Stage 3 - Pupillage

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The Bar Council: Pupillage Application Dos and Don'ts

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In order to practise as barrister you must undertake a pupillage. This is a one year "apprenticeship" with a chambers or other approved organisation (e.g. Crown Prosecution Service, Government Legal Service).

Your pupillage year is split into two parts: a non-practising six months and a practising six months.

The first six months consist of shadowing one or more pupil supervisors and other members of chambers and usually involve undertaking legal research, drafting opinions and observing in court.

First six pupils must satisfactorily complete and pass the following training in order to receive a provisional practising certificate:

  • An Advocacy Training Course organised by the Inns of Court or Circuits
  • Practice Management Course organised by the Inns of Court


In addition, pupils can embark upon the Forensic Accounting Course. A minimum 20 hours should be completed by the end of the first three years of practice.

During the second six months, pupils will continue to shadow a Pupil Supervisor but will also be allowed to accept professional instructions. On satisfactory completion of the second six, pupils will receive a Full Qualification Certificate.