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    Hey, what is the best way of getting mini-pupillages?? i have applied at like 100 chambers but all of them rejected me. Admittedly i don't have the best possible grades but i have alot of ther things on my CV which works for me. has anyone got any suggestions?? furthermore can anyone do me a gigantic favour and look through my Cover letter and add any changes?
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    Firstly, a cover letter should never be more than a page - secondly try researching sites such as pupillagepages.com, they tend to cover areas such as how to write cover letters, application forms etc quite well
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    You need to be focused. For example, do not repeat the same word too many times in the same paragraph, let alone the same sentence ('property' was over-used in your first paragraph). Essentially, as a second year law student, your written skills should be a lot better than they are. I'd hazard a guess that you are getting rejections because the cover letter is very poorly written and overly long. You almost certainly need to edit your CV too if it is anything like the letter.

    Sorry to be blunt, but one of a barrister's key skills is the ability to be concise and clear.
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    If I were you I'd take this down and replace it with a redacted version. You don't want to be shouting your name, address and phone number from the virtual rooftops.
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    My advice would be to go and see your careers adviser at university with this letter. They'll help you knock it into shape. The sentiments expressed are fine, the way they are expressed isn't.
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    guys is this any better??


    Farah Amin,
    1 Plowden Buildings,
    Temple,
    London,
    EC4Y 9BU,
    TEL: +44 (0)20 7353 0003,
    FAX: +44 (0)20 7353 9213,
    DX LDE: 0022 Chancery Lane,

    Dear Miss Amin,
    I am writing to enquire into the possibility of work experience. I am available between 28th May 2011 and 10th August 2011. I am currently in my second year of a LLB degree studying at Manchester Metropolitan University.

    My ambition to become a lawyer stems from numerous attributes. Firstly I have always worked hard and been motivated to fulfil my aims and goals. This was best evidential by how I picked up and grasped the English language at the age of 10. I am a very friendly person consequently I prefer meeting new people and interesting people as seen in the amount of projects I have done (referred to in the CV). Another reason is my role models which I follow. One of my biggest role model is Muhammad Ali Jinnah who was a barrister himself. I think I would make myself and my parents very proud if I was to become a barrister. Finally I find the English legal system fascinating; the way it works and the way it has developed over centuries. One of my favourite case is the Pinnel’s (1602) case which is the key case behind the doctrine of promissory estoppel.

    After receiving a law degree I wish to become a lawyer specialising in property law. I believe that if I gain experience with yourself, I can pick up valuable experience and skills in relation to property law. This would create a better idea of the tasks faced by property handlers and the use of lawyers in such business.
    I am particularly attracted to Clarendon Chambers as they are the dominant legal Chamber in London, and have an impressive company image and are spoken well of. After reading your profile on the Clarendon Chambers website, your everyday work appeals to me, and this is the sort of environment I would like to work in and believe that I would strive and achieve highly in.

    I have many skills and qualities. I am a leader and have lead in a number of projects, especially shoebox project which I brought to a successful conclusion. Finally I am a team player which is proved by the way in which I have been part of my local football team for over five years now.

    I have enclosed my CV for your consideration. I am available for an interview at any time and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours faithfully,
    Jawad Azhar.
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    What's a shoebox project?
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    (Original post by resipsaloq)
    What's a shoebox project?
    shoebox project- This project focuses on fundraising and packing shoeboxes with gifts and essentials over the festive period for the homeless, to try to make Christmas an enjoyable time for people less privileged than ourselves.
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    (Original post by j.azhar)
    guys is this any better??


    Farah Amin,
    1 Plowden Buildings,
    Temple,
    London,
    EC4Y 9BU,
    TEL: +44 (0)20 7353 0003,
    FAX: +44 (0)20 7353 9213,
    DX LDE: 0022 Chancery Lane,

    Dear Miss Amin,
    I am writing to enquire into the possibility of work experience. I am available between 28th May 2011 and 10th August 2011. I am currently in my second year of a LLB degree studying at Manchester Metropolitan University.

    My ambition to become a lawyer stems from numerous attributes. Firstly I have always worked hard and been motivated to fulfil my aims and goals. This was best evidential by how I picked up and grasped the English language at the age of 10. I am a very friendly person consequently I prefer meeting new people and interesting people as seen in the amount of projects I have done (referred to in the CV). Another reason is my role models which I follow. One of my biggest role model is Muhammad Ali Jinnah who was a barrister himself. I think I would make myself and my parents very proud if I was to become a barrister. Finally I find the English legal system fascinating; the way it works and the way it has developed over centuries. One of my favourite case is the Pinnel’s (1602) case which is the key case behind the doctrine of promissory estoppel.

