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Pupillage training

Pupillage is a year of on-the-job training that is undertaken after the BPTC. For the first six months, a pupil barrister joins a chambers and jobshadows a qualified barrister. In the next six months, a pupil barrister may undertake their own work.

Pupillages open for applications in advance so those studying law should start researching pupillages in their second year and non-law graduates should start their research during their final year.

The majority of barristers are self-employed, however graduate schemes do exist. Employers such as the Government Legal Service (GLS), the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and armed forces legal services run schemes where pupil barristers can undergo their BPTC training and pupillage.

Researching pupillages

Most pupillages are advertised online via the Pupillage Gateway, though some chambers will advertise independently. The Pupillage Gateway has one application season every year. Pupillages can be viewed from December and applications open in January for just a few weeks.

These sites may advertise pupillages from chambers that do not advertise on the Pupillage Gateway:

Tips on applying for pupillages

Preparing for pupillage interviews

Demonstrating commercial awareness

Commercial awareness means staying up-to-date on daily happenings and developments in the business and commercial world. As law often revolves around business and commerce, it's important to be commercially aware.

Employers will expect you to be able to demonstrate commercial awareness.