Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Your mini-pupillage

A mini-pupillage is an opportunity for those who are intent upon pursuing a career at the Commercial Bar to spend some time at Fountain Court Chambers in order to meet some of our members and gain an introduction to the type of work we do. It also forms a key part of the application for pupillage.

Please note that for 2022 applications (for pupillage commencing in 2023), Fountain Court will normally require all applicants for pupillage to have completed an assessed mini-pupillage. 

The mini-pupillage will last for two days, during which time you will sit with two or three members, learn about life at Fountain Court Chambers, and complete a short piece of assessed written work. We are conscious that there are many demands on applicants’ time but this system has proved to be a more effective and fair way of selecting candidates than one based on the Pupillage Gateway forms and interview alone. We require our mini-pupils to have commenced legal study before doing a mini-pupillage. We know that fitting in mini-pupillages can be particularly difficult for those doing the GDL and will prioritise the Christmas slots for such candidates.

We will pay £150 towards your expenses upon completion of your mini-pupillage.

There are two deadlines for applications for mini-pupillages during the course of the year. Please apply by:

  • 30th March – For mini-pupillages in the Summer period (normally June or July).
  • 29th October – For mini-pupillages in the Christmas period.

It is important to note that Fountain Court generally recruits pupils around 18 months in advance, via the Pupillage Gateway. Each year we have a large number of applicants and a limited number of mini-pupillages and we assess mini-pupillage applications on a rolling basis. We suggest that prospective applicants apply in good time to complete a mini-pupillage in the year before they intend to apply for pupillage. For example if you intend to apply for a pupillage starting in 2023, you would ideally have completed a mini-pupillage before the end of 2021 before applying in the Pupillage Gateway in the February 2022 round.

If you have not done a mini-pupillage your application for pupillage will also be treated as an application for mini-pupillage, although there will inevitably be a very limited number of mini-pupillages available in such circumstances (and such mini-pupillages would need to be completed by the end of March in the year of application).

Your application for mini-pupillage should be made using this form and sent to our Pupillage Coordinator, Chelsea Finnigan. Candidates who are successful in reaching the next round of the process will be invited for a short interview.

The criteria by which we select our mini-pupils 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 in the type of work done by Chambers, determination, resilience and integrity.

We have developed procedures for selecting mini-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 positively encourage mini-pupillage applications from groups who are currently under-represented in Chambers such as women and those from ethnic minorities.

We would be grateful if applicants would also complete and return the diversity questions at the end of the application form. This information is used for monitoring purposes only and is not considered as part of a candidate’s application.

All questions about mini-pupillage at Fountain Court Chambers should be directed by e-mail to Chelsea Finnigan, who is also contactable on 020 7583 3335.