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Pupillage at 25 Canada Square Chambers

Pupillage at 25 Canada Square Chambers ('25 CSC') is divided into the traditional two parts; your first six months will be spent as a non-practising pupil and the second six months ‘on your feet’ as a practising pupil.

When To Apply

25 Canada Square Chambers is recruiting for four pupillages, two commencing in September 2023 and two in March 2024. The application window is open until 23:59 on 8 February 2023.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to view the Pupillage Gateway for more details and how to apply. The September 2023 advertisement is here and the March 2024 advertisement is here. Successful applicants can expect a challenging pupillage and structured programme of training with a modern, dynamic and commercially-minded set of Chambers.

What We Are Looking For

Candidates are expected to have a strong academic background. However, intellectual ability is only part of what makes a successful candidate at 25CSC. Candidates will need to be able to research the law and apply it to practical situations, alongside good attention to detail and the ability to write accurately and professionally. Candidates are also expected to demonstrate strong advocacy skills alongside commitment to a career at the Bar. Prospective applicants must be 'switched on' and able to think on their feet during pressured situations – and particularly during interview. A successful candidate will exhibit the common sense to recognise the practical advice a client really needs.

Forward looking, members of 25CSC are required to get on well with clients, solicitors and other members of Chambers and the clerks – in that same way, candidates must balance both professionalism and personability. You must demonstrate independence, self-motivation and excellent time management skills required of an advocate in the Courts of England and Wales.

As with all Chambers, pupils are now assessed against the criteria and competences of the BSB’s Professional Statement. Further details can be found (along with other materials relating to pupillage) on the BSB’s website.

Pupils are selected from a broad range of backgrounds and experience, whether recent university graduates or those seeking a second career at the Bar. A number of our members have degrees in law, some have taken non-law degrees and others have started their career in another sector before becoming a barrister.

Candidates will be expected to demonstrate commercial awareness of the areas of practice in which Chambers is involved and to possess a view on developing trends within the legal services industry.

What Will You Do?

Chambers is highly specialised in civil aspects of commercial and regulatory law, including financial services, and is the 'go to' set for consumer credit law, in particular, Chambers is a leading set in 'unfair relationship' disputes. All our pupils are assigned a single primary Pupil Supervisor. Pupils will shadow their supervisor and other members of Chambers across the full breadth of Chambers’ practice areas.

Our pupils are fully involved in all aspects of life in Chambers. Pupils are encouraged to get to know the Clerks from an early stage and are encouraged to attend social events hosted by Chambers.

Joshua Cullen, First Six Pupil (2022 – 2023)

"I am currently undertaking my first six months of pupillage, which are non-practising. During my first six I have shadowed my Supervisor Chris McGeever and other members of Chambers in Court (both in person and remotely).

I completed written work for my supervisor. For example, I regularly prepared skeleton arguments and draft advice documents for a range of commercial and personal injury disputes. After any given trial, I would have the opportunity to compare and review my skeleton with that of my supervisor and other members of Chambers."

Ashleigh Keily, Pupil Barrister (in Practising Period of Pupillage)

"I am currently undertaking my practising period of pupillage; the 'second six'. From day one, I have been supported in undertaking a wide variety of work encompassing all of Chambers’ practice areas.

I have represented clients in ‘unfair relationship’ disputes, disposal hearings, interim applications, fast track trials, and permission to appeal applications. Alongside being on my feet in court, I have drafted skeleton arguments and advice documents.

I have had the opportunity to get involved in cases beyond what I expected at this stage, which has been invaluable in developing and refining the skills learnt during Pupillage.

Whilst the practising period has certainly brought its challenges, support has always been on hand from my Pupil Supervisor Chris McGeever, as well as other members of Chambers. I have been encouraged to challenge myself and have undoubtedly grown in confidence as a result.

The practising period has also brought with it the requirement to manage a busy workload. Again, this aspect of Pupillage has been greatly assisted by the support of Chambers’ clerks."

Post-Training Opportunities

Pupillage is not run as a competition between pupils, and Chambers’ approach is to invest in candidates who demonstrate the required aptitude and potential. Current members of Chambers include a mixture of self-employed barristers, as well as those who are employed barristers.

In the last two years, Chambers has retained all pupils who underwent pupillage, which demonstrates both their hard work and the effectiveness of their training.

Application Tips

Recommended length of a CV for your application is 1-2 pages of A4, in a standard business font, size 10-12. Especially vast past experience may justify a CV longer than this recommended length.

Recommended length of a Cover Letter for your application is 1 page of A4, in a standard business font, size 10-12.

Ensure to proof-read your application for spelling, grammar and punctuation before submitting. Use professional language throughout.

Use your Cover Letter to highlight and expand upon relevant experience contained within your CV.

Tailor your CV so that your Bar-related experience is most prominent to the reader - try to think from the point of view of Chambers' Pupillage Recruitment Committee.

For more application tips, please see this article.

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