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Pupillage

 

9 KBW is offering three twelve month funded pupillages from 0ctober 2023

PUPIILLGE AWARD

 Guaranteed minimum earnings of £21,000 per annum, paid monthly, but anticipated to be substantially more than the minimum in second six. Full details are set out below./

APPLICATION PROCESS

Please scroll to the bottom of the page to download the Application Form, an Equality and Diversity monitoring form and a copy of our Pupillage Policy

PUPILLAGE AT 9 KBW; WHAT WE OFFER

9 King's Bench Walk is a progressive, inclusive and highly pro-active set, working mainly in Crime, for both defence and prosecution, and in Regulatory work. We have a very experienced Management and Clerking team, who work closely with every member, probationary tenant and pupil to ensure that they receive a first class, skilled, successful and supportive service at all times.

9KBW is offering three funded criminal pupillages commencing in October 2023. Funding is a mixture of an award during first six and guaranteed earnings during second six, full details of which are set out below.

Chambers is currently awaiting assessment to be approved as an Authorised Training and Education Provider (AETO), but we already adhere to the rules, principles and guidance from the BSB that an authorised AETO works to. The process that we have worked through, in order to make an application for authorisation, ensures that we do offer the highest standards of training and opportunity to those we give pupillage to and we expect high standards in return. At the same time, we are an inclusive, friendly supportive set where we endeavour at all times to make our pupils feel valued and part of the 9 KBW Team.

Our Training Plan for pupils is extensive, so that pupils receive a wide ranging and comprehensive pupillage, designed to meet the competences and standards set by the BSB in the Professional Statement for Barristers, and to enable the best opportunity for successful qualification by each pupil at the end of the 12 month period.

Although we are predominantly a Criminal set, we also have experienced practitioners in Regulatory, Immigration and Extradition Law, who will be able to advise and guide pupils who wish to broaden their areas of specialisation. 

We intend to recruit those pupils who we think have what it takes to become 9KBW tenants and we provide a wide and inclusive experience with that aim firmly in mind. 

9 KBW will offer applicants the opportunity to gain wide experience of life at the Bar generally and to master skills that will enable them to develop a first class practice, in not only their preferred areas of law, but also in other areas that they may not previously have considered. 

We welcome and encourage applications from those in groups that may currently be under-represented at the Bar and particularly welcome those for whom the Bar, or law in any area, may not be their first career.

Hard work, commitment and dedication are what we expect and are what we will reward. Candidates should be willing to work hard, show a commitment to criminal law, be prepared to consider other specialisms, have a passion and flair for advocacy as well as good interpersonal skills, and be articulate, persuasive and clear. We do not discriminate between those with law degrees and those with non-law degrees, and so we encourage applications from those who are coming to the Bar at a later stage in their careers. We also welcome pupillage applications from transferring solicitors, or qualified legal practitioners (including those from other relevant jurisdictions). Our members come from a wide variety of socio-economic and educational backgrounds and we are proud of our history in that regard and are keen to make that our continued aim in the future.

While we have no absolute requirement as to class of degree, a high standard (generally no less than a 2:1) is usually expected unless there are mitigating circumstances. Should that be the case those circumstances should be set out in your application form.

During second six every pupil will be kept very busy in court, doing cases for both the defence and the prosecution, in the Magistrates' Courts every day, as well as gaining extensive experience in Crown Court hearings. 

There will also be opportunities to undertake Regulatory work and to observe those practising in Immigration and Extradition.

SELECTION CRITERIA

The criteria for selection for pupillage is whether the candidate has demonstrated the necessary skills and commitment to be a pupil at 9KBW.

Chambers will have regard to the candidate’s abilities and performance during the application process, including two interviews, an advocacy and a written exercise, in line with the following criteria:

  • Oral Communication and Advocacy Skills.
  • Written Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Commitment to a career at the Bar
  • Academic achievement
  • Non-academic skills and achievements 

SELECTION PROCEDURE

Chambers selection procedure for pupils is as follows:

  • On receipt of all written applications for pupillage Chambers Managing Consultant will forward each to administrative support for acknowledgment 
  • Chambers Managing Consultant selects three or four teams comprised of members of the Tenancy and Pupillage Committee (the number of teams is dependent upon the number of applications received) and forwards an equal number of applications to each team. 
  • Each team selects up to eight candidates from their batch of applicants who they feel meet Chambers selection criteria. More may be selected if applications are of an exceptionally high standard
  • Those candidates selected are invited for interview  by admin support.
  • At interview, (or interview via Zoom if candidates are interviewed remotely) each candidate is given or sent a copy of an advocacy exercise and allowed 10 minutes to prepare. If Reasonable Adjustments are required, additional time will be allowed
  • On completion of the advocacy exercise each candidate then spends up to 30 minutes answering questions from the panel, one of which is law based.
  • Following completion of all first round interviews, up to 12 candidates will be invited for second round interviews (the panel have discretion to invite more or less than that number)
  • Those selected for a second round interview will be sent a written exercise with a deadline for completion of at least two days prior to date of the second round interviews. Each candidate will be given the same deadline.
  • On return of the completed written exercise from the candidates, the selection teams will score the written work in accordance with an agreed criteria and scoring system.
  • At the second round interviews, candidates will be questioned on the merits and skill of their written application, followed by a round of general questions. 
  • On the day of the second round interview and not more than 10 minutes prior to the start of the interview, the candidates are given a topic upon which they will be asked to advocate for a period of two minutes during the course of the interview.
  • The Pupillage Committee will determine which candidates most clearly meet the criteria and standards for a 9KBW pupillage and make offers to the top three candidates accordingly. Offers may be made to more or less than three candidates; more if the panel takes the view that the standard of applicants is exceptionally high or less if the panel feels that they have not seen three candidates that fully meet the standards set by the panel.
  • Should any candidate not accept Chambers offer, offers will then be made to the candidates who were placed behind them in terms of meeting the criteria.
  • The Pupillage Committee will make pupillage offers via e mail and in strict accordance with the Gateway Timetable.
  • Chambers will keep written records of each step set out above

FUNDING

The pupillage award for those starting pupillage in October 2023 is £21,000 minimum funding for 12 months currently, (but may be increased in line with any BSB requirement for guaranteed funding). 

During the first six months pupils will receive a non-refundable grant of £10,500 payable monthly. During the second six months pupils will also receive the £10,500 guaranteed income payable monthly, but this will be either partially or fully refundable from fees received during the second six months of pupillage This is calculated on a month by month basis so that fees received will only be recoverable against the award in the month in which they are received. A contribution towards Chambers expenses is payable on fees received over and above the award level. This stands at 12% of fees received above the award, exclusive of VAT and expenses. We know from experience that all pupils can expect to earn considerably more than the minimum funding during their second six.

Chambers will pay the cost of travel expenses during the non-practising 6 months for zones 1-6.and Chambers will also meet travel expenses where pupils in their first six accompany their Pupil Supervisors to courts or venues outside of the specified travel zones. Where requested, travel expenses can be paid in advance. Chambers will also meet the costs of any mandatory training, as well as the cost of any training that supervisors may designate as necessary.

As we realise that there can be a number of personal expenses that those new to the Bar must pay for as they start out, we offer a loan to pupils, prior to their start date, to allow for the purchase of an item of essential equipment such as court dress, IT equipment, a mobile phone, lockable case, or essential security software.

Chambers pupils are encouraged to apply for and are supported in applications for additional funding from other supportive bodies. In earlier years our pupils have applied, with letters of reference from Chambers and were successful in obtaining funding.

PUPILLAGE TRAINING

A 9KBW Pupillage comprises four periods of 3 months, with four different designated Pupil Supervisors, who will be responsible for overall assessment and reporting. We believe that rotating supervisors in this way gives our pupils the widest possible experience of different types of work and advocacy styles.

Each pupil will be expected to participate fully in the work of his or her Pupil Supervisor. In addition, Chambers organises written exercises and advocacy training.

Chambers has a highly detailed and focused Training Plan for Pupils, designed to allow every pupil to aim towards meeting each of the competences set out in the Bar Standards Board Professional Statement. The Training Plan will be provided to those pupils, who accept offers of pupillage, prior to the commencement of their pupillage. This will allow pupils to familiarise themselves with the plan and to begin the self-reflection that the plan calls for.

