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The Pupillage Interview/Acceptance/Rejection Thread 2016 watch

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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    BPTC App:

    Anyone else have absolutely no idea of the exact dates of their secondary education?

    I'm seriously contemplating a wild guess.
    I usually just put down July of the appropriate year that I obtained the relevant qualification (as that's when my school year used to finish). Where it wants an exact calendar date, then I usually go for a Monday or Friday in the middle of the month. So I'd maybe call it a semi-wild guess

    (Original post by Best guppy)
    Re: BPTC applications

    Before you commit to your choices, have a look at the statistics, and think very carefully about where you want to practise and how much you can realistically afford to spend.
    Agreed.

    (Original post by mathsmusicfrench)
    In case I have no funding and need to live at home and commute 1 hour on the train into Birmingham, or I decide to live with my brother up North and go to a provider there, for example. Just to keep different location options open a bit longer until closer to Inns Scholarships etc.

    Thanks all for the reassurance, I have a Russell Group LLB and 4 minis, so should probably take comfort from that.
    Fair enough. Also, I'm pretty sure scholarship results come out before you have to make a final decision re the BPTC (1st round), so at least there's that...

    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    Has anyone else noticed that Stone Chambers gives two different dates for receipt of references? In the body of the application form it says Wednesday 28th January. Perhaps that refers to receipt of the written reference, if it is sent in the first instance by email?
    Yes, and after a bit of digging, it's the 20th. It looks like the 28th came from last year's application form, which was due on 28th Jan 2015, so someone must have just changed the year without noticing the difference in the actual date. Also, as far as I'm aware, if they're sent by email, there's no need to also send a hard copy, provided the emailed copy is a "signed, scanned copy" (though I assume a lot of people would just do this in word with an image of their signature, then convert to PDF - it's what I always do at work rather than actually wasting the paper to print, sign and scan)

    Edit: Though maybe if you were having trouble getting a reference in time, you might be able to use it as an extension of sorts, Chambers permitting.
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    Crazy Jamie gives good advice and I hope he/she will not mind me adding to it. It is important to emphasise that there is no right or wrong path. Each set is different, and although the process is often arbitrary you would be wise to do your homework thoroughly. For instance, Crazy Jamie draws a distinction between Manchester sets being less concerned about a local connection than Newcastle. I do not practice in either location, but my knowledge of at least two Manchester sets is that their members often have a local connection, be that schooling, university, and/or the BPTC. That is not a criticism of Jamie's very good advice, it is just important to do your research and tailor your applications to each respective set.

    Remember the aim is to draft an application that will land you an interview. Know the set that you are applying to and sell yourself to it. That means knowing the profile of people they take on; knowing the main practice areas (not ones that are on the website because they did a case 5 years ago); talking to people who have applied there and interviewed before for tips, and if you know or have the opportunity to meet members of Chambers make the most of it. Chambers will inevitably consider a mix of things including your academics, experience, your written advocacy on the application form, and whether the reader thinks you could be a "good fit". In my set commitment to Chambers/the local area is important and should be obvious to anyone who has done their research. It may seem an obvious thing to say, but do not give the reader an easy excuse to dismiss your application.

    Returning to the application form. I appreciate how much of a pain they are to complete and how utterly ridiculous and vacuous many of the questions are but ultimately it is a piece of written advocacy: do not fall into the trap of filling out the form as if you are filling out a survey with a chance to win a £20 voucher because you are so fed up; do not think that it should be obvious that you are good enough to be interviewed because of the university you went to and the experience you have; do not think sucking up will be sufficient. Answering the questions is a golden opportunity to show the reader that you are engaging and persuasive in writing. True, you can feel like you are coming across as an arse when answering these questions (and there is a set for every personality at the Bar...) but if you treat the process as akin to drafting written submissions then you should get the balance right.

    On BPTC choices, in my experience the course and the providers are not generally held in high regard so where you choose is not likely to make or break you. True, there are wildly different success rates but that may be due to many factors such as the strength of the cohort (what they have done before the BPTC), where people have applied etc. I can only speculate, but I would assume that a London set is less bothered about where you did the BPTC than a regional set. So if you are going to throw applications around you may consider choosing a regional provider to be the better option. I did the BPTC in London but had a cheaper alternative option. If I was choosing again I would save a few thousand pounds and not do it in London.

    The BPTC choice has the potential to be a red-herring. As with this entire process you have to look yourself in the mirror and be honest and realistic, the more so in a shrinking profession. Look at the most junior tenants in the sets you want to apply to: do you match up? Getting pupillage is competitive and if you want to go to the Bar you are probably quite competitive too, but do not let the competition blind you.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    I'm using one of my three slots for a provincial place, incase I can't afford London.
    EXACTLY the same position as me then, although I actually really like the look of Cardiff's course (my 'province') especially two weeks' guaranteed marshalling and mini-pupillage.

