A pupillage at KCH Garden Square offers high quality and well supported training, specialised by practice area and tailored to an individual pupil’s needs, experience and aspirations.

KCH Garden Square is a large, progressive and well respected set based in the East Midlands. With centres in Nottingham & Leicester and over 60 tenants, KCH Garden Square has a significant presence on the Midland Circuit.

We offer specialist counsel in all areas of civil, family and criminal work and are ranked as a ‘Leading Set’ on the Midlands Circuit in the 2023 Legal 500. The Civil & Family Team has a number of its members ranked in the 2023 Legal 500 as Leading Juniors and Rising Stars, across all tiers. We similarly have ranked counsel in Civil & Family in the 2023 edition of Chambers & Partners. To this end, we enjoy an excellent reputation for high standards of advocacy, expertise and professionalism whilst remaining approachable to both our professional and lay clients.

KCH Garden Square takes its commitment to equality, diversity and improving access to the profession very seriously. Several members of chambers sit on the Midland Circuit Social Mobility Committee and are engaged in mentoring and widening participation schemes. Two members of chambers have established an academic prize to boost diversity in the profession in the form of the Jeffers-Nunn Award at the University of Leicester.

We enjoy a strong local practice across the Midlands, meaning our members and pupils do not have to embark upon frequent, lengthy journeys to court centres out of area. Our busy practice means pupils and junior tenants have access to higher quality work than may otherwise be the case, given their lack of seniority. Junior members therefore enjoy interesting and rewarding work which accelerates their professional development, supported by our friendly, dedicated practice managers and administrative staff.

KCH Garden Square is managed as two separate teams, the ‘Criminal Team’ and the ‘Civil & Family Team’. As part of our ongoing recruitment and expansion due to high levels of work, each team typically recruits 1 or 2 pupils every 12 – 18 months.

KCH Garden Square recruit exclusively via the Pupillage Gateway.

The next application window will open in January 2025. Applications received in any other format or outside of this window will not be considered.

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

You can read more about the Application Form and our blind marking process for Pupillage applications in the above section, ‘Pupillage: How & When Do I Apply for Pupillage with KCH Garden Square?’

For Pupillage applications, each section of the application form is marked individually, out of 6 using the following ranking:
1 – Poor
2 – Below Average
3 – Average
4 – Good
5 – Very Good
6 – Outstanding

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.

All Pupillage applications are second marked, with some moderated by a third marker. Mini-Pupillage applications are moderated in accordance with Higher Education practice.

The top scoring applicants are invited to the interview phase of the Pupillage application process. There are typically one or two interview rounds, which include an advocacy exercise provided to interviewees 30 minutes in advance.

Pupillage is offered with a view to tenancy and is for a period of 12 months. We do not recruit pupils to compete with one another for a limited number of tenancies as to do so is not, in our view, conducive to an effective training environment or compatible with the supportive and collegiate nature of KCH Garden Square.

The pupillage award is £27,000 over 12 months, consisting of:
– A monthly award of £2,000 in the ‘first six’ plus reasonable travel expenses.
– Guaranteed minimum earnings in the ‘second six’ of £2,500 per month

We will also cover the costs of compulsory training and assessments required by the BSB during your pupillage year.

There is no ‘clawback’ on receipts earned by the pupil. Pupils are guaranteed to earn the above amounts as a minimum, each month, regardless of how much they may earn in excess of the above minimums in other months.

KCH Garden Square invests a great deal of time and energy into its pupils and is committed to providing the best training possible. We have received accreditation as a Bar Standards Board approved AETO and use a comprehensive Training Programme designed by Higher Education professionals.

The training programme is designed to be flexible so to accommodate an individual pupil’s professional objectives and experience before joining us. A bespoke syllabus is designed for each pupil at the outset of pupillage to reflect that pupil’s objectives, previous experience and the intended learning outcomes of the training programme, designed to exceed the BSB’s threshold standards.

In addition to a pupil supervisor dedicated to your professional development, pupils are assigned a ‘Pupil Buddy’ from the ranks of our junior membership, a ‘Clerking Mentor’ and will have access to a friendly and supportive network of like-minded professionals who want to ensure you thrive in your junior years of practice.

During the ‘first six’, a pupil shadows a number of trainers, including the supervisor, and receives regular structured feedback on written and advocacy exercises, in accordance with the training programme and syllabus. That feedback includes reflective exercises so to empower a pupil with the skills to continue their development beyond the pupillage year.

During the ‘second six’, pupils undertake their own cases but continue to benefit from supervision and regular, structured feedback and assessment. The pupil’s Clerking Mentor will help them develop effective practice management skills.

Pupils have weekly review meetings with their pupil supervisor, formal appraisal meetings every 2 months and have regular discussions with chambers’ wellbeing officer. The Pupil Buddy is available throughout the pupillage year to have confidential discussions on a broad range of topics, including wellbeing.

We value our pupils as members of our professional team and are committed to your development, training and wellbeing. Pupils can expect to take advantage of our comprehensive policies, including those relating to:
– Compassionate and parental leave,
– Equality, diversity & inclusion,
– Wellbeing,
– Part-time working.

Our pupils and members enjoy a good work-life balance, are expected to work reasonable hours and to take periods of leave to safeguard their wellbeing and ensure they are able to work efficiently, delivering a high standard of service to their clients.

We are passionate about improving access to and equality in the profession. Many of our members are involved in widening participation, equality, diversity and social mobility initiatives on circuit and with law schools. To that end, there is no ‘buy-in’ or financial investment required in order to become a tenant at KCH Garden Square.

We are a friendly, collegiate and sociable set. Throughout pupillage, pupils are given the option to interact with members of KCH Garden Square in more informal settings and are invited to a broad range of social activities, including events with the local bar mess, law societies and the Midland Circuit. Pupils will also have an opportunity to contribute to KCH Garden Square’s numerous employability and widening participation initiatives, if they so wish.

The high quality and volume of work in chambers, together with the commitment to your development and a collegiate atmosphere, makes pupillage at KCH Garden Square a comprehensive and thoroughly rewarding experience.

Pupillage at KCH Garden Square provides a strong foundation for a successful practice at the bar and welcomes pupils to be part of a network of friendly, like minded professionals, committed to justice for all.

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.


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