    After receiving a law degree I wish to become a lawyer specialising in property law. I believe that if I gain experience with yourself, I can pick up valuable experience and skills in relation to property law. This would create a better idea of the tasks faced by property handlers and the use of lawyers in such business.
    I am particularly attracted to Clarendon Chambers as they are the dominant legal Chamber in London, and have an impressive company image and are spoken well of. After reading your profile on the Clarendon Chambers website, your everyday work appeals to me, and this is the sort of environment I would like to work in and believe that I would strive and achieve highly in.

    I have many skills and qualities. I am a leader and have lead in a number of projects, especially shoebox project which I brought to a successful conclusion. Finally I am a team player which is proved by the way in which I have been part of my local football team for over five years now.

    I have enclosed my CV for your consideration. I am available for an interview at any time and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours faithfully,
    Jawad Azhar.
    The fact you have picked up the English Language at a young age is commendable. You write far better than some people I've come across whose first language is English! However, there are a few phrases which stand out as being 'not quite right' in terms of structure. This could be the reason you are not able to secure a mini-pupillage because a barrister will be expected to have a high level of English Language skills. I would strongly urge you to get someone to look at your letter again. I have highlighted a few examples for you.

    was best evidential by how I picked up and grasped - may sound better as 'can be best evidenced by the way I grasped'

    done - 'taken part in'

    case - 'cases'

    I hope you do not think I am being harsh; I just wanted to help by highlighting with examples.

    Perhaps you could take your letter to a careers advisor at your Uni to have it proof read? The content is okay but the structure/grammar may need to be altered slightly.
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    Not trying to sound mean, but your grammar is all over the place, with many basic mistakes such as plurals and words just being used wrongly. Bluntly, it sounds far too wordy, as if a teenager is stringing together 'posh' words without actually knowing what they mean or how to use them, just to get them in.
    A few examples from the beginning of your letter:
    It's an arguable point, but I'm pretty sure that the accepted version would be 'an' LLB due to the vowel sound in the abbreviated version
    "This was best evidential..." - evidential is not the right part of speech, it should be evidenced.
    Nothing is added by saying both aims and goals
    Prefer usually implies a comparison, which you do not provide, and so you should use another verb.
    The sentence 'Another reason is my role models which I follow' has a problem with just about every word, so needs some work!
    Your sentence structure is almost childish - you use full stops after each clause in an attempt to sound concise but it sounds too simplistic and should often be reworded to use more complex punctuation

    I'm sure others are better placed to comment on the actual content, but working hard and achieving goals is not a reason to be a lawyer/barrister. Neither is making your parents proud I'm afraid. On this note, you fling around the terms 'lawyer' and 'barrister' without seeming to understand the full extent of the terms and what separates a barrister from a solicitor. You also say a lot without backing it - why do you find that case interesting? it is not enough to just say you know what it is? why property law? you can't just say you want to learn about it.

    Sorry to be harsh, but this type of letter is why you aren't getting anywhere. some mistakes could be excused by not being a native speaker, but there are some really basic ones that you probably learnt in your first month. And there is no excuse for not getting someone else to proofread it!
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    1. You should be asking for a mini pupillage else you sound like you don't know what you are talking about. (Except at chambers (eg Cloisters) which call it internship etc where you should call it internship.)

    2. You should be writing about three paragraphs

    1. You are an X and want a mini because
    2. You want it at their chambers because (specifics re chambers and specific int in area of law and why)
    3. You are suited to it because.

    3. You must get this letter proof read by a native English speaker with good grammatical skills (although if your English is not pretty perfect you will struggle later on - but you need the experience for now)

    You must ensure your terminoligy is correct "bar chambers" is not a term used merely chambers.

    Use of Lawyer - you want to be a barrister rather than a solicitor so show that by showing you know the term is not used in this way.

    You must not make bold statements with no evidence – why will you fit in perfectly because of chambers’ client care ethos?

    You must not say irrelevant things – what has your favourite book got to do with your skill?
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    (Original post by j.azhar)
    guys is this any better??


    Farah Amin,
    1 Plowden Buildings,
    Temple,
    London,
    EC4Y 9BU,
    TEL: +44 (0)20 7353 0003,
    FAX: +44 (0)20 7353 9213,
    DX LDE: 0022 Chancery Lane,

    Dear Miss Amin,
    I am writing to enquire into the possibility of work experience. I am available between 28th May 2011 and 10th August 2011. I am currently in my second year of a LLB degree studying at Manchester Metropolitan University.

