Pupils’ Diary – A View From Our Future
At 39 Park Square we take immense pride in our pupillage program. We have a policy of providing pupillage with a view to offering tenancy. Our aim is to recruit candidates who have the potential to reach the very top of the profession. With that in mind we recruit candidates of the highest calibre. However, we not only look for those with exceptional academic ability but also those who have something extra to offer.
During the course of their training, our current pupils, Victoria Barker and Shawn Morales will be providing regular updates on their life at the sharp end of pupillage.
The first instalment is provided by Victoria Barker. You can view Victoria’s profile here
After having endured several years of applying for pupillages I finally began my life as a pupil in September 2016.
As anyone can imagine, I was elated when I was offered a pupillage, even more so because I could wave goodbye to the days of drafting and re-drafting application forms, continuously searching for the perfect words to “make my application stand out” and never being able to make any social plans in case I received a last-minute invitation to interview.
However, as my first day of pupillage approached I started to really wonder how would I be treated as a pupil and what a pupillage would really entail?
Well after 3 months of pupillage I can now tell you this. First, after a drinks evening was organised by chambers to welcome myself and my fellow pupil I can honestly say that I have been made to feel like a valued member of Chambers. Everyone is genuinely friendly and are more than willing to share their legal knowledge and experiences. The benefit of a smaller chambers is that you do get to know all members of chambers quickly and a real “family” atmosphere truly exists at 39 Park Square.
As for what work I have been doing, as I am in my first sixth of pupillage I currently don’t have rights of audience so I spend most of my day observing my pupil supervisor in the Crown Court. I have observed just about every type of hearing heard before the Crown Court as well as several effective Crown Court trials. With any Court hearing, conferences and legal advice are required and I have attended conferences with witnesses, defendants, solicitors and police officers just to name a few. I have also observed a variety of Magistrates and Youth Court proceedings with other members of Chambers and Chambers have made sure that I have been exposed to a wide variety of work. However, there is no point observing something if you do not know what the case is about. So, I also spend a good proportion of my time reading and preparing cases as if they were my own, drafting documents and preparing my version of examination-in-chief and cross-examination of witnesses. This enables me to discuss the legal and procedural issues in the cases with my supervisor and really get the most out of this valuable learning period.
However, pupillage has not been all work and no play. The North-Eastern Circuit offers lots of social events and I have attended two of these already. Both have been a great opportunity to get to know members of chambers and other members of the bar in a more social setting.
In reality no one pupillage will ever be the same, different chambers do things differently as do different supervisors. What I have learned so far is that 39 Park Square has a supportive and experienced team who are both willing and able to expose pupils to all aspects of life at the Bar. They welcome and nurture new talent and provide a foundation for pupils to succeed and have a successful career.
Check back with us every couple of weeks to catch up on our pupils’ journey and follow them as they take the first steps towards becoming future stars at the Bar.
You can view Chambers pupillage information here