News this morning from the Bar Council:
Students call on the Bar Council to move Pupillage Gateway timetable
Pupillage Gateway will open in January from 2017
Following calls from students and chambers, the Bar Council will be moving the Pupillage Gateway timetable starting in January 2017.
The decision will mean that pupillage applicants know the outcome of their applications before they commit to the expensive Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and pupillage interviews will no longer risk clashes with exams.
Prior to making the decision, the Bar Council ran a consultation about the move. There were 126 responses to the consultation (45 were from chambers). The majority of chambers supported the move and the overwhelming response from students was positive.
Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC, Chairman of the Bar, said: “This is a common-sense decision by the Bar and students. Given the high costs associated with the BPTC, the new Pupillage Gateway timetable, which will run from January to April as of 2017, means that at least students applying through the Gateway will know if they have pupillage before committing to the BPTC.
“However, this was never going to be about simply changing the date of Gateway. The Bar Council has an ongoing and crucial role to play in supporting students and pupillage providers. Over the next year we will be raising awareness about mini-pupillages, providing support via the Bar Council’s Pupillage Fair and continuing to equip students with the knowledge they need before they commit to the BPTC.”
While most respondents to the consultation were in favour of the Gateway timetable change, the Bar Council acknowledged that it would work with those who saw some challenges with the planned new timetable.
Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC said: “We intend to learn from the experience of those chambers who are already recruiting earlier in the year and will work with our members to make the move work for them.”