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The Pupillage Interview/Acceptance/Rejection Thread 2012 Watch

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    So with Chancery applications just around the corner let's kick off the thread for 2012
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    Good luck to all in the running this year. Remember, there are some of us still around from the previous year(s) who are happy to give advice and help on your paper applications and interviews!
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    I don't suppose anyone has heard anything from Trinity Chambers at all? I'm assuming by now that total silence is not a good sign!
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    Do the Manchester sets prefer you to be from Manchester/not from London?
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    http://l2b.thelawyer.com/unified-tim...007262.article

    According to this, the chambers are free to accept applications and interview etc now, but cannot make offers until August.
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    (Original post by pupil101)
    http://l2b.thelawyer.com/unified-tim...007262.article

    According to this, the chambers are free to accept applications and interview etc now, but cannot make offers until August.
    I recall hearing about this last year, but was told by others that I must have dreamed it as no one else had apparently heard the same! Have yet to hear anything further on it though since spring of now last year.
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    Really? That is sad news. The great thing about the January applications is that it gave (at least for the commercial peeps) an early shot, and thinned the field somewhat for the summer application run. The situation is now that someone could have already secured an offer and then be forced to carry on applying, with a knock-on effect for other candidates who will be edged out of the interviews. I wonder, too, whether this year is going to see more candidates getting multiple offers, forcing chambers to select their 3rd/4th choice candidates etc.

    One of the great things about the winter/early spring apps was that it gave you a dry run at applications/interview, easing you into the frame of mind for the mad rush of apps in march/april onwards. That is likely to be lost.
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    (Original post by Kessler`)
    Really? That is sad news. The great thing about the January applications is that it gave (at least for the commercial peeps) an early shot, and thinned the field somewhat for the summer application run. The situation is now that someone could have already secured an offer and then be forced to carry on applying, with a knock-on effect for other candidates who will be edged out of the interviews. I wonder, too, whether this year is going to see more candidates getting multiple offers, forcing chambers to select their 3rd/4th choice candidates etc.

    One of the great things about the winter/early spring apps was that it gave you a dry run at applications/interview, easing you into the frame of mind for the mad rush of apps in march/april onwards. That is likely to be lost.
    I had thought we would have heard more about it by now - there certainly doesn't seem to be anything referring to it on Pupillage Portal (though that, of course, means little in the grand scheme of things).

    If I have any time on my lunch break, I'll make a few phone calls.
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    To prompt some discussion, what are people's impressions of Chambers' attitudes to final year UG applications? Is there a variation between different practice areas (chancery less likely than criminal, for example) when it comes to pupillage applicants who are in their final year of academic training?
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    Any idea how many they are interviewing at Northampton chambers? or what the first round consists of?
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    (Original post by ManuForti)
    To prompt some discussion, what are people's impressions of Chambers' attitudes to final year UG applications? Is there a variation between different practice areas (chancery less likely than criminal, for example) when it comes to pupillage applicants who are in their final year of academic training?
    Only just noticed this, sorry.

    Are you a law UG? If so, then I applied to common-law sets during my GDL year, which is much like the final year of uni. Your chances are slim, but that is no reason not to apply. At the worst, it's a practice run for the following year and a chance to get some feedback and/or assess your own performance on paper and in interview. At the best you may get an offer, which will relieve the stress of the next year considerably. Make no mistake, though, that practice is really very useful. In GDL year, I got 4 first-round interviews from 10 applications. The lessons I learned spurred me on to focus my applications and get around 18 first-round interviews the next year, although my conversion to second round was still poor - just three if I remember correctly. I was reserve at one set. The next year was a much better strike rate, and I obtained offer(s)

    The obvious fear arising from making early applications is that you could potentially blow your chances the next time around, when you might present as a better candidate. I can't say that was my experience, by and large. Some chambers have a policy about re-applications, No.5 in Birmingham for example tend to alternate years (I.e. if you interview in year 1, then you won't be interviewed again until year 3) although that seemed to have lapsed last year. However, the way around that is to ask at interview - they'll often be quite candid and it's a good way of demonstrating your interest in chambers. Just don't make it sound like you were depressed about how your interview went, but rather that you are realistic about the prospects of any candidate in the current climate. They'll understand, especially if it's an OLPAS set.

