While studying for my law degree I went on a number of week long mini-pupillages and spent some time marshalling judges. However, although spending a week at a time observing legal proceedings was well worth doing, each chunk of work felt slightly unfulfilling.
It was this feeling which drove me to look for something longer, more substantial and above all an experience I could really get involved with. Then I came across the 9 King’s Bench Walk internship programme.
After being interviewed and offered a place I embarked on my three month internship in June 2015.
The difference between this and previous work-experience I had done was immediately apparent. I found myself not only observing but having a hand in case preparation: from menial tasks like photocopying and filing, to assisting in more meaningful ways such as conducting legal research on various issues, taking detailed notes for counsel and drafting practice opening and closing speeches.
In addition to having a more substantial role in case-work, as an intern I was also able to see a far greater number of cases than it is possible to observe in just one week. In total I watched ten full Crown Court trials - spread out across London - on issues ranging from simple handling cases, to complex fraud and sex offence trials. These were interspersed with pre-trial reviews, confiscation hearings, mentions and appeals.
The sheer range of different cases I was able to see was really down to the approachable and accommodating team of clerks. They even allowed me to spend a day in the clerks room which was a unique and one off experience that gave me an insight into the real heart of the chambers machine.
For all of the above reasons, I would recommend the internship programme at 9KBW to anyone who is seriously considering a career at the Bar.
Interneship 01/04/2014 - 31/07/14
I started my three-month internship with 9 King’s Bench Walk after completing the Bar Professional Training Course. I gained exposure to life at the Bar and the everyday running of chambers. I was able to take an active role and get involved with cases by performing a wide range of duties such as: reviewing briefs, legal research, assisting in the drafting of opinions and advices and attending court with members.
In particular I spent 6 weeks assisting Mr. Julian Jones, who is a grade 4 prosecutor, in a drug and firearm case. I was able to achieve a wide knowledge of: numerous legal arguments such as section 9 disclosure applications and applications to the Court of Appeal to include a jury member as a witness; cell site evidence; drafting examinations in chief and cross examination questions; putting together jury bundles and liaising with police officers, counsel and court staff. I completed numerous legal research tasks. I visited the Indian Embassy to research Sharia law for the Head of Chambers and I researched case law in relation to the Proceeds of Crime Act. I observed higher court proceedings at the Court of Appeal, negotiations and conferences. For example I accompanied the Head of Chambers to prison for a legal visit. Furthermore, I gained experience with family law and immigration law. In particular, by drafting Grounds of Appeal for an entry clearance visa and I observed the appeal at the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber.
The internship with 9 King’s Bench Walk was the best experience ever offered me. Every member was approachable, friendly and made me feel like part of the team. The legal knowledge and general life experience I gained from this internship was invaluable and I would encourage anyone considering a career at the Bar to apply for this position.
Internship 01/07/13 - 31/01/14
Claire joined 9KBW as our second intern on 01/07/2013.
Claire is currently studying an LLB Law Degree with Bournemouth University. This summer, Claire successfully progressed from the second year with a 1st.
Having decided to undertake a degree of four years in length, Claire applied for and secured this internship as the qualifying time period for the placement year.
Our internship aims to provide a complete and comprehensive picture of life in Chambers. In pursuit of this, Claire will spend the majority of her time shadowing Counsel to experience advocacy at all court levels and in all of our practice areas. Other responsibilities will include researching authorities and drafting legal documentation for Counsel, as well as attending conferences. Equally, Claire will be given the opportunity to work alongside the Clerks to gain an appreciation of the realities of case management and progession.
The experiences this internship will provide Claire will equip her with the necessary skills to progress through the next stages of her legal education and eventually the BPTC.
Internship 01/01/13 - 28/06/13
I graduated from university in July 2011 whereupon I embarked immediately onto the BPTC at the College of Law and was subsequently called to the bar in July 2012.
At this point I was looking to pursue a career in criminal law.
I had undertaken mini pupillages and marshalling positions previously; but having completed the BPTC was looking for longer term and more insightful work experience.
I had considered paralegal experience in a solicitors firm and further experience in other areas of law; that is when I saw the internship advertised in chambers. I thought that this would give me a better insight into the reality of life at the bar than paralegal or mini pupillage experiences.
I made the application, was interviewed and the rest is history.
I was in chambers for 6 months and am finding it difficult to put into words just how fantastic the experience has been.
I have worked with almost every member of chambers, including the clerking team, and have gained so much more all round experience than I thought possible.
All members of chambers have been helpful, approachable and have given me opportunities to carry out tasks that one would expect to undertake during pupillage.
Despite facing some very challenging times; this internship has fuelled my desire to continue to pursue a career at the independent bar.
I have experienced both criminal prosecution and defence work; alongside immigration and family law. In these areas I have experienced working on cases that I could only have dreamt of before. I have attended court regularly and maintained notes of this. I have also acted as a note taker in conferences for several members of chambers.
Following the success of this position I feel that I am in a much better position to commence a pupillage than I was prior to the experience.