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Pupillage

Why Coram Chambers?

At Coram we are very proud of our pupillage system. We are a leading family law set and have traditionally recruited our junior tenants from our pupils. We see pupillage as vitally important, not only for our pupils and for chambers, but also in supporting the future of the Bar as a whole.

A pupil at Coram will have three seats, each of four months. Those three seats will cover children law (public, private and international) and financial remedies, including TOLATA 1996. Each pupil will have at least one specific children law seat and one specific finance seat. Over the course of the year pupils will also be exposed to other areas for which Coram is well known (including surrogacy / alternative families, deprivation of liberty, and the interaction of ECHR and domestic law). This ensures that pupils gain valuable knowledge and experience of leading cases, high profile and sensitive work, with complicated legal and factual issues. These cases are often at the very forefront of legal developments.

Pupils receive practical and theoretical training from pupil supervisors who come from a wide range of backgrounds and seniority, reflecting our staunch commitment to promoting diversity from within at all stages of the recruitment process. We have designed an informal advocacy and written assessments scheme to take place throughout the year, preparing pupils before they ‘get on their feet’.

Pupils at Coram are not expected to work beyond normal office hours or at the weekends. Additionally, they receive the benefit of a mentoring scheme which ensures that legal, practical and pastoral issues or concerns can be raised and addressed appropriately. We will always ensure that our pupils are supported; and the ethos of chambers as an approachable and friendly set ensures that this is a reality.

Members of chambers frequently give lectures and write both articles and books. Pupils are encouraged and supported to participate and to undertake speaking or writing commitments of their own.

 

Pupillages Offered and the Pupillage Award

Each year, we offer two fully funded 12-month specialist family law pupillages with a first-six award of £22,500 that can be taken tax free. In addition, we guarantee pupils’ second-six earnings of £12,500, which is likely in large part also to be tax free. Pupils are entitled to retain any receipts above this. On commencing tenancy in chambers, your earnings are likely to increase significantly and quickly.

 

The Application Process

We are not part of the Pupillage Gateway, but we follow the Pupillage Gateway timetable, which is available here: https://www.pupillagegateway.com/applicant-home/timetable/

At all stages of the process we shall make reasonable adjustments for any candidate who requires them.

 

The Written Application

Applications for pupillages should be made in the application form available from this page. We ask candidates to complete also the equality and diversity monitoring form, which is available from this page (candidates are not obliged to do so – in the event that you do not wish to complete it, we ask that you please attach a blank form with your application). We ask candidates not to submit a CV or covering letter with the application form as these will be disregarded.

We ask that completed and signed application forms be saved as a PDF document in the following format: ‘Coram Pupillage Application 2020 – FULL NAME’. We ask that completed Application Form (together with the Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form) be sent to Ginny Wilson at ginny.wilson@coramchambers.co.uk with the subject heading ‘Coram Pupillage Application 2020 – FULL NAME’.

Applications submitted after 11am on 7 February 2019 are not accepted.

Once received, your application form will be anonymised and marked twice, by two members of chambers of different seniority and practices. Where required, forms will be third marked. The criteria that we look for are: academic achievement, intellectual aptitude, work experience including an understanding of how such experience equips candidates with the skills necessary for life at the Bar, reasons given for applying to chambers and the answers given to a short essay question. Each answer or box on the form attracts a set number of marks. Save for exceptional circumstances, candidates who did not obtain at least a 2:1 at undergraduate level will not be considered.

The top (approximately) 14 candidates will be invited to interview.

 

The Interview

We hold one round of pupillage interviews. The interviews will take place on Saturday 27 April 2019. Invitations to interview will be sent out in early March 2019.

The interview structure is the same for every candidate. You are asked to arrive a little in advance and are given some legal documents to look at. You will be interviewed by five members of chambers of different seniority and practices. During the interview we will ask you a warm-up question that is not assessed, before asking you a number of formal, assessed questions. Each question is likely to have follow-up questions that may be challenging.

The two successful candidates will be notified in accordance with the Pupillage Gateway timetable.

If you have any other questions about pupillage or life at Coram please do get in touch by emailing ginny.wilson@coramchambers.co.uk.

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