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Pupillage Interviews and the Pupillage Panel

"If only it was this simple......."  JT

"If only it were that simple......." JT

Reading around the Web there are a number of blogs posting upon how a potential pupil should perform at the interview and what to expect.  My knowledge on this subject adds to this legal cobweb of intrigue as I am only too aware that no two chambers interviews are the same.

From personal experience and those of my colleagues, first round interviews can often vary in style.  For instance at one set of chambers, you may be required to demonstrate some of your well oiled advocacy skills, all of which must be prepared within a ten to twenty minute window.  In come cases, you might just find that you are expected to hit the ground running even quicker.  Other interviews may base themselves around a particular question set by chambers which is often sent to you ahead of the interview. However, this is not always common practice, either way, you will be required to demonstrate a good argument for both sides of the discussion. Be prepared for interaction by the panel! Be prepared to be equipped with relevant and on topic answers.

Other first round interviews may just be fairly formal in nature, in that the interview panel (of which I should point out should contain three panel members… an anecdote will be posted upon this a little later) may seek to find out a little more about you.  Their scrutiny over your curriculum vitae is demonstrated within their direct questioning all to establish which of your defining skills could be transferrable to the Bar and certainly within the set of chambers you are interviewing for. Often colleagues have commented upon how you may be asked provocative questions, the trick here is to stay calm and to stay focused upon the matter in hand after all you are being tested on a number of differing levels.

Turning now to the other pupil candidates at interview. When you arrive at your allotted time, often you will find other candidates present. It never ceases to make me smile that potential pupils will not engage with each other. This is a great opportunity to put yourself at ease a little and chat with your immediate competition. After all, it pays to get to know who you are up against and who knows, you may make a good friend or two in the process.

As always,
Justin Time

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