Central Chambers would like to extend a huge thanks to all pupils from the Northern Circuit who attended our First-Six Q&A Panel Event at Ziferblat in Manchester.
Central Chambers was an early adopter of the Bar Standards Board’s new competency-based pupillage scheme (incorporating the Professional Statement for Barristers incorporating the Threshold Standard and Competencies). As such, our pupils were well-placed to comment on their experiences which fed into the development of that scheme and demonstrate its success.
Sometimes the pressures of learning in a chambers environment and the eagerness to impress can stifle simple but important questions. Central Chambers has previously published its Pupillage Guide (Part I and Part II), but it was felt that an informal “no holds barred” session would be helpful to those embarking on pupillage.
That is why our pupils opened the floor to any and all questions about pupillage, practice, or even maintaining a work-life balance and wellbeing as a barrister.
THE PANEL’S TOP TIPS
At the end of every day, or at least every week, take the time to note down what you’ve seen and what you’ve learned. You don’t want to let this build up until the last minute.
Your pupillage diary is not just your record of experience to complete the BSB’s regulatory requirements – it can often be useful to reflect on how far you’ve come and what you have yet to see before you complete your pupillage.
Don’t forget that the point of pupillage is to help you meet the basic competencies expected of a practising barrister. Keeping them in mind at all times – and making a note of which competencies are relevant to what you have seen – will make sure that you’re aware of which competencies you are already meeting and what you still need to see before completing pupillage.
If your clerks know what you’ve seen – and what you’ve yet to see – they can help arrange your diary to make sure you fill in the gaps. It’s all well and good spending six months behind experienced Counsel on a lengthy and complex case, but the reality is that is not the sort of case you will be undertaking during your second six when you’re on your feet.
If your clerks know where you’re up to, they can arrange to help you see what you really need to see before you’re doing it yourself.
In any area of practice there may be regular hearing types that you are expected to attend. Preparing a standard crib sheet containing all the relevant principles and authorities for that hearing type can save you a lot of legal research and preparation time in the long run.
This will stop you from overthinking the academic issues. It will also give you time to focus on developing your advocacy and tackling practical issues you may face at the hearing.
Just some further steps we would like to remind you to take BEFORE you embark on your second six:
Reaction to the event
Speaking after the event, Central Chambers’ current pupil, Betsy Hindle said, “It is great to have an event like this so close to the start of my pupillage. The panel was a mixture of pupils from the “old” scheme and the pilot scheme and it was nice to be ahead of the curve so far as the BSB is concerned. Other than the freedom to chat under the Chatham House Rule, it was great to get to know my contemporaries too.”
Head of Crime and current pupil supervisor, Ben Knight, said of the event, “I am really proud of our junior end for putting on this event and making such a success of it. Central Chambers had no pupillage scheme for a long time but, following changes in our structure, we have gone from strength to strength and have one of the most dynamic junior ends on the Northern Circuit. This event is just an example of that.”
Central Chambers would like to thank all who attended and contributed to the session. We hope it was helpful and we look forward to seeing you when you’re on your feet.
82 King St,
T. 0161 236 1133
Keep up to date with Central Chambers news by subscribing to our RSS News Feed by clicking the link below.