    My ambition to become a lawyer lawyer is a generic term. Use barristerstems from numerous attributes. Firstly I have always worked hard and been motivated to fulfil my aims and goals. Why does your ability to work hard link to your ambition to be a barrister?This was best evidential ? by how I picked up and grasped the English language at the age of 10. I am a very friendly person consequently I prefer meeting new people prefer it to what? and interesting people as seen in the amount of projects I have done (referred to in the CV) Why is this relevant to being a barrister?. Another reason is my role models which I follow. One of my biggest role model plural is Muhammad Ali Jinnah who was a barrister himself What did/does he do which is relevant?. I think I would make myself and my parents very proud if I was to become a barrister So?. Finally I find the English legal system fascinating; the way it works and the way it has developed over centuries. One of my favourite case plural is the Pinnel’s (1602) case which is the key case behind the doctrine of promissory estoppel Cases aren't like chocolates - you can't really say you have a favourite. In any event, how does referring to a case have any relevance to your application.

    After receiving a law degree I wish to become a lawyer specialising in property law. I believe that if I gain experience with yourself who?, I can pick up valuable experience and skills in relation to property law. This would create a better idea of the tasks faced by property handlers what on earth is a property handler? and the use of lawyers in such business this doesn't make sense.
    I am particularly attracted to Clarendon Chambers as they are the dominant legal Chamber plural in London no they're not, and have an impressive company image chambers aren't companiesand are spoken well of by whom? to whom? How do you know?. After reading your profile on the Clarendon Chambers website, your everyday work appeals to me, and this is the sort of environment I would like to work in and believe that I would strive and achieve highly in the grammar here is messy.

    I have many skills and qualities. I am a leader and have lead grammar in a number of projects, especially shoebox project which I brought to a successful conclusion what is this? Why is it relevant?. Finally I am a team player which is proved by the way in which I have been part of my local football team for over five years now This isn't sufficient to demonstrate a team-playing ability.

    I have enclosed my CV for your consideration. I am available for an interview at any time and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours faithfully, it should be sincerely
    Jawad Azhar.
    Unfortunately, your letter simply isn't good enough.

    An ability to explain yourself in clear concise language is an essential skill for a barrister: on the basis of your draft letter, you do not have that skill.

    I appreciate that English isn't your first language but chambers won't make any allowances for this. In addition to the comments other posters have made above, I've put some notes in bold in the text of your letter.

    I know my comments may seem harsh, but you're wasting your time sending this sort of letter to chambers. You are already at a severe disadvantage given the university at which you study - you need to be making the most of any attributes you have to overcome this.
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    Unfortunately you aren't going to get anywhere with this sort of letter. You don't seem to know the difference between barristers and lawyers, chambers and companies, mini-pupillages and work experience, nor do you seem to know what is likely to endear you to a barristers' chambers. How does making your parents proud benefit chambers? There are also quite a few grammar problems and a few real clangers - "the amount of projects", "if I was to become a barrister", "especially shoebox project"... Also in trying to sell yourself you are digging your own grave just from the way you talk about things - for instance, Pinnel's Case is not the key case behind promissory estoppel. Promissory estoppel is an exception to the principle laid down in Pinnel's case - and you would say Pinnel's Case in a letter, not Pinnel's Case (1602) and certainly not Pinnel's (1602) case as you have written. It is obvious from the random reference to a case that you have simply been told to quote a case and have done so.

    These may all sound like details, but lawyers thrive on perfection, and if you are writing this sort of letter in your second year then sadly you will never become a barrister.

    And... you've missed out Clarendon Chambers from the address at the top... and they are not the dominant legal Chambers (not Chamber!) in London, and they know that!
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    What are your grades? That in itself may allow us to advise you whether you have any chance at all.
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    Firstly, Thank you very much for all whom replied. Secondly I feel the need to express the fact that I clearly understand the difference between a Barrister and a Solicitor however I am in two minds whether I should go for one or the other. The latter seems realistic and achievable however the former is what I should aim for according to my tutors and peers. This is due to the fact that I am on a first or minimum 2.1 for everything so far and according to some, barrister is what i should aim for. Finally I must admit that my grammer and punctuation are all over the place so does anyone know how I can go about improving that???
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    (Original post by j.azhar)
    Firstly, Thank you very much for all whom replied. Secondly I feel the need to express the fact that I clearly understand the difference between a Barrister and a Solicitor however I am in two minds whether I should go for one or the other. The latter seems realistic and achievable however the former is what I should aim for according to my tutors and peers. This is due to the fact that I am on a first or minimum 2.1 for everything so far and according to some, barrister is what i should aim for. Finally I must admit that my grammer and punctuation are all over the place so does anyone know how I can go about improving that???
    You've been given a lot of good advice above.

    If you were to mention a case at all, it should be a case in which tenants of the chambers have acted in the last few years--not a four hundred year-old case. Moreover, you need to make sure you understand what the case means--as a poster above notes, Pinel's Case is absolutely not about promissory estoppel.

