Mini-pupillages are short periods of work experiences ranging from a day to a week in chambers. They provide a glimpse into the lives of barristers.
They are important for several reasons:
- they help you decide if you are suitable for a career at the bar and if you like an area of the law or not
- they show your commitment towards pursuing a career at the Bar – this is especially important for pupillage applications as well as if you decide to apply for the Inns of Temple Scholarships
- they help you make contacts
- they give you an idea of the ethos of the chambers – this is especially important if you want to apply to the chambers for pupillage because chambers want to see that you understand exactly what kind of work they do
- you get invaluable experience
So how do you apply for them?
There are several ways to apply for mini-pupillages but this is what worked best for me, so I thought I will share it.
The Chambers Student website is my go to place for anything and everything Bar related.
The first question to ask yourself is what area of the law you are interested in. If you aren’t sure it is helpful to read this Chambers Student Link that tells you a bit about the different practice areas of the Bar.
Once you understand that, visit this Chambers Student link to see the list of chambers that specialise in the areas of law you are interested in. Make a list of those chambers.
Once you do that, then visit this Chambers Student link. Cross reference the chambers you listed and check if the chambers that specialises in the area you are interested in is offering mini-pupillages, how many mini’s are offered a year, whether they are assessed or unassessed, the deadline for applying for them, the funding available for them (e.g. travel + accommodation), and the application process (i.e. whether its by CV + cover letter or via an application form).
Once you do that, visit the individual chambers website. Look for the mini-pupillage option on their website. It will usually be under “join us” or “recruitment”. Look at the criteria they look for in mini-pupils. You need to keep this criteria in mind and make sure you tell the chambers how you meet this criteria in your application – either in their application form or in your cover letter. You also have to make sure you try and gage whether you would be interested in doing work experience with them, the kind of work they do, and look at the cases they have dealt with. If you read my article titled “Making your CV and Cover Letter”, you will see that in the Target Jobs template I have linked, it is crucial to list why you are interested in applying to the chambers in your cover letter. Another way to understand the kind of work chambers do is by reading the ‘true picture’ of each chamber from the Chambers Student website. To do this, simply click on the name of the chamber you are interested in applying to in the link.
Once you do all this, fill in your application form or keep your CV and cover letter ready. [Please make sure you tailor your CV and cover letter to each chamber.] Then check whether you are meant to email it to the chambers or send it via post. Then send it out!
Good luck and I hope this helps![P.s this featured image is not my property. I got it from the express.co.uk website]