    The final part of your question that I'll address is the success rates for 3rd year/GDLers at common-law sets vs their counterparts in chancery and commerical. My observation is that chancery/commercial bods often stand a better chance in this regard, mainly because the emphasis is much more on the academics than the practical experience. It shows in the interview process; a common law set will typically ask you to talk through scenarios/deliver pleas in mit/cross-examine or do some funny little debate. Very much on how flexible, adaptable and quick-thinking you are, and a good dose of procedural knowledge goes a long way. Chancery sets will often test your knowledge of the law, your undergrad subject and mental agility. Often you won't be required to perform any sort of advocacy and will be given written tests. As a result, the playing fields is more equal between pre and post BPTC students, perhaps a little weighted in favour of the undergrad since they will still be in that academic frame of mind.

    The number of GDLers/UGs that obtain pupillage pre-BVC is proportionately very low. They tend to be very good candidates, either academically or with valuable previous careers. The Bar is very different from obtaining a TC in that regard; my impression is that the majority of TC achievers will have done so before starting the LPC. Aspiring barristers, however, must often take a leap of faith. In that respect, 3rd year/GDL applications are often very good for dipping a toe in the water. If you score absolutely no hits this year, you must be very honest with yourself and look at where you went wrong. If the problem is fixable (ie, wrong type of chambers/lack of experience/poor expression on paper) then it may well be worth continuing. If, on the other hand, you were sunk by a sub-standard CV/poor academics, then it may be best to look at a safer career path.
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    (Original post by pupil101)
    http://l2b.thelawyer.com/unified-tim...007262.article

    According to this, the chambers are free to accept applications and interview etc now, but cannot make offers until August.
    I heard this too - a book by Adam Kramer called 'Bewigged and Bewildered' also said that this was going to happen, but apparently they've found it too difficult to bring Chambers into line. Pretty irritating.

    That said, a lot of the sets that operate the early season are so good (Serle, Wilberforce, Maitland etc.) that most recipients of an offer would quite happily forgo applying to the OLPAS sets...
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    Pupillage portal say ask the Bar Council. I've sent a query in but.... have yet to hear back. Whilst I have time to float about on my email and the web generally, unfortunately I don't have time to make the phonecall myself.

    Perhaps it has already been answered though with preceding post - Chambers have made it too difficult to implement!
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    I believe it's a good thing if the uniform timetable is not implemented. Believe me, it's a great relief to know that it's not neccessarily all over at the start of August!
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    Amen to that! But hopefully I'll have better luck this year!
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    (Original post by ManuForti)
    To prompt some discussion, what are people's impressions of Chambers' attitudes to final year UG applications? Is there a variation between different practice areas (chancery less likely than criminal, for example) when it comes to pupillage applicants who are in their final year of academic training?
    If you have an excellent academic record (first class grades from a good university) and enough relevant experience (minis, mooting, marshalling) commercial/chancery sets will look at you. I have no idea about criminal.
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    (Original post by ManuForti)
    To prompt some discussion, what are people's impressions of Chambers' attitudes to final year UG applications? Is there a variation between different practice areas (chancery less likely than criminal, for example) when it comes to pupillage applicants who are in their final year of academic training?
    I was in the final year of my undergraduate degree when I applied successfully for pupillage. I remember being asked about the fact that I was a little younger (then age 21) than most people applying but, before I could answer, another member of the panel interrupted saying "if he's ready for it, then he's ready for it".

    There are some advantages to being in your final year of the law degree. I had finished my finals 2 days earlier which meant that I was pretty on it in terms of my knowledge of the law. I remember seeing people at Bar School a year later frantically revising everything from torts and contract, which are the typical interview areas in civil sets. The first round interviews tend to be very ethics based. Having not, at that point, studied ethics I think my answers were a bit different to the standard ones you can roll out having studied ethics.

