Justice First Fellowship

St John’s Chambers is pleased to announce that we have been successful in our application to be one of the first ‘Host Chambers’ for the ‘Justice First Fellowship’.


The Legal Education Foundation set up the Justice First Fellowship in 2014 to support the next generation of lawyers who want to do publicly funded work and promote access to justice.  So far, the Fellowship has funded eighteen Fellows.  Up until now these have all been trainee solicitors but the Fellowship wants to extend the scheme to pupil barristers working in family law.

The Role

A 12-month pupillage at St John’s Chambers following completion of a 12-month period of employment with the Bar Pro Bono Unit. The pupillage will be with our family practice group with a focus on publicly funded work.

The purpose of Pupillage

  • Prepare for practice at the Bar.
  • Develop further the knowledge, skills and experience gained at the vocational stage of training.
  • Develop further proficiency as an advocate.
  • Develop the required professional and ethical approach to practice as a barrister, in accordance with the Code of Conduct.
  • Establish the skills of professional practice.
  • Gain experience in matters in which you are likely to be briefed during the early years of practice, and to build skills and experience that will enable you to handle more complex matters in the future.
  • Prepare you to take responsibility for your own professional development and practice.

Responsibilities and duties

  • Practise and develop skills of drafting and paperwork by preparing pleadings and other court documentation, advices and opinions.
  • Practise and develop legal research skills.
  • Observe a wide variety of court hearings, including but not limited to all stages of private law and public law cases (from first hearings and contested interim hearings to final hearings), injunction proceedings and/or DVPOs, other cases relating to children where available and appropriate (e.g. abduction, wardship, etc.) together with some exposure to financial work (to include financial remedy and TLATA hearings).
  • Observe conferences with your pupil supervisor, solicitors, lay clients and experts.
  • In relation to the practising period of pupillage, practise and develop advocacy skills whilst undertaking your own court practice.
  • Act appropriately on feedback provided by your supervisor and other members of Chambers.
  • Act appropriately in relation to assessment and appraisal of work.
  • Take steps to ensure that the required standards are met.
  • Work and behave in a professional manner and to the highest standards of the profession.
  • Behave at all times in accordance with professional ethics and conduct, in particular comply with the Code of Conduct for the Bar.
  • Preserve the confidentiality of every client’s affairs.
  • Ensure registration of pupillage with the Bar Standards Board prior to commencement.
  • Maintain a portfolio of work and a pupillage diary.
  • Complete and submit all relevant pupillage checklists, certificates and forms to the Bar Standards Board at the necessary times throughout pupillage.
  • Satisfactorily complete the compulsory pupillage advocacy training course.

Key Skills and Qualities

  • Educated to University degree level, in either law or non-law plus a valid legal qualification (e.g. CPE, PGDL).
  • Successful completion of the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) will be required before commencement of pupillage.
  • A member of one of the four Inns of Court.
  • Evidence of interest in, and commitment to, the success of St John’s Chambers.
  • Relevant experience of the legal services industry (in Chambers, solicitors’ firms or elsewhere) is desirable.
  • Understanding of and commitment to the values and ethos of St John’s Chambers.
  • Excellent communication both written and verbal, including the ability to persuasively defend a position in argument.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, in particular with solicitors, lay clients, all people within Chambers and other members of the Bar.
  • Able to deal sympathetically and appropriately with clients and to display empathy.
  • A genuine and demonstrable interest in family law.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Self-motivation, organisational skill, initiative and the ability to work effectively as part of a team.
  • Judgment and integrity.
  • A life and interests outside of the law.

When and how to apply

The closing date for all applications, which are to be made through the Justice First Fellowship website will be 4th May 2016. Interviews will take place in the coming months for the first Fellow who will start at St John’s Chambers in October 2017.

For more information and details on how to apply, please visit: Justice First Fellowship

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