The Pupillage Blog has come of age with its redefined presence upon Twitter. Whilst bringing up-to-date news upon the search for pupillage, my ongoing tweets will also focus upon a wide spectrum of daily reported law and legal judgments. All of which I hope will either be thought provoking or may just promote mindful discussion.
Tweets this week have included commentary and Internet links upon a wide variety of different legal outcomes.
Examples include the decision by the Supreme Court to overturn the previous judicial legal arguments in favour of the Bank, to the surprise announcement from the Bar Standards Board as it decides to open the door to joint practices for barristers and solicitors.
Should you wish to follow or engage in any of the dialogue on Twitter, just simply select the ‘Follow Me’ icon at the top right of this page of visit www.twitter.com/pupillageblog.
Feedback from the ‘Pupillage Blog’ stats this week would suggest that the most popular search upon the site has been the ‘covering letter for pupillage’. This is timely, as I wanted to bring the blog up-to-speed with recent events surrounding an application for pupillage.
After careful consideration and much research, I found a non-OLPAS set of chambers which matched both my practical skills and academic temperament. Following a thoughtful and reflective period of time, I completed the necessary application which was accompanied with a succinctly drafted letter and then sent to chambers via cyberspace.
A few days later, I received the ever anticipated ‘Dear John’ response:
“We have received a great many applications and we are sorry but we cannot take your application any further. …………We know how difficult it is to gain pupillage and how frustrating the process can be. Nonetheless we wish you the best of luck in the future.”
Not one for being derailed and unseated at the first crossroads, I sent forth an appropriate if not inquisitorial response, which included:
“Whilst I am appreciative of the many applications that you should receive in respect of the application for pupillage, I would very much welcome feedback from Chambers as to the reason for my unsuccessful application.”
The response by chambers was swift, but my eye for detail caught a rather unsettling matter:
“…Unfortunately it is not possible to invite all applicants to be interviewed and it was felt that there were applicants with better educational and practical qualifications.”
It was the comment of “…applicants with better educational and practical qualifications…” which ignited the green touch paper, all of which generated my calculated terse response by return:
“…Turning if I may to your email, I understand that perhaps as I do not have an equivalent Masters Degree this would represent a failing on my part to attain a higher educational qualification if this is the educational criteria that Chambers seeks. However, I am a little mystified as to your address of the required ‘practical qualifications’. My understanding of ‘practical qualifications’ as directed by the Bar Council in any pupillage consideration would be that of successfully attaining the ‘BVC’ and being ‘Called to the Bar’, both of which I accomplished.
In addition to this I have formally addressed mini-pupillage within relevant key areas of legal practice, engaged in the practice of the Free Representation Unit, acted as a litigant in person and successfully recovered damages in both the English and American judicial system and finally, I have lectured extensively in both criminal and civil law over a number of years to postgraduate students whilst conducting many seminars upon a wide diversity of law. To complement my legal accomplishments, I am also able to competently demonstrate from my years of commercial experiences, drafting, academic legal writing, extensive negotiation and people skills and professional public speaking proficiency.
So, I ask you to forgive my lack of appreciation for the lack of understanding in respect to the interpretation in the matter of ‘practical qualifications’ and I would ask if you could be kind enough to identify within my application as to the specific lack of ‘practical qualifications’ that Chambers is seeking. Once again, I look forward to hearing from you in due course…”
Surprisingly, it wasn’t long before chambers responded:
“..Thank you for your further email and may I apologise for the delay in responding.
I am pleased to say that your application has been re-considered and I would like to invite you to attend an interview for pupillage.”
With wig in hand, I ask you to draw your own conclusions from the above. From my perspective, I firmly believe that there are wider issues within the ongoing pupillage process that need to be addressed.
In the coming days I will enlighten you upon how the application progressed. Suffice to say though is that the application process for this set of chambers pales into total insignificance when you become acquainted with the full facts upon how the interview then proceeded.
However, as this blog also addresses the matter of the “covering letter for pupillage”, it is a wise person that carefully researches the chosen set of chambers. Likewise, high importance should be placed upon the application form and the drafting of a well crafted and succinct covering letter.