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Pupillage

“The training and opportunities being offered are of the highest quality, which ensures that pupils move seamlessly into tenancy with busy and successful practices; having been nurtured in a warm and welcoming chambers’ environment.”

- Spire Barristers

Pupillage Committee

Spire Barristers is a unique set of chambers, where all members, pupils and staff are encouraged and guided to be the best they can. We celebrate diversity and embrace our differences. Pupillage within #TeamSpire was developed and refined to ensure our principle of excellence is upheld, whilst providing an enjoyable, challenging and, we believe, inspiring twelve months. Ordinary People. Extraordinary Barristers. Exceptional Team, being the ultimate aim.

Directors of Pupillage, Helal Ahmed and James Goodwin

 

Pupillage Team

What we look for in prospective Pupils

When recruiting pupils, we are looking for our future tenants. We recruit pupils on the merit of their application, including relevant life experiences rather than simply focussing on academic achievement. We believe there is more to a good pupil than simply their undergraduate grades. On completion of the BTC, it is a requirement that at least a Very Competent is achieved. In addition, we are looking for pupils who share our passion for our areas of practice and our chambers ethos.

The questions on our pupillage application form are carefully designed to enable candidates to demonstrate to us those characteristics that will make them an exceptional Family and/or Public Law barrister as well as identifying those who we can be confident will become the next generation within our unique chambers.

Whilst undertaking mini-pupillages during the academic stage of training is important, we are keen to see evidence, not of sheer numbers of mini-pupillages a candidate has enjoyed, but that a more considered, targeted approach, in the areas of law that the candidate seeks to practice in has been taken. This together with examples of how a particular mini-pupillage has impacted upon a candidate’s choice of chambers to apply to for pupillage as well as examples of how the experience has shaped their desire to practice in the area(s) of law they wish to, gives much greater insight and information to us when considering a candidate’s application.

In addition, successful candidates have demonstrably good communication skills, a commitment to their development as an outstanding advocate as well as a commitment to the independent Bar and in particular the Family and Public Law Bar throughout Leeds, Yorkshire & the North Eastern Circuit. They also have an ability to engage well with clients, members of chambers and the clerking team.

Apply for Pupillage at Spire Barristers

Chambers will be inviting applications for two different Pupillages when the Pupillage Gateway opens in January 2024.

The first is a 12 month Pupillage which will start in September 2024 and the second is a 12 month Pupillage starting in September 2025. The requirements for each are different.

  • The Pupillage starting in 2024 requires that the applicant has completed, or will complete before the start date, the Bar Professional course and passed with a ‘very competent’ or above.
  • The Pupillage starting in 2025 requires that the applicant will start the bar Professional course in 2024, complete it and pass with a ‘very competent’ or above before the start date in 2025.

Details on how to apply for each Pupillage can be found in the Handbook as well as a more in depth guide to our Pupillage Handbook.

Download Pupillage Handbook 2024-2025

 

The application window for Pupillage applications in 2024 is now closed.

Spire Barristers are following the same timetable as the Pupillage Gateway. For reference, the main dates are:

 

Wednesday 03 January 2024 , 12:01(am)

Applications open: the submissions window for applications opens and applicants can start, edit, and submit their applications.

AETOs that use the Pupillage Gateway to manage their respective recruitment processes will not have access to the applications until the submissions window closes.

Wednesday 07 February 2024 , 11:59(pm)

Applications close: the submissions window for applications closes and no further applications or amendments to applications are allowed.

Friday 10 May 2024 , 09:30(am)

Offers made: AETOs will make offers either through the Gateway system, by phone or by email. All offers will be made on the same day at the same time.

Friday 17 May 2024 , 09:30(am)

Deadline for accepting initial offers: All applicants have a 7-day deadline to communicate acceptance of an offer (if any). Applicants will be able to accept an offer anytime up to the deadline.

If the 7-day deadline passes without the applicant accepting the offer, AETOs will be entitled to send out second round offers within a reasonable time period.

 

How to Apply

Applications for pupillage starting September 2024 are to be submitted through the pupillage gateway. Any applications made directly to chambers will be disregarded.

To apply for pupillage starting September 2025, please:

  1. Complete the application form and save it as a PDF document. If you want to password protect your application form, please do so.
  2. Email your application to applications@spirebarristers.co.uk. Remember to send a second email with your name and document password if you have chosen this protection.
  • Please note the application window is now closed.

Training Programme

During the BTC training course year, the successful candidate will receive mentoring and support from chambers, will be invited to chambers events and will be encouraged to make major contributions to chambers online Family and Court of Protection Newsletters.
Our specialist and bespoke pupillage training programme is designed to ensure that by the end of their training, chambers’ pupils are able to securely satisfy all the competencies set out in the Bar Professional Statement, such that on commencement of pupillage itself our pupils work with a wide range of practitioners, so that they can be assessed widely across chambers, whilst being allocated one overall pupil supervisor.
The training and opportunities provided are of the highest quality, which ensures that pupils may move seamlessly into tenancy with busy and successful practices; having been nurtured in a warm and welcoming chambers’ environment. All pupils have access to the best specialist clerking services to ensure the right exposure to instructing solicitors, as well as full administrative support.

Download Pupillage Handbook 2024-2025

We recruit pupils on the merit of their application, including relevant life experiences rather than simply focussing on academic achievement.

We believe there is more to a good pupil than simply their undergraduate grades. That said, when the time comes, there is still a requirement that on completion of the vocational stage of training (BTC/BPC), a grade equivalent to “Very Competent” must be achieved.

The successful candidate will have demonstrably good communication skills, a commitment to their development as an outstanding advocate as well as a commitment to the independent bar and in particular the Family and Public Law bar throughout Leeds, Yorkshire & the North Eastern Circuit. They will also have an ability to engage well with clients, members of chambers and the clerks.

Our pupils are remunerated in line with the Bar Council’s policies.

Application Questions

What attributes do you possess that are required of the Family and/or Public Law barrister?

Why do you believe you will make a good barrister? In your answer, please identify any relevant experiences or skills that you believe may help you in your career.

Why do you want to join our chambers? In your answer, please give reasons for your choice of chambers and explain why you are interested in our areas of practice.

Mini-Pupillage

Chambers offers 3 mini-pupillages per year, each of between 3 – 5 days duration, which take place in May, June and the first two weeks of July.

Applications for mini-pupillage are accepted between the 1st of September and the 30th of November each year for placements the following spring/early summer.

Candidates are invited, (during the application window) to send their CV and covering letter by e-mail to Helal Ahmed and James Goodwin, Joint Heads of Pupil Training: pupillages@spirebarristers.co.uk

Selection takes place in January and candidates will be notified shortly thereafter as to the outcome of their application.

In addition, chambers is a Partner Chambers with the Pegasus Access Scheme, and is proud to offer an additional mini-pupillage to a candidate selected through this scheme.