Mini Pupillage

We recognise how important a Mini-Pupillage experience can be. It is often one of the first practical steps on your journey to becoming a practising barrister and the experience will likely impact the decisions you take about the direction of your career.

With this in mind, KCH Garden Square offers In-Person Mini-Pupillage placements as well as an annual Virtual Mini-Pupillage day. This allows those who may be prevented by time, location or other factors from completing physical, multiple day, Mini-Pupillages to still gain experience of chambers.

We aim improve Mini-Pupils’ understanding, and give real life insight into what life is like as a practitioner in KCH Garden Square’s respective practice areas on the Midland Circuit. We also hope that Mini-Pupils will be able to develop their understanding and confidence in relation to the pupillage application process, both at KCH Garden Square and more widely.

Mini-Pupils will spend three days in Chambers, wherever possible shadowing Counsel from each of our three teams.

Subject to Court listing during the time that Mini-Pupils are with us, we aim to provide Mini-Pupils with the opportunity to attend Court, shadow Counsel involved in remote hearings taking place within our hearing hubs and attend client conferences.

We hope that through a Mini-Pupillage with us, you will gain a useful insight into life at the Bar, on the Midland Circuit and at KCH Garden Square.

Please note that due to the nature of our work, we request all In-Person Mini-Pupils sign a confidentiality agreement before commencing their placement.

Applications are currently closed.  Please keep an eye on this page and our socials for when the application window for Autumn 2024 placements will open.

KCH Garden Square launched the Virtual Mini-Pupillage programme in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In light of the success and popularity of our Virtual Mini-Pupillage programme, we now offer an annual Virtual Mini-Pupillage day alongside our usual In-Person programme, so that those who may be prevented by time, location or other factors from completing physical Mini-Pupillages can still gain experience of chambers.

Our Virtual Mini-Pupillage day sees a number of prospective pupils join us remotely for a full day of talks, advocacy exercises and Q&A sessions, as well as a ‘CV Clinic’ providing practical, actionable advice on your own CV. 

During the course of the day there is the opportunity to interact with, and get guidance from, practising barristers at KCH Garden Square, with the aim that you will gain an insight into life at the Bar from a number of Counsel across our practice areas.

As our Virtual Mini-Pupillage Day is tailored to the pupillage application process, pursuing pupillage and practising at KCH Garden Square, the day will provide the most benefit to those applying for Pupillage in the next Pupillage Gateway round. 

Our next Virtual Mini-Pupillage Day will take place on Saturday 13th January 2024. The application window will open on Monday 20th November 2023. 

All applications for Tenancy, Pupillage and Mini-Pupillage at KCH Garden Square are assessed in accordance with Bar Council Fair Recruitment Standards.

Applications for Mini-Pupillage and Virtual Mini-Pupillage are made using the online form in the above section.

For both Pupillage and Mini-Pupillage applications, markers are looking to assess an applicant in the following areas (in no particular order):

  • Academic Ability,
  • Non-Legal Extra Curricular Activity, including transferable skills,
  • Legal Experience,
  • Advocacy Experience/Aptitude,
  • Commitment to the Bar and practising at KCH Garden Square/on the Midland Circuit.
  • Written presentation including clarity and persuasiveness of presentation/argument,
  • Work Ethic,
  • Insight/awareness of practice as a Barrister.

You should therefore consider, when drafting your applications, how you meet the above criteria.

Markers of Mini-Pupillage Application consider the above criteria and provide an individual score for most of them, out of 6:

1 – Poor
2 – Below Average
3 – Average
4 – Good
5 – Very Good
6 – Outstanding

Mini-Pupillage applications are moderated in accordance with Higher Education practice.

Mini-Pupillage applications are also anonymised and so are subject to ‘blind marking’, albeit for administrative resource reasons, the markers do see educational institutions details, unlike for Pupillage Applications.

For face to face Mini-Pupillages, when the programme is live, applications are assessed once per quarter with the top scorers being invited to undertake a 3 day Mini-Pupillage in chambers in the forthcoming quarter.

For Virtual Mini-Pupillages, there is typically a 2 week application window at the conclusion of which applications are scored then moderated, with the top scorers being invited to join the next VMP day.

Applications for Mini-Pupillage and Virtual Mini-Pupillage, unlike Pupillage applications, are marked ‘based on the stage you are at’ with a view to levelling the playing field when we have applicants at different stages of study and professional experience.

For example, a Mini-Pupillage applicant in the first year of undergraduate study who has only undertaken one moot, will score higher in ‘Advocacy Experience’ than a Bar School graduate who has only done one moot, as the Bar School student would have had more opportunity to gain advocacy experience than the undergraduate student.

Competition for Mini-Pupillage places, both virtual and face to face, much like for Pupillage, is fiercely competitive with demand consistently, and significantly, outstripping our ability to accommodate them.

KCH Garden Square is committed to valuing and promoting diversity in all areas of Chambers and welcomes applications from all candidates.

We are fully committed to equality and diversity and our recruitment, Pupillage and Mini-Pupillage selection procedures and provision of services are operated without discrimination.

We recruit in accordance with Bar Council Fair Recruitment Standards and operate a blind marking system for Pupillage Applications where markers do not see the names, addresses or educational institutions of applicants.

Markers of Mini-Pupillage applications do not see an applicant’s name or address.

The Lincoln’s Inn Mini Pupillage Grant Scheme offers financial assistance to students who have secured a mini pupillage but need additional funds to complete it. The fund is intended to help with the cost of long distance travel, commuting, accommodation and purchasing appropriate professional clothing. The value of each grant is calculated based on the applicant’s anticipated expenses up to a maximum of £500.

Applicants do not need to members of Lincoln’s Inn and must meet certain social mobility based criteria to be eligible for a grant. More details, including all of the application criteria and application form, can be found here.


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