    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    I'm seriously contemplating a wild guess.
    (Original post by LadyLaw23)
    Where it wants an exact calendar date, then I usually go for a Monday or Friday in the middle of the month.
    (Disclaimer: I have never successfully applied for pupillage, but) I can't imagine any situation ever where anyone would need or want the exact dates. Which date would it even be? Final lesson/lecture/exam/results day/graduation? I always just put 1st Sept. to 31st July. For some purposes e.g. iirc Jobseekers' Allowance(!) you remain 'in education' until the end of the academic year regardless of when you finish school/university.
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    (Original post by mathsmusicfrench)
    (Disclaimer: I have never successfully applied for pupillage, but) I can't imagine any situation ever where anyone would need or want the exact dates. Which date would it even be? Final lesson/lecture/exam/results day/graduation? I always just put 1st Sept. to 31st July. For some purposes e.g. iirc Jobseekers' Allowance(!) you remain 'in education' until the end of the academic year regardless of when you finish school/university.
    This tends to happen more in application forms which are completed online, where you have to choose the start/end dates of things from a calendar. In such situations, it doesn't usually allow you to just select the month and year, so you arbitrarily have to select an actual date, though realistically I imagine the place you're applying to couldn't care less whether you were off by 2 weeks as to when you completed your English A Level, for example! The 1 Sept to 31 July approach is always a good one too.
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    Invitations to interview at Atkin are out. (Some of them at least).
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    Does anyone know when we can expect to hear from Reeds post first round?
    • Thread Starter
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    (Original post by Forum User)
    Invitations to interview at Atkin are out. (Some of them at least).
    Congrats! (Right?)
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    (Original post by Forum User)
    Invitations to interview at Atkin are out. (Some of them at least).
    Congrats! What form were they sent in and when?
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    (Original post by LadyLaw23)
    Congrats! What form were they sent in and when?
    By email at around 3pm this afternoon.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    BPTC App:

    Anyone else have absolutely no idea of the exact dates of their secondary education?

    I'm seriously contemplating a wild guess.
    Yep! I mean, for me, it was over 20 years ago. Those sets I've been successful at interview with don't mind at all if you can't be specific. They're much more interested in life experience and the stories you have to offer!
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    (Original post by mathsmusicfrench)
    EXACTLY the same position as me then, although I actually really like the look of Cardiff's course (my 'province' especially two weeks' guaranteed marshalling and mini-pupillage.





    (Disclaimer: I have never successfully applied for pupillage, but) I can't imagine any situation ever where anyone would need or want the exact dates. Which date would it even be? Final lesson/lecture/exam/results day/graduation? I always just put 1st Sept. to 31st July. For some purposes e.g. iirc Jobseekers' Allowance(!) you remain 'in education' until the end of the academic year regardless of when you finish school/university.
    From my experience of having 3 friends who studied there- Cardiff = small classes and all came out with Outstandings and pupillage. Having met these three people thru my Inn and qualifying sessions where I worked with them on cases and saw their advocacy techniques, they weren't necessarily outstanding students.

    If I could do it again, Cardiff would be my 1st choice for that reason alone.

    There are also big pros to doing it in London. You can be much more involved with the inn and what they have to offer - something I regrettably missed out on.
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    (Original post by shestheone)
    If I could do it again, Cardiff would be my 1st choice for that reason alone.
    I'm certainly very keen on Cardiff on its own merits and you've reinforced that feeling. Interaction with the inns might only last one year but an Outstanding and a pupillage might last a career? But London is London! Will have to see what places I get and. more crucially, what funding I get!
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    (Original post by Hardnose)
    Crazy Jamie gives good advice and I hope he/she will not mind me adding to it. It is important to emphasise that there is no right or wrong path. Each set is different, and although the process is often arbitrary you would be wise to do your homework thoroughly. For instance, Crazy Jamie draws a distinction between Manchester sets being less concerned about a local connection than Newcastle. I do not practice in either location, but my knowledge of at least two Manchester sets is that their members often have a local connection, be that schooling, university, and/or the BPTC. That is not a criticism of Jamie's very good advice, it is just important to do your research and tailor your applications to each respective set.
    I don't take that as criticism; you make a valid point. I was careful to refer to the 'larger' sets in Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds referring to those who make have a recruitment policy closer to the elite London sets rather than more regional sets. But as you rightly point out that is a matter for research, and my comments are ultimately quite general. You are also right that there are a lot of barristers practising in Manchester who either lived in the city, studied law there, or undertook the BPTC there. That said, it is a big city where a lot of people live, has two relatively prominent universities where law is offered, and now has two different providers of the BPTC, so statistically the fact that so many Manchester barristers have a connection to the city is not wholly surprising and may not be indicative of a particular requirement on behalf of sets. Then again recruiting a pupil with a connection to the local area is always desirable to a degree, so it comes back to this all being about doing your research and balancing those factors.

    I do like your description of application forms as written advocacy though. You are of course quite right, but describing in that way is quite hard hitting and hopefully will put the nature of application forms into context for those that are filling out what seems like an endless number of them.
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    (Original post by Forum User)
    By email at around 3pm this afternoon.
    Thanks. Unfortunately, I have nothing yet either way. Has anyone received a rejection from them so far, and if so, how and when?
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    (Original post by LadyLaw23)
    Thanks. Unfortunately, I have nothing yet either way. Has anyone received a rejection from them so far, and if so, how and when?
    I haven't received anything, could be a rejection by silence I think.
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    Anyone know when College Chambers are expecting to announce 2nd Rounds?
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    (Original post by LadyLaw23)
    Thanks. Unfortunately, I have nothing yet either way. Has anyone received a rejection from them so far, and if so, how and when?
    From experience, Atkin usually send rejections around a few days after they send out the successful interview invites.

    And in my case they couldn't be bothered to fill in my name or sign off on the email either
    • Thread Starter
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    Forgive the potentially silly question:

    If there is a 'signed' box at the bottom of a .doc application form, do I need to scan a signature, or can I just type my name?
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    Most chambers are content for you to type your name.

    Falcon 1st round out. That was a late night in the office!..


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    (Original post by The Barista)
    Anyone know when College Chambers are expecting to announce 2nd Rounds?
    Check your post :-)
 
 
 
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