Pupillage

I saw the quality of work that even junior members were receiving, the level of guidance and support offered to pupils, and the collegiate, friendly manner in which Chambers operates.”

Current Pupil

For detailed information about our application and pupillage process, take a look at our pupillage policy: here.

If you are looking for a first class specialised pupillage that will give you the best possible springboard for your career at the Bar, St John’s Chambers is the set for you.

We are one of the largest and most prestigious barristers’ chambers in the South West, with 8 silks and over 80 juniors attracting high-quality work on a regional and national basis, covering commercial, real estate, personal injury, clinical negligence, family & divorce, wills & trusts, public & administrative law, and employment matters. The Legal 500 ranks us as a Top Tier set, describes us as a ‘Western Circuit Powerhouse’ and made us ‘Regional Set of the Year 2018’. Chambers & Partners UK consistently ranks us in Band 1 for our main practice areas and we are a top ranked set. We were shortlisted for ‘Regional Set of the Year’ in the Chambers UK Bar Awards 2020.

We are a “go-to” chambers for legal advice outside of London, and receive high-level complex instructions from law firms across the UK, multi-national businesses, high net-worth individuals and people from all walks of life.

We were founded just over 40 years ago by barristers who wanted to do things differently.  We have a modern and progressive approach, with barristers, clerks and management working together as the driving force behind our success. Recently, we have been nominated at the Legal Cheek Awards for ‘Best Chambers for Colleague Supportiveness’ and ‘Best Chambers for Work-Life Balance’.  We continue to invest in our people to ensure we deliver the highest standards of service for our clients, and our open and collegiate culture promotes an inclusive and supportive work environment, allowing pupils to fulfil their potential and enjoy long and successful careers.

Our pupillage programme:

Each year the Pupillage Committee, with the Heads of each Practice Group, defines the pupillage requirements for the following year. As a pupil at St. John’s Chambers, your pupillage will cover all necessary aspects of your specialist area(s).

What you can expect:

  • a well structured pupillage;
  • to carry out research for your pupil supervisor and other members of Chambers;
  • to prepare pleadings, advices and opinions;
  • to attend conferences with your pupil supervisor, the instructing solicitor, lay clients and experts;
  • to accompany your pupil supervisor and other members of Chambers to court in order to gain experience and a working knowledge of the court system;
  • to receive regular feedback on your work;
  • in your 2nd Six you will build on the first 6-months’ experience as well as being busy in court.

What we look for in a pupil:

We look to recruit high-calibre candidates who demonstrate that they can analyse information quickly in order to present their arguments succinctly and persuasively. Successful candidates will typically have strong academic credentials.  We have no preference as to whether your undergraduate degree is in law or whether you have undertaken a valid transfer qualification.  Relevant experience such as public speaking or mooting and/or legal work experience is desirable but not essential.  A strong commitment to a successful and demanding career is essential, as is the ability to adapt and manage change and a desire to excel.

We generally expect our pupils to specialise within one practice group.  Recruitment for 2022 (now closed) focused on chancery & commercial, family, and personal injury/clinical negligence.

We are committed to recruiting new tenants from our pupils whenever possible. Accordingly, we offer pupillage to those who we hope and expect will become tenants.  Of course there can be no guarantees, but in the majority of cases a successful pupillage will lead to an offer of tenancy.

Funding

We will offer 3 funded pupillages for pupils starting in 2022 with awards of £40,000 in the first 12 months. This means that Chambers will guarantee an income of  £3,333 per month for the 12-month period of pupillage. This is subject to a clawback to the extent of any fees actually received during the second six months of pupillage.

When and how to apply:

We do not accept applications through the Pupillage Gateway but our timetable is in line with the Bar Council pupillage website.  Applications for 2022 are now closed. Should you have any general enquiries about pupillage, please contact our Office Manager, Isabelle Mills on 0117 923 4717 or email: [email protected]

Part-time pupillage

We are also willing to offer part-time pupillages.  Please get in touch with us as above if this applies to you.