We pride ourselves on our investment in our pupils. They are the barristers in whom Chambers' future resides; our selection procedure is rigorous but fair.
The Chambers Student Guide 2015 says "Blackstone works on some fascinating commercial and public law cases and attracts a diverse array of pupils." "Blackstone runs a slick operation … home to public law superstars like Dinah Rose QC, chambers boasts a sky-high reputation in the field and is up there with the best in many others. Along with its administrative and public law and its civil liberties and human rights practices, Blackstone scores top-tier Chambers UK rankings for its employment, financial services, fraud, sport, telecoms and media and entertainment work. A number of other areas – among them competition, environment and immigration – follow closely behind in the charts."
Please note that mini pupillages are a vital part of our applications process. Accordingly, no pupillage will be offered at Blackstone Chambers unless the applicant has undertaken an assessed mini pupillage.
Blackstone Chambers is a member of Pupillage Gateway – the online pupillage application scheme promoted by our professional body, the Bar Council. Any applications for pupillage at Blackstone Chambers must be made to us via Pupillage Gateway.
The Pupillage Gateway applications window for pupillage commencing in 2016 is now closed. The applications window for 2017 applications will open in April 2016.
More information about the application process can be found in our pupillage guide, which can be downloaded from this page. Full details of the Pupillage Gateway scheme can be obtained from the Bar Council website.
Potential applicants who do not fall within the Pupillage Gateway criteria should contact Julia Hornor, our Chambers Director, for further information. In any event any application by such an applicant should follow the format of our mini pupillage application form, which can be downloaded from the mini pupillage section of this site.
Pupillage at Blackstone Chambers
We believe that pupils should be involved in every aspect of their pupil supervisor’s work. We give our pupils a rounded overview of a barrister’s role, and equip them for the legal and practical challenges they will face in practice.
As a pupil at Blackstone Chambers, you will have four pupil supervisors through the year. Pupil supervisors are chosen to ensure that each pupil gets a solid grounding in the three core areas of Chambers’ work – commercial, employment, and public law. Beyond that core, you will experience your supervisors’ particular areas of expertise. In recent years, for example, supervisors have been experts in areas including competition law, immigration law, and financial regulation.
Pupillage at Blackstone Chambers is very much a hands-on experience. From your first day with your supervisor you will get stuck into whatever cases your supervisor is instructed on at that moment. The typical work involves doing first drafts of the documents which your pupil supervisor is working on. You will therefore develop a wide experience of drafting pleadings and other court documents, writing skeleton arguments and compiling written advices. You may also be asked to do a first draft of questions to be used in a cross examination, or to prepare opening or closing submissions.
You will also be involved in every step of the advisory and litigation process. Pupils attend conferences with clients, listen in on phone conversations where appropriate, and are encouraged to discuss the strategic, procedural and ethical elements of cases with their supervisors.
The emphasis which we place on the close working relationship between pupil and supervisor means that pupils do not do any additional work for other members of Chambers. You will be able to focus entirely on the cases which you are involved in on a day-to-day basis.
Because Blackstone pupils are exposed to such a wide range of legal areas, the whole year is non-practising, which means that pupils do not do any of their own work during pupillage. On the other hand, we strongly encourage our pupils to take on pro bono cases with FRU or other charities, and we will provide support and ensure that you have the time you need to dedicate to pro bono work.
We currently offer a pupillage award of £60,000 for pupillage commencing in 2014. Pupils may apply to draw down up to £17,000 during their BPTC year. These figures are not affected if, like many of our pupils, you are successful in obtaining further financial assistance from your Inn.
Law Fairs & Events
Over the past twelve months we have been involved in an exciting range of events. As well as attending law fairs we have increased links with a number of universities and have spoken at careers based events aiming to assist those thinking of a career at the Bar. In addition to this we have supported charities and pro bono groups in various ways, aiming to reach out to those who have more limited access to information regarding the Bar.
Over the next twelve months we are looking to increase awareness about the Bar to people of all ages and backgrounds through participation in a number of events. In addition to this we will maintain relationships with existing organisations and universities.
- Cambridge De Smith Moot
- National Pupillage Fair
- Exeter University Students Visit Chambers
- QM Essay Competition and Drinks Reception
- UCL Merged Human Rights Careers Event
- UCL Barristers’ Cocktail Party
We have produced a general “Pupillage Guide” which will, we hope, provide you with answers to many of the questions you may have about pupillage at Blackstone Chambers. This can be downloaded here.