Give pupillage seekers better feedback, urge rookie barristers

Respondents to Bar Council survey additionally name on chambers to ditch rejection by silence

Nearly all of pupil barristers discovered the appliance course of to safe pupillage “challenging” and mentioned the expertise could possibly be improved by getting better suggestions.

Eighty-eight % of respondents to the Bar Council’s annual survey of pupils described the method as fairly or very difficult, and practically three-quarters (73%) recognized better or clearer suggestions because the issue to enhancing candidates’ probability of success.

Simply over half (53%) of pupils mentioned the method could possibly be improved by chambers really responding to their functions, while 41% mentioned it’d be entry to recommendation from present barristers.

Some 173 of all 411 practising pupils responded to the Bar Council survey, carried out in February.

A variety of respondents additionally gave feedback about facets of their coaching that they had discovered significantly difficult. Once more, a scarcity of suggestions of their pupillage is claimed to have hampered the educational expertise. One other issue cited was distant working, which they attributed to the shortcoming to socialize with different members of chambers and restricted skilled networking alternatives.

These findings are from the Bar Council’s second annual survey of pupils. The primary was undertaken final yr and centered particularly on the affect of Covid-19 on pupillage. The bulk (82%) of pupils mentioned the most important problem they confronted throughout lockdown was the dearth of networking alternatives. “It seems likely that this theme will continue as widespread remote working remains the norm,” this yr’s report mentioned.

This isn’t the primary time issues have been raised concerning the lack of suggestions given throughout the extremely aggressive pupillage course of.

Final yr aspiring barristers Noah Gifford and Kieran Alker urged the bar to do better relating to offering candidates with suggestions. Gifford highlighted the frequent apply amongst some chambers of rejecting pupils by silence, describing it as “shameful” and “insulting”, and suggesting they ship out rejection emails or that the regulator impose a requirement to tell candidates of the result of their functions. The Authorized Companies Board appeared to aspect with pupillage seekers when it warned the Bar Requirements Board (BSB) that such a coverage dangers undermining the occupation.

Figures launched this yr by the BSB present that pupillage numbers have rebounded post-lockdown; there have been 511 barristers-in-training on the finish of 2021, in contrast with a file low 354 in 2020. However the numbers are nonetheless low by historic requirements. Within the Nineteen Nineties, chambers took on about 800 pupils a yr. It’s additionally price noting that a number of 1000’s of bar hopefuls are competing for these choose few pupillage spots annually.

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