Pupillage

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.

Pupillage Gateway

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 2017 is now open and closes on 4 May 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

Important information about changes to our recruitment timetable for pupillage commencing in September 2018

Blackstone Chambers is a member of the Pupillage Gateway and all pupillage applications are made through the Gateway.  However, Chambers has to make changes both to timing and some of its procedures arising out of changes to the Pupillage Gateway announced by the Bar Council.  Please read on for more information and if you have any queries please contact us at pupillage@blackstonechanbers.com

We place great reliance on the assessed mini pupillage process to allow candidates and Chambers to have a more in depth understanding of abilities and suitability for practice at the Bar.  We therefore require all candidates for pupillage to have undertaken an assessed mini pupillage in these Chambers before the final stage and interview for pupillage is undertaken. 

We understand the Gateway will open for pupillage applications from a date (yet to be announced) in early January 2017 and the recruitment process will be completed in late April 2017.  This represents a considerable shortening of the overall timetable and applicants should be alive to the time constraints under which both they and Chambers will have to operate.

The changes will have an impact on the timing of assessed mini pupillages at Blackstone as follows:

We will open our mini pupillage applications window between 1st September 2016 – 6th January 2017

We encourage all applicants for assessed mini pupillage to apply on line direct to Blackstone Chambers as early as possible after 1st September.  Any applicant will be required to forward at least 2 references (preferably academic) at the time of application.  Please note that references are vital and it is your responsibility as an applicant to ensure that they are sent directly to Chambers when you apply. We will not ourselves seek or chase up references if they are missing.

Any applicant for pupillage through the Gateway who has not already made an application for mini pupillage direct will be treated as an applicant for both mini pupillage and pupillage.  Again we will require anyone applying through the Gateway to forward references to us direct in order to try to reduce the time period between application and possible interview/mini pupillage.  As above, we will look to applicants to ensure references are supplied to us direct at the time of application.

Though we strongly recommend early applications for mini pupillage, it is a matter for candidates as to when they make their application.  We do recognise that GDL candidates may wish to make applications nearer the end of our mini pupillage applications window.  When doing so we would ask that they forward two references from their previous undergraduate/post-graduate studies.  

We shall be amending our online forms and detailed information well before September 2016 but if you have any queries now about these changes, please do contact us either on line or on +44 207 583 1770.

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.

The Finances

We currently offer a pupillage award of £65,000 for pupillage commencing in 2017. Pupils may apply to draw down up to £18,500 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. Our award may be reviewed during the currency of the application process.

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.

Events 2015

October 2015

  • 21st - City University Law Fair
  • 22nd - King's Law Fair (open to King's students only)
  • 28th - Olswang Business Experience Student Visit

November 2015

  • 7th - Oxford University Law Fair
  • 10th - St Dominic's Sixth Form Student Visit
  • 17th - UCL Law Fair
  • 17th - LSE Law Society Q&A session
  • 21st - The Bar Council Pupillage Fair
  • 24th - City University Q&A session with Brick Court (open to City students only)

January 2016

  • 19th - Cambridge University Barristers Event 
  • 26th - LSE Careers at the Bar
  • 29th - Becoming a Barrister in England -Trinity College,  Dublin 

February 2016

  • 25th - St Andrews University Law Society visit 

March 2016

  • 4 & 5th - LSE Featherstone Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Moot 
  • 5th - TARGETjobs Law National Pupillage Fair
  • 9th - Cambridge De Smith Moot 

Further information

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.

this leading set marries a standard of excellence with a laid-back environment 

Chambers Student Guide 2015