Law barristers
The TARGETjobs Law National Pupillage Fair

TARGETjobs Law National Pupillage Fair 2015 post-fair videos, help and advice

Each year the TARGETjobs Law National Pupillage Fair brings together aspiring barristers and chambers’ representatives for a day dedicated to pupillage applications.

The TARGETjobs Law National Pupillage Fair 2015 saw particularly clear blue skies over Lincoln’s Inn for 1,000 barristers-to-be and around 40 chambers, course providers and other organisations that attended. Alongside the opportunity to meet people who can help with your career, the fair plays host to a popular programme of talks by practising barristers and a CV clinic where those involved in pupillage review CVs.

If you missed the fair or you’re just reviewing what you learned on the day in preparation for BPTC or pupillage applications, read the rest of this page to see what helpful hints and tips emerged from the talks programme and CV clinic.

Advice from the talks programme

The BPTC and funding your career at the Bar

Speakers: Professor Stuart Sime (The City Law School), Ishan Kolhatkar (BPP Law School), Jane Irvine (The University of Law), Mason Bloom (Silver Levene)

Watch this video to find out:

  • what sort of preparation you need to do before you start studying the BPTC
  • how you can fund your Bar career during study and in practice
  • the mindset you need for the Bar
  • how to make effective BPTC applications

Public law

Speakers: Richard Honey (Francis Taylor Building), Jeremy Johnson QC (5 Essex Court), Hannah Slarks (11KBW)

Watch this video to find out:

  • more information about the public bar
  • how to get experience and why it’s important to sit in on a judicial review case
  • how your practice can change in the early years of the Bar

Human rights law

Speakers: Georgina Wolfe (5 Essex Court), Anton van Dellen (Goldsmith Chambers)

Watch this video to find out:

  • how human rights can creep in to different areas of law
  • the potential to get involved in human rights as a pupil and a junior
  • why the barristers’ profession is changing and commercial marketing skills are becoming more important

Employment law

Speakers: Shaen Catherwood (Devereux Chambers), Grahame Anderson (Littleton Chambers)

Watch this video to find out:

  • some of the lifestyle implications of working at the Bar
  • the benefits and pitfalls of the employment Bar
  • the types of cases you will be expected to handle in the early days of your career

Commercial law

Speakers: Hugh Saunders (3PB), Robert Weekes (Blackstone Chambers), Lucy Garrett (Keating Chambers)

Watch this video to find out:

  • how you’ll need to develop technical expertise at the commercial bar
  • ways to manage your time in a demanding area of practice
  • the knowledge and academics required of a commercial barrister

Skills for the Bar workshop

Speakers: Claire Palmer (5 Essex Court), Stephen Vullo QC (2 Bedford Row), Hanif Mussa (Blackstone Chambers)

Watch this video to find out:

  • how to speak like a barrister
  • useful traits to develop for a career at the Bar
  • how to present yourself on pupillage application forms

Family law

Speakers: Emma Greenhalgh (9 St John Street), Frances Harris (1 King’s Bench Walk), Michael Edwards (4 Paper Buildings)

Watch this video to find out:

  • more about the workload and life of working in a regional chambers
  • the current situation at the family bar and what it’s like to do a family pupillage
  • the diversity of work in this area and how to consider specialising

Criminal law

Speakers: Sam Parham (Garden Court Chambers), Alex Wright (Goldsmith Chambers), Stephen Vullo QC (2 Bedford Row), Daniel Thomas (Lincoln House Chambers)

Watch this video to find out:

  • the supreme importance of advocacy at the criminal bar
  • whether barristers really can have a social life
  • what sort of advocacy experience is useful to chambers

Advice from our CV clinic

Some of the barristers and chambers’ representatives involved in the pupillage process kindly gave up their time to review some of your CVs. We asked them to highlight some of the key points to remember when crafting your perfect pupillage application form.


  • ramble on. Keep your application short and sweet; use bullet points where possible
  • think you can get away without mentioning public speaking experience. You will need it somewhere
  • list every single piece of experience and mini-pupillage if it’s not relevant. Expand on those relevant to the set you’re applying for, but summarise other less relevant pieces of experience
  • forget to get your application proofread AND checked for sense and consistency by someone reliable


  • mention any experience where you have had to deal with particularly difficult or demanding clients. This is good practice for later on in your career
  • split up your work experience into legal and non-legal categories and explain why each piece of experience is relevant to the set you’re applying to
  • stick to a simple layout. Don’t try to make your application more eye-catching if it clouds the meaning of what you’ve written
  • spend a bit more time expanding upon any pro bono experience with the Free Representation Unit or Citizens Advice Bureau. This type of experience is prized by many chambers

That’s all for this year

If you attended, we hope you enjoyed the TARGETjobs Law National Pupillage Fair and found the information and advice useful to your future career. For those of you that couldn’t make it, we hope the information on this page and on can help. The fair will return in 2016, stay tuned to TARGETjobs Law for more information. You can also see some pictures and tips from the day on our twitter feed under the hashtag #pupillagefair.