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Solicitor v Barrister

Hi! I'm veryyyy torn between the two. Could I realistically apply for both a pupillage and a training contract the same year?
Thanks!
No, because after undergraduate the two career paths diverge. You need to either be looking to do the BPC to pursue the pupillage route, or looking towards the SQE as a solicitor. Whilst you could theoretically apply for both in your final undergraduate year, it's difficult to see how you could realistically construct a good application for both, and then of course after that year you will likely have to choose one route or the other. The roles really are quite different though. Most barristers do not want to be solicitors, and vice versa. What are the pros and cons of each that you're trying to balance?
Reply 2
Hi, thank you for your reply!
I see, I figured it might be difficult for both, I thought if I don't get one and I get the other I could do that etc
For Solicitor - I like the way they work together in teams, and the work they do overall, whereas for Barrister I prefer the court stuff and the meetings, and also the self employed and free aspect etc. I genuinely cant decide - Ive got a scheme coming up for first years, and I did a public mini pupillage that was alright, didn't enjoy the topic much but I got a glimpse att the commercial part and liked that.
Original post by Hmalik110
Hi, thank you for your reply!
I see, I figured it might be difficult for both, I thought if I don't get one and I get the other I could do that etc
For Solicitor - I like the way they work together in teams, and the work they do overall, whereas for Barrister I prefer the court stuff and the meetings, and also the self employed and free aspect etc. I genuinely cant decide - Ive got a scheme coming up for first years, and I did a public mini pupillage that was alright, didn't enjoy the topic much but I got a glimpse att the commercial part and liked that.

I think it's going to be a matter of gaining more experience and doing more research not just with the two roles, but with different areas of law as well. The aspects that you've mentioned may not be quite the positives that you think. For example, whereas solicitors work in teams to the extent that they will have others around them in the office a lot of the time and it's common for more than one solicitor to do work on a particular case, it might not be what you really define as teamwork. Equally, whilst you will rarely work together with other barristers on a case, if you're in and around chambers a lot you'll be around other barristers more often than you think too, and it's very common to ask each other for help etc. On the barrister side, I'm not sure what you mean by the "free aspect" or even what it is that you like about being self employed, but despite notionally being able to choose when you work, in practice you don't have nearly as much freedom in that respect as you might think. You most certainly don't get to pick and choose cases, and whilst you can take as much holiday as you want, learning how to balance that with your practice, what the clerks require you to do etc takes a long time to figure out. I'm very focused on a work/life balance to spend more time with my family, but even with that in mind it's taken me about fifteen years to get to a place that I really want to be in that respect, and even then I don't have control over everything and things are regularly challenging in that respect. So as I say, take time to look into these things more just so you really do understand how they work in practice.

In terms of using one or the other as a fallback, it's extremely difficult to using pupillage as a fallback for getting a training contract. I can't off the top of my head think of anyone who has done that, and that's probably for two reasons. First, statistically it's easier to get a training contract than a pupillage, so if you can't get a training contract a pupillage probably isn't a viable fallback option. Second, pupillage requires you to have done, be on or due to start the BPC. If you're aiming for a training contract you won't be in that position, and also likely won't have a strong pupillage application in terms of your experience and skills. I can't really see how a training contract application could be adapted to a pupillage application, especially in situations where the training contract application isn't strong enough to get a training contract.

It is true to say that some candidates who apply for pupillage end up securing training contracts instead. That is usually because they start work as paralegals or similar and gain the relevant experience to secure a training contract through that route. It's harder to do that than it used to be, but it is still possible. So realistically you would do the BPC, start work at a firm while you're looking for pupillage, and if you don't get pupillage, turn your attention to the work in the firm as a fallback career option. You can then actually transfer back to the Bar in certain circumstances. So pupillage first and then a training contract would be a more viable fallback option for you, but again, it would require you in the first instance to really focus on pupillage as your main aim. It's not a good idea to try to stay on the fence and put together a strong application for both.
As Judges say: "I agree, and have nothing to add".

SB (another barrister, but quite an old one).

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