    Your time would be better spent researching the two career tracks. There are substantial differences between them. Obtaining a pupillage is immensely competitive. Even with a first from Manchester Met you'd be at a severe disadvantage compared to many candidates, regardless of the standard of your written and spoken English. As it is, unless you can improve your writing and (based on this cover letter) legal knowledge considerably, the bar simply is not a realistic aspiration.

    I think you need to have someone who is fluent in English read some of your writing with a fine-tooth comb. You also need to get a good book on English style and grammar--Strunk and White's Elements of Style is a classic. While it's a little conservative for some people's tastes, it's hard to go wrong by erring on the side of conservative usage in professional contexts.

    Finally, you applied for far too many mini-pupillages. No one I know applied for more than ten in a given season (I've applied for six this year, for example, and will apply for at most three more). Each application and cover letter ought to show evidence that you understand the chambers' ethos and practice areas. You simply can't do enough research to complete 100 good applications.
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    Or said another way, if you have applied for more than 10 mini-pupillages without getting one, there is no point in applying for more unless you feel you can do something very different next time.

    As far as the Bar is concerned, you need to realise that (a) it is ultra competitive and (b) ultra conservative. Unfortunately you have many things going against you:

    - you say your grades are not brilliant, presumably you mean A-level: you will be competing with people with straight A/A*s;

    - you went to Manchester Metropolitan: that is not going to be seen as a good Uni, and even a First is unlikely to make up for that;

    - perfect spoken and written English (not just adequate) is paramount at the Bar: unfortunately you don't have those, at least at the moment;

    - the Bar is still predominantly white, English, and middle class, sadly, and yes even in this day and age: do not underestimate how much everything else will put you at a disadvantage - even a foreign name!

    - you come across as not really understanding lawyers (the difference between barristers and solicitors, small things like referring to "chamber" rather than "chambers") nor the law (the quoting of Pinnel's Case): your letters just read as though you are applying to be a lawyer as well as many other things, hoping that one will come through.

    Bear in mind that only one third of those who complete the Bar training course actually manage to get pupillage and become barristers. That's those with 2.1s from good universities! If you are failing at the first hurdle of getting a mini-pupillage, it is nearly certain that if you pay £15,000 to be trained as a barrister it will have been a waste of money.

    In short, you really are wasting your time thinking about the Bar at the moment.
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    (Original post by ap3456)
    Or said another way, if you have applied for more than 10 mini-pupillages without getting one, there is no point in applying for more unless you feel you can do something very different next time.

    As far as the Bar is concerned, you need to realise that (a) it is ultra competitive and (b) ultra conservative. Unfortunately you have many things going against you:

    - you say your grades are not brilliant, presumably you mean A-level: you will be competing with people with straight A/A*s;

    - you went to Manchester Metropolitan: that is not going to be seen as a good Uni, and even a First is unlikely to make up for that;

    - perfect spoken and written English (not just adequate) is paramount at the Bar: unfortunately you don't have those, at least at the moment;

    - the Bar is still predominantly white, English, and middle class, sadly, and yes even in this day and age: do not underestimate how much everything else will put you at a disadvantage - even a foreign name!

    - you come across as not really understanding lawyers (the difference between barristers and solicitors, small things like referring to "chamber" rather than "chambers") nor the law (the quoting of Pinnel's Case): your letters just read as though you are applying to be a lawyer as well as many other things, hoping that one will come through.

    Bear in mind that only one third of those who complete the Bar training course actually manage to get pupillage and become barristers. That's those with 2.1s from good universities! If you are failing at the first hurdle of getting a mini-pupillage, it is nearly certain that if you pay £15,000 to be trained as a barrister it will have been a waste of money.

    In short, you really are wasting your time thinking about the Bar at the moment.
    This is incorrect and you should thererfore not be positing it. At the junior end of the bar ethnic minorities are entering the profession as a far greater % than the are represented in the general UK population. The OP will not become a barrister as he is not especially academic and his English is poor. It is nothing to do with his "foreign sounding name" which is an excuse I used to hear ALL THE TIME from people in my BVC class/dining etc who do not speak English to the required level! (there is also no problem with ageism another drum banged to DEATH by most mature candidates). If he was academic and his English was the correct standard black white or tartan it would not matter. Stats come from the fact there are white middle class people at the top end - but this is no longer the case!
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    What I have found is that although at the most junior level, commendably, there is almost total acceptance of any minority grouping, that is not true of the senior levels. You are of course absolutely right in the case of many chambers, but in many many others the application might succeed at the mini or even first interview stage, only to be stomped on at the second interview.

    OK I may have over-stressed the foreign sounding name issue, but that is only because I have one and I have been told by not one but two High Court judges that it would be a factor! And - as you can see - my English is up to scratch.
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    ... but did she get pupillage?
 
 
 
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