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    I know this question has been asked on here a few times in the past, but I can't find any instances of it having been asked especially recently.

    In a nutshell, what are the chances of getting pupillage before the BPTC, as a non-law undergrad?

    To make it specific to me and cut to the chase:
    - On course for a double First in Classics from Oxford
    - Finished in the top 10 in my Mods (preliminary exams in second year)
    - Have done one chancery and one criminal mini-pupillage with (what C&P says are) Band 1 sets, with two more chancery pupillages next year
    - Have quasi-judicial advocacy experience (successfully represented people before disciplinary hearings in various organisations on numerous occasions)
    - Won my first ever moot, a chancery moot, against three law finalists

    This might seem like an exercise in intellectual vanity, but I'm the first person in my family to go to university, was state educated, and have had care responsibilities for my mum throughout my degree, so don't really have anyone concrete to compare my "progress" to. Beyond the general initial question, in the opinion of those in the know, what would be my prima facie chances of (a) pupillage during the GDL, so I don't have to do a gap year between BPTC and pupillage, and (b) pupillage full stop? I'm looking really at top-tier chancery sets: am I being unrealistic?

    Thanks for any help with this - any reassurance that I'm on the right track would be massively appreciated!
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    Your chances of getting pupillage prior to starting the BPTC as a non law graduate are roughly the same as if you were a law graduate. In other words, it is not likely, but it is possible with a strong application. To the best of my knowledge (which, admittedly, is somewhat out of date) there are generally a handful of students in each cohort who have managed to secure pupillage prior to starting the BPTC, so it does happen. The difficulty is that you will be up against other applicants who have completed qualifications and have experience that you either have not had the time to do, or could not physically have done, and it is therefore harder to stand out. You also may be at a disadvantage in terms of your practical oral or written skills compared to those applicants who have done the BPTC and worked in a relevant role after that. It is certainly not impossible though, and from what you've written you'd probably stand a decent chance of at least getting interviews (I say that looking in particular at your double First from Oxford which, if you do get, is an exceptional achievement). Even if you don't obtain pupillage, to my mind getting experience of the process and perhaps getting some interviews would be a useful exercise in its own right.

    Regardless of whether you choose to apply for or manage to secure a pupillage or not prior to starting the BPTC, I can certainly assure you that you're on the right track. I appreciate that your post doesn't state everything that you would put on a pupillage application, but what you have written suggests that you are well on the way to putting together a very strong pupillage application.
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    (Original post by LexBaebia)
    I know this question has been asked on here a few times in the past, but I can't find any instances of it having been asked especially recently.

    In a nutshell, what are the chances of getting pupillage before the BPTC, as a non-law undergrad?

    Beyond the general initial question, in the opinion of those in the know, what would be my prima facie chances of (a) pupillage during the GDL, so I don't have to do a gap year between BPTC and pupillage, and (b) pupillage full stop? I'm looking really at top-tier chancery sets: am I being unrealistic?

    Thanks for any help with this - any reassurance that I'm on the right track would be massively appreciated!
    I can only speak from my experience as a commercial chancery pupil (all three weeks of it), and my experience of commercial and/or chancery pupils at other sets who I have met at the Inn, on the BPTC, or elsewhere, which is a fair number. Most of those are at sets in London. I know virtually no-one at regional sets.

    The vast majority of those pupils obtained pupillage pre-BPTC whether they did a law degree or a GDL. I know a roughly equal mix of pupils with law degrees and pupils who did the GDL. I only know of three commercial /chancery pupils who obtained pupillage during the BPTC year, and none who obtained it afterwards (that is not to say they don't exist).

    Those statistics (or anecdotes) would not be true in other areas of practice, where it seems that obtaining pupillage pre-BPTC is more of a rarity.

    On the information you have given I would say that you have as good a chance as anyone of obtaining (multiple) interviews, at top-tier sets, and a much better chance than most. Any application you make would certaintly not be wasted time.

    Several of the commercial / chancery sets pose legal problems as part of the interviews. So far as I know all of those sets make efforts to make the problems answerable by students on the GDL. IA few commercial / chancery set tasks where some knowledge of skills taught on the BPTC would be useful (but nonetheless tend to offer pupillages to students who are pre-BPTC). If such a set tells you that you will be required to write an opinion / advise in a conference / etc, it would seem sensible to have a brief flick through a BPTC manual on the topic.
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    Following on from my post, and Forum User's, I actually spoke to someone today who has just started his pupillage, and far more people had clearly secured pupillage on his bar course (two years ago) than had on mine. I got the impression that that was something of an exception, but still, there does seem to be a good chance that my figures on those securing pupillage are somewhat out of date. I'm sure the BSB will have gathered data on that actually, if you do a bit of a search.

    Either way, I don't think there will be much dispute that it is very much worthwhile for you to apply for pupillage pre BPTC whether you ultimately end up getting pupillage or not.
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    This is all really helpful and has relaxed me considerably, so thank you very much indeed! Is there anything about reapplying to the same set? So, for example, if I weren't successful during the GDL to X Chambers, would they hold it against me if I reapplied during the BPTC to X Chambers?
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    (Original post by LexBaebia)
    This is all really helpful and has relaxed me considerably, so thank you very much indeed! Is there anything about reapplying to the same set? So, for example, if I weren't successful during the GDL to X Chambers, would they hold it against me if I reapplied during the BPTC to X Chambers?
    Not generally speaking. I'm sure there are some Chambers out there that will have policies in relation to it, but most don't, and indeed mine certainly interviewed some candidates this year who were unsuccessful last year. Given that you'd be applying on the GDL, you'd ideally have to apply to Chambers that are offering pupillage that starts a year or two in advance, and I would certainly expect such Chambers to appreciate that candidates can and do improve year on year, particularly those who haven't started or finished the BPTC yet. Ultimately I wouldn't worry about issues with reapplying to the same set, because generally there aren't any.
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    That's fantastic, thank you. I might give relevant case lists a skim in the summer before the GDL as well, just so I'm not going into any potential interviews (touch wood...) with basically no legal knowledge. But it certainly seems like it's potentially fruitful to make a full round of applications next year, which is very reassuring - I was weighing up only applying to a few sets and doing the bulk of it in my BPTC year. Thanks all!
 
 
 
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