25 November 2017

Structure of pupillage

To practise as a barrister, all students must undertake a pupillage for a period of not less than twelve months and complete any further training prescribed by the BSB. Pupillage is divided into two six-month periods: the non-practising period and the practising period.
 

The non-practising period ('first six') 

 

During the non-practising period, pupils shadow their pupil supervisor. During the non-practising period pupils may not accept any instructions, except for noting briefs, where they have the permission of their pupil supervisor or head of chambers. During this time, pupils must also complete the Pupils Advocacy Course.

The non-practising period must be undertaken in a continuous period of six months in a Member State of the European Union, in an Approved Training Organisation.

Unless exempted from the requirements, chambers must pay each pupil a minimum of £1,000 per month.

At the end of the non-practising period, pupils must submit a certificate from their pupil supervisor certifying that the non-practising period has been satisfactorily completed. Provided that the pupil has completed the Pupils Advocacy Course, the BSB will grant a Provisional Qualification Certificate. 

 

The practising period ('second six')

 

During the practising period, pupils are entitled to supply legal services and exercise Rights of Audience provided that they have the permission of their pupil supervisor or head of chambers and have been issued with a Provisional Practising Certificate. During this time, pupils must also complete the Practice Management Course.

All or part of the practising period may be satisfied by the following forms of external training, provided that the prior approval of the BSB is obtained:

  • With a solicitor, judge or other suitably qualified lawyer who is not a registered pupil supervisor;
  • In an organisation which is not an approved Pupillage Training Organisation but which, in the opinion of the BSB, provides suitable training and experience.

The practising period must commence no later than 12 months after the completion of the non-practising period. It must be undertaken in a continuous period of no more than nine months .

Unless exempted from the requirements, chambers must pay each pupil a minimum of £1,000 per month, either by way of an award or guaranteed receipts. If chambers pay the pupil by way of guaranteed receipts, then the pupil must receive no less than £1,000 each month. This means that chambers may have to make up any difference between what the pupil has billed and what chambers actually received.

At the end of the practising period, pupils must submit a certificate from their pupil supervisor certifying that the practising period has been satisfactorily completed. Provided that the Practice Management Course has also been completed, the BSB will grant the pupil a Full Qualification Certificate.

Upon completion of pupillage, pupils must apply for a Full Practising Certificate in order to commence practise as a barrister.