The training is thorough and covers all areas of the competences specified in the Professional Statement, and pupils will be fully supported by highly experienced supervisors and clerks as well as other members of Chambers. It is important to us that we remain a very inclusive and supportive set

During their first six pupillage pupils will; 

  • Attend and observe proceedings at the Crown Court and Magistrates’ Courts, as well as the Court of Appeal.
  • They will attend Immigration and Regulatory Tribunals.
  • A pupil will observe completed proceedings in all types of hearing in each of those courts.
  • A pupil will be expected to learn how to prepare a brief, both in relation to pre-hearing work such as, but not necessarily limited to, drafting indictments, defence case statements, opening notes, grounds of appeal and skeleton arguments and preparation for the hearing itself, such as preparing examinations in chief, cross examinations, speeches and any legal submissions.
  • Undertaking legal research (including tasks within areas of law and practice never previously encountered by the pupil).
  • Introduction to solicitors, CPS representatives (both law clerks and lawyers), other members of the Bar, and wherever possible members of the judiciary.
  • Further advocacy training in the conduct of small applications will be given by members of Chambers (not limited to the pupil supervisors) at various stages during the first and second six months
  • We encourage pupils in their second six to apply to join the Crown Prosecution Service Advocate Panel as well as Regulatory Panels and our experienced Managing Consultant and Senior Clerk will be there to guide and assist pupils through the application process. We maintain a high level of success in this area, in both initial applications and applications to upgrade in the future. All of our pupils to date have been successful in their applications to join these panels.

Chambers has several qualified pupil supervisors and successful applicants will be able to assist and observe Counsel involved in the most serious and complex cases, as well as receiving expert training in advocacy and advisory work. 

Senior Members not currently qualified as supervisors plan to undertake the necessary training to become Pupil Supervisors in 2023, in order to further broaden and develop the opportunities available to pupils, to observe a wider range of advocacy styles.

Before commencement of pupillage, pupils are provided with a comprehensive Welcome Pack in which they will find copies of the Pupillage Policy and Agreement, our Pupillage Handbook, containing details of all documents that need to be exchanged or signed, copies of Chambers Constitution, a record sheet for personal details and copies of a number of Chambers Policies including Credential Checking, Absence from Training and several policies relating to Equality and Diversity matters, Reasonable Adjustments, Health and Safety, Remote Working and Grievance and Discipline Procedures.

During their first and second six, pupils are given the opportunity to participate in our well established OIC Roadshow, which delivers training to police officers in London and the South East. We also present mock trials to junior police officers and all of our pupils and junior tenants are encouraged to take part in these trials.

During 2023 we intend to continue with the successful programme of the OIC Roadshow as well as seminars covering all aspects of law and procedure. Our pupils are always invited to assist with this side of Chambers activities as it provides excellent training and an opportunity to meet solicitors and prosecution lawyers in the CPS as well as Regulatory Departments. 

Our experienced team in Chambers are all pleased to help with in house advocacy training for our pupils, as we see this as an important part of not only their professional training, but as a way of additional support and inclusion in the life of Chambers. 

In second six, pupils are encouraged to talk to members about their cases and there is always an experienced member available for a pupil to call to discuss any concerns that they may have about any aspect of their casework.

We view all of our pupils as part of a long term investment in the future life of the Bar and of Chambers itself. With this in mind we strive at all times to provide the most wide ranging and inciteful experience that we can, in order to drive their knowledge and enthusiasm and to bring out the best in each of them.

TENANCY RECRUITMENT

Chambers Policy is to offer Tenancies to all Pupils who are determined by a meeting of Chambers Tenancy and Pupillage Committee to have met the Selection Criterion for Tenancy following Pupillage. There is no competition between pupils and there will be three Tenancy places available to those pupils who satisfy the selection process.

The selection process is as follows;

  • The Tenancy Committee will collect and assess all reports from Pupil Supervisors, Chambers Managing Consultant, Chambers Senior Clerk and any members who may have worked with the pupil concerned throughout the 12 month period.
  • They will be given any feedback from Instructing Solicitors, Members of the Bar The Judiciary and any other sources where the information may be of assistance
  • Applications will be decided upon by way of a majority vote.
  • Pupils applying for Tenancy will be asked to make a formal application by way of CV and a covering letter, setting out their experience to date and why they wish to apply for Tenancy.
  • Applications should be made during the final month of the second six, unless the Supervisor recommends a different time frame.
  • Applicants will be interviewed by at least four members of the Tenancy and Pupillage Committee towards the end of their twelve months. Any members not present will be provided with all written reports and consulted before a final decision is made. 
  • Generally any interview will be conducted in Chambers. However, this may take place remotely if circumstances require it, or to facilitate caring responsibilities or any reasonable adjustment required by a pupil regarding travelling or accessing Chambers premises.
  • The interview will include an advocacy exercise and may, if the Committee request it, require the pupil to complete a written exercise prior to the interview, which will be assessed in advance by the interview panel.

On occasions, following a pupil’s application for Tenancy, the Pupillage and Tenancy Committee will consider offering a pupil a “Probationary Tenancy” rather than immediate Tenancy, for a period of up to six months. This will not be considered where the pupil has failed to meet the competencies set out in the Professional Statement as that would require consideration of an extension to the 12 months pupillage or the termination of the pupillage at the 12 month stage.