    Against that, I have heard that some chambers prefer their candidates to be slightly older or to have relevant employed work experience in other fields. Also, being post-BPTC equips you with knowledge of procedural matters etc. which can come up in interviews and you are bound to be more experienced at interviews by that stage.

    So, in conclusion, it's not impossible and, though it may be more difficult, there are some advantages.
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    (Original post by Barrister101)
    I was in the final year of my undergraduate degree when I applied successfully for pupillage. I remember being asked about the fact that I was a little younger (then age 21) than most people applying but, before I could answer, another member of the panel interrupted saying "if he's ready for it, then he's ready for it".

    There are some advantages to being in your final year of the law degree. I had finished my finals 2 days earlier which meant that I was pretty on it in terms of my knowledge of the law. I remember seeing people at Bar School a year later frantically revising everything from torts and contract, which are the typical interview areas in civil sets. The first round interviews tend to be very ethics based. Having not, at that point, studied ethics I think my answers were a bit different to the standard ones you can roll out having studied ethics.

    Against that, I have heard that some chambers prefer their candidates to be slightly older or to have relevant employed work experience in other fields. Also, being post-BPTC equips you with knowledge of procedural matters etc. which can come up in interviews and you are bound to be more experienced at interviews by that stage.

    So, in conclusion, it's not impossible and, though it may be more difficult, there are some advantages.
    Hi,

    This question goes out to everybody. I want to practise in PI and I'm currently studying at Oxford. What I want to know is this: given the legal profession and 'certainty' of graduate jobs has changed, do the pupillage panel want someone who can bring a certain amount of work with them? From my understanding, paralegals and solicitors (who transfer over) have a good chance because they have the relevant links and contacts because of their time in a law firm. I do have this but I worked in property law, which meant zero contact with barristers and referring work to chambers.

    Also, given I want to practise PI, is it a good idea to gain experience in a graduate role in a claims management company, insurance et al?

    Many thanks!

    M
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    (Original post by younglawyer)
    This question goes out to everybody. I want to practise in PI and I'm currently studying at Oxford. What I want to know is this: given the legal profession and 'certainty' of graduate jobs has changed, do the pupillage panel want someone who can bring a certain amount of work with them? From my understanding, paralegals and solicitors (who transfer over) have a good chance because they have the relevant links and contacts because of their time in a law firm. I do have this but I worked in property law, which meant zero contact with barristers and referring work to chambers.
    It is unusual to see claims in pupillage applications that the applicant can bring work with them from their current employer. The reason for that is twofold. First, most applicants for pupillage are either too young or too inexperienced to have viably made connections that will bring in a notable amount of work (that's not a criticism, it's just the way it is). And second, those who genuinely do have such connections are usually experienced solicitors who are seeking to cross qualify and/or other experienced individuals who are either seeking a shortened pupillage or tenancy directly, and as such often fall outside the normal application process.

    In addition to this, those who do suggest that they can bring work with them will often be met with some level of scepticism. Ultimately it can be difficult to know for an individual applicant, particularly those who have only held paralegal or advocate roles with a firm, whether or not they actually will be able to bring work with them, and such claims tend to be made on applications more in a hopeful than established and evidenced manner.

    In short, if you can show on a pupillage application that you will be able to bring work with you, it certainly won't be a negative thing. But it is certainly not something that you should feel disadvantaged about if you can't make such claims.
    (Original post by younglawyer)
    Also, given I want to practise PI, is it a good idea to gain experience in a graduate role in a claims management company, insurance et al?
    It is. Paralegal roles in solicitor firms are now increasingly filled by graduates that are either LPC or BVC/BPTC qualified. You should be looking for a role that provides advocacy experience, practical experience of working within the area of PI/civil litigation, or both. The ideal realistically obtainable position in my opinion is as an in house advocate with a firm that deals in relevant areas. Many firms now have their own in house advocacy teams, so it is a good idea to do your research in relation to firms in your area in advance so that you know where you should be focusing your efforts.
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    On a practical note, is anyone else having trouble with the applications for Stone and Falcon? Bits keep disappearing on Stone's app, and the window that pops out in the Falcon one doesn't correlate to the lines on the PDF...this is not helping me think fondly of these chambers!
 
 
 
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