Temple Garden Chambers is committed to providing excellent training for the barristers of the future. We recognise that the continued success of the Bar and our Set of Chambers depends upon the people we recruit and how we prepare them for taking on their own practice. It is with this in mind that we currently offer two fully-funded 12-month pupillages each year.
This page contains further information about pupillage at Temple Garden Chambers. To navigate to a particular section, please use the following links:
Why choose Temple Garden Chambers?
The pupillage award
The pupillage structure
What you will do
What are we looking for?
The next step – selection for tenancy
Early years of practice
Third six pupillage
Equality and diversity
Temple Garden Chambers is a leading civil law set with expertise in a number of different fields, as reflected in our repeated recognition in leading directories, such as Chambers UK and the Legal 500.
We recognise that in order to maintain our position at the forefront of our practice areas, we need to invest in our potential future tenants. With the majority of our junior tenants being former pupils, our pupillage process is central to Chambers’ development. We are dedicated to providing high quality training and support, not just to our pupils, but also to junior tenants.
We expect a lot from our pupils, who need to be quick to respond to feedback, learn new skills and develop into competent practitioners. In return we offer a structured pupillage year under the guidance of senior Pupil Supervisors, and can guarantee our pupils exposure to a wide variety of work.
We also consider ourselves to be a friendly set, where pupils are encouraged to take part in the wider life of Chambers and mix with colleagues.
Though our premises are at the heart of the historic Temple, our buildings have undergone a major programme of refurbishment to ensure we can operate in the modern technological world. Alongside well appointed reception and conference facilities, Chambers benefits from excellent integrated IT and communications services.
Perhaps most importantly, we have a first-rate clerking and staff support team, who will assist you to develop your practice through the early years of tenancy and beyond.
We also place a particular focus on wellbeing of our pupils, tenants and staff. Chambers has a dedicated Wellbeing Committee and is proud to have been awarded a Certificate of Recognition by Wellbeing At the Bar. We also operate a mentoring scheme within Chambers.
The total value of the October 2023 pupillage award for each pupil is £57,500, comprised of a £35,000 tax-free grant, paid in equal instalments over the first six months, and guaranteed earnings of £22,500 in the second six months (although you may well earn more than that). We also offer the opportunity for our pupils to draw down up to £5,000 of the grant during their Bar Professional Training Course year if required.
Chambers also covers the cost of all of the compulsory courses that you are required to complete during the pupillage year.
We want to offer you the opportunity to experience as broad a range of Chambers’ work as possible during pupillage, and so each pupil usually has three Pupil Supervisors over the year. During the first, non-practising six months, pupils will be placed with two separate Pupil Supervisors for a period of three months each. The second six months are spent with a further Pupil Supervisor, whose work you will see alongside beginning to develop your own practice, with our support.
By structuring the pupillage year in this way, all three Pupil Supervisors will have spent a similar amount of time with their pupil(s) before the tenancy decision is taken in July. It also allows pupils to develop a good relationship with their final Pupil Supervisor, even when they are busy with their own workload. Our past pupils have valued beginning their tenancies knowing that they have at least three more senior practitioners to turn to for guidance and assistance (though you can expect junior Members of Chambers to help with any questions you may have as you begin your career at the Bar).
As well as undertaking work for your Pupil Supervisor, you may on occasion be asked by other members of Chambers to complete some work. This is encouraged, and exposure to other barristers’ practices is good preparation for the early years of tenancy, but you will not be asked to do any work that does not assist your own personal development.
In the first six months of pupillage you will work alongside your Pupil Supervisors, becoming involved in whatever work they are doing. This does not mean that you will be providing administrative support. You may well be researching an important point of law, preparing a skeleton argument or pleading, drafting an advice, or attending court and conferences. Your Pupil Supervisor will take time to go through your work with you and offer constructive written and verbal feedback on how you can improve.
You are not expected to be perfect, you will be expected to learn quickly and take on board the advice of your Pupil Supervisors. You will also be given the opportunity to go to court with more junior barristers to gain some relevant experience in preparation for taking on your own cases in the second six months.
During the second six months you will begin your own practice, both in the courts, and undertaking your own paperwork for the first time. We encourage you to start developing your own court practice in preparation for tenancy and consider it important for you to develop your skills as an effective advocate. Our second six pupils are typically in court in their own right three times a week. We generally like to keep pupils with their own supervisors for at least two days per week to ensure they have enough time to engage with their final supervisor’s work.
Pupils will also complete formal assessments during the pupillage year (see below for more information).
Chambers only accepts applications for 12-month pupillages through the online Pupillage Gateway (www.PupillageGateway.com). Full details of how to apply and the latest application deadlines can be found on that website.
Due to the challenging nature of the work, applicants are generally expected to have an upper second-class degree or better, which need not be in law.
Once the application deadline has passed, we consider all candidates and shortlist for first round interviews. We generally invite around 25% of applicants to first interview.
