 9 months third six. Crazy. Unlike normal pupillage, the third six can turn into tenancy at any time - it's a good way to get your foot in the door of a new set.

    Third sixes are funded differently from set to set, as far as I'm aware there's no funding requirement, some will fund you, some will give guaranteed earnings, some will just treat you like a tenant. Think of it as a probationary period.

    Your earnings at the bar can not be precisely estimated - it depends on how good you are and how lucky you get. In terms of the areas you're looking at most criminal pupillages will pay the minimum £1,000. Family will pay slightly more than that, and property will pay slightly more again (all estimates, I don't know for certain). All I can say for certain is that, at the criminal bar, unless you are at a top, top set the firsy few years will be incredibly financially demanding.
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    Having said all that, having had a look through your past posts (trying to find what your warning points were for), unless you do a lot of growing up, fairly quickly, pupillage is not something you need to worry about. Your comments about "robbing stuff off indians" and accusing others of being "gay" because they have a different sense of humour to you would, perhaps, not do you many favours.
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    (Original post by Mini Pupil)
    Having said all that, having had a look through your past posts (trying to find what your warning points were for), unless you do a lot of growing up, fairly quickly, pupillage is not something you need to worry about. Your comments about "robbing stuff off indians" and accusing others of being "gay" because they have a different sense of humour to you would, perhaps, not do you many favours.
    Trust no one, suspect everyone. Especially when they come on to threads like this asking such questions as that above.
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    I do apologise sincerely if my comments on other posts have come across as rude childish or anything other than what you expected- believe me when I say it that I can be very muture and understanding. Nevertheless, thank you very much for your help and your post has clarified my perspective.

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Updated: February 1, 2013
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