Selection Criteria

Those applying to Chambers for pupillage through the pupillage gateway are strongly advised to use the information here for guidance in completing their application forms online. Chambers receives hundreds of applications each year for pupillage and competition is strong. We promote equal opportunity in Chambers and therefore encourage candidates to apply from backgrounds that have not traditionally been well represented at the bar.


Our selection process consists of 3 stages;

Stage 1
Consideration of application forms and short listing of up to 30 candidates for interview.

Stage 2
Further consideration of candidates and short listing of up to 10 for second interview.

Stage 3
Second interviews and final selection and offers.

The criteria set out below is used in order to identify 30 candidates following consideration of all application forms received. Those that have been successful in reaching the interview stage will be informed via the gateway.

Marks Available
Academic Achievement Up to 3 marks
Intellectual Aptitude Up to 2 marks
Law Related Experience Up to 2 marks
Other Relative Life Experience Up to 2 marks
Essay Question Up to 2 marks
Other Exceptional factors Up to 1 mark

Scores will be reduced by 1 mark if presentation on the application form is not satisfactory.

When completing your application form, try to be succinct and focus upon the main points which will help your application. Should you feel that your academic ability is not accurately reflected in your results or projected results or if there are other personal circumstances of importance, you should explain this on your form.

Other attributes such as ability to relate to clients and colleagues, empathy and intellectual and advocacy ability will be judged at the interview stage.

Academic achievement

Only candidates achieving a 2.1, save in wholly exceptional circumstances, will be interviewed. Any such circumstances should be detailed in your application. 3 marks will be awarded for a 1st or a projected 1st. 2 Marks will be awarded for a 2.1 or a projected 2.1. (suitable equivalent qualifications from institutions overseas will be considered)

Intellectual aptitude

Up to 2 marks will be awarded for intellectual aptitude including the potential for oral and written advocacy. Scholarships, publications or prizes, campaigning and mooting are all examples of ways in which such aptitude can be demonstrated.

Law related experience

Up to 2 marks are available for any legal experience other than legal education. Mini pupillages, work for NGO or at a law centre may all count as legal experience.

Life experience

Chambers is keen to attract candidates from beyond the traditional pool of legal recruits and up to 2 marks may be awarded therefore for anyone demonstrating life experiences from which they have acquired skills or insights relevant to the work of a barrister.

Essay question

Up to 2 marks will be awarded for a well reasoned and clear response to the essay question. There are no right or wrong answers.

Exceptional factors

Up to 1 mark will be awarded for any additional relevant factors. Details of hardship or illness should be detailed on the application form. The mark may be awarded where a candidate has shown exceptional commitment or endeavour which could not properly be recognised in the scores elsewhere available on the application.

A panel of up to 3 members of chambers will carry out the first stage interviews. Each of the interviews will last approximately 10 minutes. Each of our panel members will address each of the candidates with the same question. Up to 10 candidates will be selected for second interviews and informed via the gateway.

Up to 4 members of chambers will form the second interview panel with a view to representing the diversity of 9 St John Street. An aptitude for exceptional intellectual and advocacy ability along with an ability to relate to clients is sought at the final interview stage.

The second interview will last approximately 35 minutes and will include the discussion of a legal problem which will be provided to candidates to consider approximately 30 minutes prior to their interview. Legal knowledge beyond that expected of the candidate given their legal training thus far is not intended to be tested. Simple demonstration of ability to analyse a legal problem and explanation of their argument to the panel is sought.

Offers will be made via the gateway.