Following the first round interviews, we create a further shortlist of candidates to return for a second round interview. Both stages of interview are usually with a panel of 3-5 barristers. We do not require candidates to undertake a formal assessment exercise prior to interview. However, if you make it to the second round interview you will normally be asked to arrive early in order to prepare an answer to a problem question.
Following completion of the interviews, we decide which candidates meet our criteria for an offer of pupillage and then rank them. The top two candidates will be offered pupillage.
In addition to its advertised pupillages, Chambers may be willing to consider applications for pupillage from candidates who are fully exempted from the vocational stage of training. Such applicants may not be required to complete a full (12 month) period of pupillage, and the usual requirements as to advertising and funding of pupillages may not apply.
Applications will be considered on their merits, and will be subject to the specific requirements of Chambers at the time. Such applicants should contact Chambers in the first instance by email with a covering letter and CV to our Administrator, Gaye Spencer-King (firstname.lastname@example.org). Chambers usually prefers to consider such applications at the same time as applications received through the Gateway system and using the same application form.
We undertake a fair and balanced assessment of all prospective pupils at each stage of the recruitment process. Members of Chambers carefully assess pupillage application forms, and short-listing decisions are made according to the consensus of the interview panel. Our aim is to recruit pupils who we hope will, by July in the pupillage year, meet the standards that are applied in the tenancy selection process (see below). It is therefore helpful to demonstrate your potential in these areas as far as possible in your pupillage application.
We also look for evidence that candidates’ areas of interest will fit well with the type of work that they can expect to focus on in second six and in the early years of tenancy, which is likely to be primarily common law.
During the pupillage year, pupils will complete two formal written assessments and two advocacy assessments. Each of a pupil’s three Pupil Supervisors presents a written report of the pupil’s performance and, following discussion with the pupil, submits representative samples of their work. This evidence is considered by the Pupillage Committee, who will make recommendations on the recruitment of tenants to Chambers as a whole. The final step in the recruitment process is a vote by Members of Chambers, with a simple majority required in favour.
It is our normal practice to recruit junior tenants from those who have undertaken pupillage in Chambers, and we have a very good record of offering tenancies to our pupils. We only recruit pupils that we believe have the potential to meet the selection criteria for tenancy, and limit our pupillage intake to our need for junior tenants. When selecting tenants, we look for evidence of ability in the following areas:
During the pupillage year, pupils will complete two formal written assessments. Each of a pupil’s three Pupil Supervisors presents a written report of the pupil’s performance and, following discussion with the pupil, submits representative samples of their work. This evidence is considered by the Pupillage Committee, who will make recommendations on the recruitment of tenants to Chambers as a whole. The final step in the recruitment process is a vote by Members of Chambers, with a simple majority required in favour.
We recognise that whilst securing tenancy is a great achievement, it is just the start of your career at the Bar. We are therefore particularly keen to support you and your practice in the first few years as a junior tenant. One of the key ways we do this is by offering a very favourable rent structure for the first years of practice.
We also work to ensure that you are receiving a fair allocation of Chambers’ work and that you are supported in the development of a practice focusing on your preferred areas of work. New tenants are likely to be very well paid from their first months of practice and will accumulate experience of a broad range of common law work. Recent significant cases in which new tenants have been involved include the Grenfell Inquiry and the Infected Blood Inquiry.
It is not Chambers’ usual practice to offer third six pupillages, either to existing pupils, or those looking to move from other sets. If Chambers is actively seeking to recruit third six pupils, vacancies will normally be advertised on the Bar Council’s third six pupillage vacancies page.
If you have to leave us at the end of pupillage, you will normally be able to stay on after October and practice for a reasonable period until you are able to find a position elsewhere (called ‘squatting’). Of the few pupils we have not taken on over recent years, each has found a tenancy elsewhere at the Bar with other sets of chambers.
We believe that the profession should be representative of society as a whole. We are committed to improving access to the Bar for those from non-traditional backgrounds and increasing the representation of under-represented groups. Temple Garden Chambers is committed to promoting equality and diversity within Chambers and at the Bar. We take a proactive approach going beyond our obligations under the Equality and Diversity Rules of the BSB Handbook.
Chambers takes its commitment to equality and diversity very seriously and all recruitment decisions are made in accordance with our Equality and Diversity policy. In relation to pupillage applications:
We foster an open, friendly and supportive environment both during pupillage and beyond. Specifically, we have a designated ‘Pupil Contact’ – this is a member of Chambers who acts as a support mechanism for pupils and, through whom, they can raise any issues or concerns in confidence.
Temple Garden Chambers is committed to supporting its members throughout their careers and has implemented the following measures:
Chambers is committed to promoting equality and diversity within the legal profession, and will make all reasonable adjustments to accommodate candidates. The main building, which includes the reception, the clerks’ room and all the conference rooms, is accessible by wheel-chair users, and arrangements can be put in place for use of fully accessible toilets within Temple.
If you have any particular concerns or requirements about access of any sort, please contact Gaye Spencer-King.