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Pupillage Applications….Here We Submit!

OLPAS has had a new facelift as the ‘Pupillage Portal’

OLPAS has had a new facelift as the ‘Pupillage Portal’

Today’s entry turns to pupillage applications. It was interesting to see that Pupillage.com, in other words OLPAS has had a new facelift and presents itself as the ‘Pupillage Portal’. However, speaking to my learned friends from yesteryear, and like me, we find it an absolute maze to fathom and navigate around. Whatever happened to cyber simplicity?

So to controversy… the Bar Council would seem to have issued a warning in relation to potential pupils seeking the aid of a third party to help them write or solicit assistance to complete their online applications. To this end, several Blogs have been focusing upon this issue. Indeed, the up-front-and-personal approach is demonstrated from the online Blog ‘Pupillage and How to Get It’ with dialogue engaged with Oxbridge Training Contracts.

However, whilst I would strongly advocate against plagiarism as indeed this will not help or further any individual in the long term, I am also mindful of those potential pupils which may gain assistance by virtue of the proverbial nod and the wink along their pathway. As in any profession, there are quirks to the system which will be exploited by the few but hopefully the balance will always err on the side of a level playing field.

But turning to the matter of gaining pupillage itself, it is an incredibly gruelling process, therefore any student who is mindful of achieving the ultimate accolade should also consider not just the pitfalls that surround this process, but be aware that it is indeed a tough and hard grind after the toil of pupillage is complete. Indeed, many do not go on to gain tenancy immediately and those that do, often struggle to turn around a practice that enables them to make a comfortable living. In these dark times of global recession and continual governmental intervention, not even the ‘Bar’ can escape its clutches, which is self evident with its effect and impact upon different practice fields.

Now, I can’t finish this blog with a pitch into the depths of any depression. My moto has always been to look at the ‘brighter side of life’ and therefore, I would steer you to a little hilarity over at ‘Private Eye’.

Justin Time

3 comments to Pupillage Applications….Here We Submit!

  • BarristerWannabe

    OK so at the risk of being the first keen person I am getting to panic-point on “The Pupillage Portal”. It is so long and there are so many sections which seem to overlap that i am really struglling with the balance between a full and complete application and the need to avoid padding! Help!

    Then after finishing 89 sections (slight exaggeration) there’s the option for a cover letter to. I really don’t have anything left to say about myself so it’s a difficult choice between following the website which says not to fillit in unnecessarily if you have nothing more to add and making a bad impression by not having a cover letter.

    Officially panicking!

  • Barquest

    Does anybody have a link for the form on OLPAS? I will be filling it in come April for the first time, but I wanted to know now what the format is, and the type of questions, etc.

  • My thoughts on this will be that the previous application from will have changed from the its existing format. However, be prepared to write around the following headers:

    Education details
    Employment history
    Skills
    Professional qualifications
    Positions of responsibility, prizes and awards
    Interests and recreational activities
    Additional information / Covering Letter
    Why do you wish to become a barrister?
    What areas of law interest you?
    What type of practice are you interested in and why?
    Give reasons for your choice of chambers.
    What do you hope to gain from your pupillage?
    How do you hope to contribute to your future chambers?
    Why do you believe you will make a good barrister?
    Please identify any experiences / skills gained that you believe may help you in your career.

    Hope it helps.
    Justin T

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