Training and Pupillage Award
Each pupil receives a total of £65,000 in the form of a first six month award of £40,000, with an additional £25,000 renewable for the second six months. It would be exceptional not to renew the award. The awards are payable monthly in advance during pupillage, with the year running from October to September. Those accepted for tenancy may have opportunities to do some additional, paid, work in the last three months of their pupillage year.
Our goal is to provide pupils with broad and thorough training in the types of work done by Fountain Court Chambers during the year-long pupillage. Also, we aim to enable members to assess each pupil’s abilities in order to select new tenants.
Pupillage at Fountain Court Chambers is divided into four seats of three-month duration. Importantly, pupils are not assessed during the first two months to allow time to settle in, understand our way of working and learn from their pupil supervisor. The first three and the last three months are spent with the same pupil supervisor, who has overall responsibility for the pupil’s training. The middle six months are spent with two different pupil supervisors.
A pupil’s work is varied and challenging. Much of it is commercial in nature and the Bar Council’s ‘Commercial-General’ pupillage checklist is used at Fountain Court Chambers. Pupils are called upon to complete specific pieces of work for members, particularly Silks. In this way, pupils will get to know and be known by members and experience the full spectrum of work done here. Much time is spent reading papers and preparing pleadings and advices. Notes on specific questions of law are often required. The work is reviewed and discussed with the pupil supervisor and a pupil can expect to accompany a supervisor to trials, appeals and, more frequently, interlocutory hearings. If pupils wish to experience particular areas of work, that can usually be arranged.
It is unusual for our pupils to get work of their own during pupillage and we discourage paid advocacy work prior to the tenancy decision because we think it is more important for pupils to learn in chambers during the pupillage year. However, after pupillage, we place a heavy emphasis on opportunities for advocacy work for junior tenants. It is vital that junior tenants appear in court on a regular basis on appropriate cases at this stage in their careers. Fountain Court Chambers leads opportunities in this area as we have a dedicated clerk whose principal role is to obtain and clerk simple advocacy work for the most junior tenants. In recent years, we have been very successful in deepening and broadening our range of this type of advocacy work.
All questions about pupillage at Fountain Court Chambers should be directed to Sarah Alexander our pupillage assistant.