Pupillage Selection Criteria
Each year, we expect to take on up to four pupils who are selected based on academic and intellectual abilities as well as oral and written communication skills. We also assess each applicant’s understanding of and interest in our work. Fountain Court Chambers welcomes applications from law and non-law graduates alike.
The criteria by which we select our pupils, and ultimately our tenants are:
- Academic and intellectual ability.
- Advocacy and communication skills, including: clarity of expression; ability to think and respond under pressure; and potential capacity as advocate.
- Potential to be a successful self-employed practitioner at the Commercial Bar, including: interest and understanding in the type of work done by chambers; potential ability to work well with members of chambers, solicitors, clients, staff and other pupils; determination; resilience; and integrity.
We want to recruit the best and brightest candidates whatever their background and whether or not they are originally studied law at university. As the mini-biographies in the previous section show, we are a mixture of different people from a range of backgrounds, some of whom did not even originally consider the Bar as a career at all.
However, we recognise the under representation of groups within chambers, especially women, those of black or other ethnic monitory backgrounds, and LGBTQ+ people. This is something which we are determined to address, whilst also seeking to play our part in addressing the structural and unconscious biases that may exist.
We positively encourage applications from groups who are currently under-represented in Chambers and we are involved in a number of programmes that seek to widen the pool of applicants at the commercial bar, including the Combar Scholarship Scheme, Pathways to Law, the Sutton Trust and the recently established Women at the Commercial Bar initiative. Chambers is also a founder member of the recently set up Mentoring Scheme for underrepresented groups run by Commercial Barristers’ Chambers, which is open to all undergraduates and graduates from groups that are underrepresented at the Bar of England and Wales (and in particular the commercial bar) and who do not yet have a pupillage offer. Applications are now closed but for further information please click here.
We have procedures for selecting pupils which are fair and do not discriminate against any applicant on grounds of race, sex, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, age, political persuasion or any other protected characteristic. We welcome any observations or suggestions that might improve our procedures. We also ensure that all members involved in the recruitment process receive regular training on matters relevant to equality and diversity.
We recognise that Fountain Court Chambers has a responsibility to those not offered tenancies, so we try to assist with tenancies in other chambers doing similar work, and have considerable success in doing so.
There is more information in the Fountain Court Chambers Pupillage Brochure.