Mini Pupillage

Chambers provides a unique and innovative range of mini-pupillage opportunities for those interested in a career at the Bar.

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MINI PUPILLAGE

Our application process is currently closed. 

if you would like to submit your CV, it will be considered when the process re-opens in March 2024.

We will always try to accommodate as many mini-pupillages as possible, but you will appreciate we have limited resources. For this reason our applications are considered on their strengths of whether they meet our criteria based on a number of factors.

We encourage applications by set dates each year, however if you apply beyond these dates, we will accommodate your application if possible and if not let you know if we can assist in the future.

About Mini Pupillage at Deans Court:

Deans Court Chambers traditionally offers a limited number of 2-day placements to exceptional University students or equivalent, considering a career at the Bar. Our purpose is to provide an insight into this unique and challenging profession, to help you decide if the Bar is a career for you.

Mini-pupillages at Deans Court Chambers are not assessed, nor is a mini-pupillage at Deans Court Chambers a necessary condition of a full pupillage application.

We tailor mini pupillages to the areas of interest of the individual, usually in our core areas of Civil Litigation, Crime, Family, Regulatory and Professional Discipline. We are keen to ensure you get a real insight into the daily life of a barrister, which involves the court, conferences with clients and interactions with clerks.

We regret that we are unable to take applicants under the age of 19 in any event.

For more information, see our FAQ's at the bottom of this page!

Assessment of applications for Mini-Pupillage

Chambers offers mini pupillages to afford an opportunity to those considering a career at the Bar to see what life is like at the Bar and in Chambers. As a reflection of the fact that the prospective mini pupils are likely to be at an earlier stage of their legal education, applications are not subjected to quite the same degree of assessment as for pupillage. However, we have limited availability of mini-pupillages and therefore we must apply some objective selection criteria.

Accordingly, all applications are assessed broadly in accordance with the criteria that we apply to pupillage applications. Of these we again weight intellectual ability more heavily than the other criteria.

What we are looking for:

Applicants are expected to show similar potential to candidates for full pupillage and priority will be given to applicants in their second year or early part of the final year of their law degree or in the early part of their CPE/GDL year. We welcome applications from candidates who can demonstrate a strong academic record or alternative impressive credentials.

A declaration of confidentiality must be completed before the mini pupillage is undertaken.

Unfortunately, due to a high demand and limited spaces available, we are unlikely to offer all applicants a place.

How to apply:

- Applications for mini-pupillage should be made electronically with a curriculum vitae in Word form only addressed to the Pupillage and Mini-Pupillage Committee. Please send to ajenkinson@deanscourt.co.uk in the first instance.

- Applicants are expected to set out in their CVs: GCSE, AS and A-level (or equivalent) subjects and grades as well as their degree raw marks for each year of study in addition to degree classification;

- All applications must contain an academic referee together with contact details for the same including an email address;

- All successful applicants are required to bring photographic ID on the first day of mini-pupillage for security purposes;

- All data contained within applications is subject to Chambers’ GDPR compliance policy;

- If a candidate is unable to apply electronically, a written application may be addressed to The Pupillage Administrator at Deans Court Chambers, 24 St John Street, Manchester M3 4DF;

- Applicants are asked to identify their preference for Crime, Family or Civil; and we will try and provide court work in your preferred area, although, you will appreciate that this is subject to court fixtures, that are subject to change beyond our control.

Whilst every effort will be made to allocate a mini-pupil time with a Barrister in the specialty or specialities requested, candidates will be aware that there are Court cases which are not suitable for the attendance of mini-pupils. On most occasions, we will organise meeting the Barrister you will shadow in Chambers on the first morning of your mini-pupillage. There may be occasions when to provide the best experience possible, we will ask you to meet counsel at the court, which could be a distance from Chambers.

The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) supports ambitious young people from low-income backgrounds to access top universities and careers. They run programmes which are completely free of charge and feature mentoring, internships with top companies, application support, and professional development and skills workshops for high achieving young people across the UK. Deans Court Chambers is delighted to be working with the SMF to provide a mini-pupillage each term and ensure that the brightest and the best from all backgrounds gain a better understanding of a career at the bar.

