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If pupillage is so highly sought after, why are there crap barristers practising? Watch

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    I've never understood this. Forgive me for being ignorant, but I'm currently on a mini-pupillage and at the immigration tribunal today, some of the representation I saw was horrendous.

    But I don't understand how this can be the case if Chambers get to choose the cream of the crop year in year out.

    Why is this? Is it becausr you can obtain pupillage at places which aren't necessarily available on the Pupillage Gateway, and thus will receive a lower standard of training?

    Thanks.


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    (Original post by Underd0g)
    I've never understood this. Forgive me for being ignorant, but I'm currently on a mini-pupillage and at the immigration tribunal today, some of the representation I saw was horrendous.

    But I don't understand how this can be the case if Chambers get to choose the cream of the crop year in year out.

    Why is this? Is it becausr you can obtain pupillage at places which aren't necessarily available on the Pupillage Gateway, and thus will receive a lower standard of training?

    Thanks.


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    All pupillages must be advertised on the gateway. Whether you apply through the gateway has no bearing on the quality of training received though there my be a correlation with the quality of work available. It costs money for a chambers to use the Gateway so it is not economic for chambers with a relatively low number of applicants to do so.

    There are various reasons why the standard of representation is low including the quality of the briefs, the fees paid and the amount of preparation time but one that mustn't be overlooked in the case of crime and immigration is this-

    Most criminal defendants are guilty. Most immigration appellants' cases do not stack up. Attempting to prove a client's account therefore tends to undermine that case. So frequently, criminal and immigration cases get to court missing what look like obvious pieces of evidence or where there are logical gaps in the client's account of events.

    As a result one of the major dangers if you are not guilty or have a valid immigration case is that you are represented by lawyers who are used to going through the motions (which is of course itself a legal expression) who fail to spot a particular case is different and warrants investigation.
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    Firstly, the process of obtaining pupillage was a lot easier pre-2003ish. The crunch point came at tenancy decisions and, even then, there was plenty of work. If you were a decent chap/chapess you would probably be allowed to stick around. In the current climate the Bar, particularly with regard to publicly funded work, is shrinking. Because the Bar is a referral profession and, now more than ever, a barrister is only as good as their last case, the quality of the younger advocates is increasing and those who consistently don't make the mark are dropping by the wayside. If you were with a barrister who was as 'shoddy' as you say, the likelihood is that their instruction will be dropping off to the point where they must move on because they have no cases and therefore no income.

    Secondly, what NT says has a lot of merit. If you make it through the application process and into pupillage, you will quickly realise that advocates are often called on to defend the indefensible or, and this is becoming more and more prevalent, asked to do a full job with half the papers. If you are working for the CPS or, as you have referred to, in the Immigration Tribunal, you will often receive the papers the night before or even that very morning. That makes it very difficult to present a proper case, especially if communication with your lay client is very difficult. When that is contrasted against someone who has had time to prepare and is ready to proceed, it can often give the illusion that one advocate is simply 'better' than the other.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    All pupillages must be advertised on the gateway. Whether you apply through the gateway has no bearing on the quality of training received though there my be a correlation with the quality of work available. It costs money for a chambers to use the Gateway so it is not economic for chambers with a relatively low number of applicants to do so.

    There are various reasons why the standard of representation is low including the quality of the briefs, the fees paid and the amount of preparation time but one that mustn't be overlooked in the case of crime and immigration is this-

    Most criminal defendants are guilty. Most immigration appellants' cases do not stack up. Attempting to prove a client's account therefore tends to undermine that case. So frequently, criminal and immigration cases get to court missing what look like obvious pieces of evidence or where there are logical gaps in the client's account of events.

    As a result one of the major dangers if you are not guilty or have a valid immigration case is that you are represented by lawyers who are used to going through the motions (which is of course itself a legal expression) who fail to spot a particular case is different and warrants investigation.
    Okay, thanks for the reply.

    But the representative yesterday could not even speak English clearly, and when the judge asked him for something the representative alleged was in the bible, the representative could not find the relevant document.

    When the judge asked why, he replied by saying "It should be there. I don't know why it's not there."

    Surely he was the one who prepared the bundle? He also couldn't reply to basic questions which irritated the judge, and looked completely lost and overwhelmed throughout the process!


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    I heard it's all about contacts, and cronyism.
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    I remember the days when I wanted to be a barrister...

    Anyway, you'll get shiet people in any profession. I did a few mini-pups, and the guys I saw were all good.
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    (Original post by Tim2341)
    I heard it's all about contacts, and cronyism.
    You heard wrong. This is nonsense generally spouted by the ignorant or those who weren't good enough to get in.
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    Immigration tribunals....just a thought - are you sure you were watching a barrister?
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    Are you sure this person was a barrister? I am pretty sure solicitors have rights of audience in the Immigration Tribunal? There are a lot of poor immigration solicitors around, who compete on price rather than quality, who may have qualified as lawyers abroad, and may rely on their social links to minority communities as a source of business (which may explain the poor level of English if this person's practice is based on dealing with people who do not speak English themselves).

    When considering the level of competition, it is important to distinguish between a field like immigration - where I imagine it is very difficult to make a reasonable living given the pitiful rates being paid - and fields which are better paid or considered "sexier". I am sure there are plenty of talented people who do want to develop an immigration practice but it is never going to have the same level of desirability as other fields.
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    Are you sure this person was a barrister? I am pretty sure solicitors have rights of audience in the Immigration Tribunal? There are a lot of poor immigration solicitors around, who compete on price rather than quality, who may have qualified as lawyers abroad, and may rely on their social links to minority communities as a source of business (which may explain the poor level of English if this person's practice is based on dealing with people who do not speak English themselves).

    When considering the level of competition, it is important to distinguish between a field like immigration - where I imagine it is very difficult to make a reasonable living given the pitiful rates being paid - and fields which are better paid or considered "sexier". I am sure there are plenty of talented people who do want to develop an immigration practice but it is never going to have the same level of desirability as other fields.
    This sounds right. Thanks for your input!


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    (Original post by Underd0g)
    This sounds right. Thanks for your input!


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    A lot of my practice is in the First Tier Tribunal. I rather hope that you weren't watching me....

    The bulk of appellant representation in the FTT is by Legal Representatives, who have a caseworker qualification, rather than advocacy training a la BPTC. Solicitors also appear quite regularly. On the other side, the Secretary of State is sometimes represented by counsel, but most of the time by Home Office Presenting Officers ("HOPOs"), who are civil servants and only have a month long training session, which includes limited advocacy.

    You only tend to see counsel in winnable asylum cases, and most are pretty good - I have only come across a few poor barristers, and there was a notable generational difference.

    Also worth noting that if you saw a legal rep or solictor he or she almost certainly did prepare the hearing bundle. If you saw a barrister, he or she probably only received it late o'clock the night before and had no input into it whatsoever...
 
 
 
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