Chambers offers up to two funded, 12-month pupillages each year. Pupillages commence in September/October and, during the year, pupils spend time with at least three pupil supervisors, experiencing a range of the work undertaken in Chambers.

Structure of pupillage

The current Director of Pupil Training is Jonathan Manning. Pupils will be appointed a pupillage coordinator, who will have overall responsibility for the structure and coordination of their pupillage.

Pupil supervisors will be allocated, in consultation with the pupillage coordinator, over the course of the year.  We aim to provide every pupil with experience of Chambers’ major areas of work. In their first six months, pupils work with their pupil supervisor(s) (and possibly other members of Chambers). In their second six, they continue to work with their supervisor(s) but will also undertake their own work, including court work.


In 2017, Arden Chambers will only accept applications for pupillage submitted on its own form (click here for our form) for pupillage commencing September/October 2018. The deadline for applications is 4pm on 28 February 2017 and applications must have been received by that time in order to be considered.

Completed application forms should be emailed to pupillage@ardenchambers.com (with the subject heading “Pupillage Application”).

Assessment process

All applications received are normally considered by three members of Chambers (at least two of whom are on the Pupillage Committee).  The current selection process consists of the following:-

Round 1 – Paper applications

Application forms are considered, after which successful applicants are invited for an interview.  We reserve the right to deduct marks from candidates who exceed the word count as stated within the application form or who give inaccurate word totals or, in serious cases, to disqualify such an applicant.

Round 2 – Interview 1

The first round interview usually lasts approximately 15 minutes.  Applicants will be expected to perform an advocacy exercise, which will be provided to them 30 minutes before the interview: applicants should bring a pen and paper.  The exercise will not require specialist legal knowledge.

In 2017 it is envisaged that the first round interviews will take place on 23-24 March 2017, (although this may be subject to change).

Round 3 – Written work and time in Chambers

Applicants who are being considered for a second round interview may be asked to spend 2-3 days in Chambers and to complete a written exercise

Round 4 – Interview 2 and written work

Applicants who are invited to a second round interview will be given a legal problem and may be asked to prepare in advance (and hand in at the interview) a written answer (of no more than 1,000 words).  This answer will be considered as part of the assessment process.

The second round interview usually lasts approximately 30 minutes. Applicants will be expected to discuss a legal problem, which will be provided to them 30 minutes before the interview (no indication as to the nature of the exercise will be provided prior to this): applicants should bring a pen and paper.  The exercise will require legal knowledge but no more than that which is to be expected of applicants at this stage of their legal career, and not knowledge of Chambers’ specialist areas.

In 2017 it is envisaged that the second round interviews will take place on 13 April 2017 (although this may be subject to change).

Offers of pupillage will be made directly to successful applicants.  Offers are conditional on the applicant having passed the necessary vocational course and being able, in all respects, to take up the offer by the commencement date (unless, in advance, Chambers has agreed to defer the commencement of pupillage).

Selection Criteria

Our selection criteria are:

  • Intellectual Ability – we will have regard to the application form, the interview(s) (including the advocacy exercise/legal problem(s)), and the written work/problem(s)
  • Writing Skills – we will have regard to the application form and the written work/problem(s)
  • Oral Advocacy Skills – we will have regard to the advocacy exercise/legal problem(s)
  • Resilience – we will have regard to the interview(s) (including the advocacy exercise and legal problem(s))
  • Commitment to the Bar – we will have regard to the application form and the interview
  • Interest in our areas – we will have regard to the application form, the interview(s) (including the advocacy exercise/legal problems) and the written work/problem.

The criteria are each scored from 1 to 5. The aggregated scores will be used to select those to be invited for interview.


In addition to the above, to be eligible for selection for interview, candidates on the paper sift must not, on an average of the selectors’ scores:

(i) score less than 3 in the intellectual ability competence;
(ii) score less than 2 in any competence;
(ii) score less than 3 in more than 2 competences.


Due to the number of applications we receive, we are unable to provide feedback for those who are not invited to an interview.  Feedback for unsuccessful interviewees will be provided but only upon receipt of a request by email to pupillage@ardenchambers.com marked “Request for Feedback”.

Pupillage award

Chambers currently offers £10,000 for each six months period of pupillage.  These payments are made in lieu of payment for individual pieces of work. They are paid monthly in arrears. In the first six months, the payments are by way of an award. In the second six months, the payments operate as a guaranteed income. The pupil will receive six payments but the amount of the payments will vary to take account of fees received on work undertaken on the pupil’s own account, as follows. Chambers will deduct from the following months’ payments fees (net of clerking charges) received during the previous month, up to an overall limit of £10,000. Once that limit has been reached, no further deductions will be made.  The rate of clerking charges currently applicable is 20%.

Tenancy applications at the end of pupillage

As part of our tenancy application process, pupils are normally asked to do one piece of assessed written work and one advocacy exercise.

Feedback on work done during pupillage is sought from all members of Chambers, in addition to that provided by pupil supervisors.