We are also delighted to be offering places on the Bridging The Bar (BTB) Mini-Pupillage Scheme. As a partner Chambers to the scheme, we will be offering mini pupillage places to successful candidates from underrepresented backgrounds. For more information on the scheme and the work BTB do click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where will my mini-pupillage take place?

We are a Manchester based Chambers and, where possible, at least some of your mini pupillage will take place in Manchester however we also have chambers in Preston and undertake work all over the country so in order to give you the best possible experience of Chambers you may be asked to meet a barrister at a court centre outside of Manchester City Centre. 

How long will my mini-pupillage last?

Mini pupillages at Deans Court Chambers are for 2 days.

What sort of work will I see?

Where you have expressed a preference we will try and ensure that you see some work in your chosen field during your time with us. Depending upon the type of work which you wish to see you may be in court, in a conference in chambers or in discussion with a barrister who specialises in another area of law.

You should bear in mind that some of the cases which we deal with, particularly  in crime and family can have a distressing subject matter. If this is the case the barrister who you are with will explain this to you before the case starts.

If you have any areas of concern you should not hesitate to let us know immediately.

Whilst every effort will be made to allocate a mini-pupil time with a barrister in the specialty or specialities requested, candidates will be aware that there are court cases which are not suitable for the attendance of mini-pupils and, occasionally, there may not be a barrister available to take a mini-pupil until later in the day. 

Can I join in discussions about the case with the client or solicitor or help with advice?

In a word, no. The role of a mini-pupil is to observe only.

You will have a full opportunity to discuss the case with the barrister afterwards. The barrister who you are with will explain who you are and why you are there and will ask permission from the client, the other party and the court for you to be present. It is important to remember that for the client going to court can be extremely stressful particularly if they will be required to give evidence.

Who will my point of contact be?

Your points of contact will be Alex Jenkinson who will initially contact you re your mini pupillage, and Jade McDonnell who is the clerk in charge of arranging the placements. Jade will explain where you need to go and how to get there. It is useful to put our chambers website in your favourites so that you will be able to recognise the barrister who you will be with in case you need to meet them at court.

Should I do any preparation?

In order to get the most out of your mini pupillage you may wish to ask about the sort of cases you will be seeing and do some reading about them.

Previous mini-pupils have said that the best way to approach it is to immerse yourself in the day and listen carefully throughout. You may want to concentrate on the style of the advocacy, the application of the law to the facts, think about how the barrister you are with deals with their opponent, other professionals and court staff as well as the judge and take in the general atmosphere of the court. 

Can I talk to my friends and family about the cases I have seen?

Barristers are bound by very strict rules about confidentiality and you must not discuss confidential information with anyone other than the barrister who you are with. If in doubt ask them. You will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement  at the start of the mini pupillage. If you have taken notes which contain personal information they will need to be securely destroyed in chambers. 

What should I wear?

Court dress is formal. Most barristers choose to wear a dark suit (usually black, navy blue or dark grey) and a white or other light coloured shirt. Men wear ties. Women sometimes wear a black dress and jacket. A smart dark coloured trouser suit is also fine for women. During your mini pupillage you will be treated as if you were a chambers pupil in their first 6 months of training and you will be representing chambers.

Do I need to bring anything with me?

You should bring a notebook and pen. It is a good idea to make notes to remind yourself of any questions you may have later.

We want you to get maximum benefit from your mini pupillage experience. Making the most of your time with us by having a positive attitude, taking notes throughout and asking good questions at appropriate times will enable you to gain an insight into life at the Bar and what it entails. If you have any other questions please e-mail Alex or Jade and they will do their best to help. 

Feedback

If you have any comments regarding your experience, whether positive or negative, it is useful to know so that we can continue to provide the best possible experience. Any feedback can be sent to Alex Jenkinson at ajenkinson@deanscourt.co.uk.