A Probationary Tenancy will only be considered in certain circumstances where the competences have been met, but where, for example, the Committee takes the view that the pupil has not had sufficient opportunity to observe or experience some of the work in the areas of law in which Chambers specialises or perhaps requires further opportunity to join a panel, such as the CPS Advocates Panel, before committing to Tenancy.

In those circumstances, the Committee are likely to offer a period of three months Probationary Tenancy initially, following which an application for full tenancy will be reconsidered by the Committee. This will not require a new application from those who have undertaken pupillage with Chambers but updated reports will be provided by the Supervisor and Senior Clerk.

EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY INITIATIVES

This year, with the Kalisher Trust, one of our junior members took part in a discussion about life at the junior end of the Criminal Bar. The remote event was organised by Oxford University and alongside 2 other panelists, our member addressed an audience of children under the age of 18. The member spoke about the practicalities of obtaining pupillage, the competition and the financial concerns that arise as a result of a practice made solely or largely of crime. 

The same member also participated in a remote session on behalf of the Criminal Bar Association’s Social Mobility Committee, hosted within the Pupillage Fair. The aim of this event was to provide prospective criminal barristers with a real insight into what work and life at the criminal bar entail. Our member was the most junior on a panel which included 2 King’s Counsel’s other junior members of the Bar and two senior practitioners. The questions they answered from the audience covered topics such as finance, work/life balance and the nature of the work at varying stages of one's career.

Last year one of our pupils took part, with another junior member of Chambers and other members of the Judiciary and the Bar in providing a training course to students that covered ground rule hearings and how to cross examine vulnerable and child witnesses.

We have a member who provides training/experience programmes, through Investin Education, to GCSE/A-Level students looking to get into certain professions which includes the Bar.

A member of our clerking team currently runs a scheme called ‘AccPro’ designed to help young people find their way into a career within the legal profession

One of our senior members is an Advocacy Assessor for one of the Inn’s and also sits on the interviewing panel for BPTC scholarship awards.

As set out above we provide the option of a loan to new pupils to assist with the purchase of equipment that they may need for their practice, we allow for payment of travel expenses in advance to those who may find it difficult to fund their travel when starting out and we assist with applications from pupils who are looking to obtain additional funding. This year one of our pupils received a letter in support from Chambers for one of the Inn’s Pupillage Awards/Scholarships and was awarded the Ede & Ravenscroft Prize of a wig, gown and circuit case.  

One of our previous pupils, now a tenant with 9KBW, earlier this year was given the Neville Laski award by the Inner Temple

EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY POLICIES

Chambers has a robust Equality and Diversity Policy, combined with supportive and clear policies on Fair Recruitment, Dignity at Work, Anti-Harassment and Fair Work Allocation. Details of many of our Policies can be found under our Equality and Diversity page and copies obtained on request from Christine Eadie.

9 King’s Bench Walk will not discriminate against any pupil, probationary tenant, or any applicant for pupillage, for a probationary tenancy or for tenancy, on the grounds of race, sex, gender reassignment, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, age or political persuasion. At 9KBW we select candidates strictly according to demonstrated merit. 

REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS

If applicants require any form of Reasonable Adjustments, please contact our Accessibility Officer Robyn Murdo-Smith on robyn.murdo-smith@9kbw.co.uk

Our Reasonable Adjustments Policy is published on the Equality and Diversity page of our website or can be made available in hard copy form on request to Christine Eadie christine@9kbw.com

HOW TO APPLY

Applicants should apply by clicking the link HERE to the application form 

Click on File, top left hand corner then download for completion.

Send the completed form to christine@9kbw.com. Applications must be made in strict accordance with the Gateway Timetable

EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY DATA MONITORING 

We would be grateful if each applicant would complete an Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form. 

This allows us to review our data annually and to ensure that Chambers meets its statutory duty under the Equality Act 2010 as well as assisting us in developing our Equality Action Plan and Recruitment Policy for the future.

Please click the link HERE to download the form and send the completed version to our Equality and Diversity Data Officer suzanne.fewins@9kbw.co.uk

PUPILLAGE AND OTHER AVAILABLE POLICIES

A copy of our Pupillage Policy can be obtained by clicking the link HERE or by request to christine@9kbw.com

If an applicant would like a copy of our Equality and Diversity, Dignity at Work, Recruitment or any other published Chambers Policy please e mail Christine Eadie