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Pupillage

A pupillage at KCH Garden Square provides the flexibility of being able to gain experience in a wide range of subject areas whilst at the same time being able to tailor your training if you so wish.

KCH Garden Square is a large, progressive and well respected set based in the East Midlands. With centres in both Nottingham & Leicester and over 60 tenants, chambers has a significant presence on the Midland Circuit with a busy practice of high quality work.

KCH Garden Square offers specialist counsel in all areas of civil, family and criminal work, enjoying an excellent reputation for high standards of advocacy, expertise and professionalism whilst remaining approachable to both its 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.

Chambers is managed as two separate teams, the Crime Team and the Civil & Family Team. As part of our ongoing recruitment and expansion due to high levels of work, both teams regularly recruit and are each expected to recruit two pupils, every 12 – 18 months.

In the forthcoming Pupillage Gateway round, subject to business need, the Civil & Family Team will recruit two pupils. The first will focus upon civil litigation and family finance disputes, formerly known as ancillary relief. The second will focus upon other family work, predominantly public and private law children matters.

The Crime Team will also recruit two pupils in the forthcoming round, to be trained in the broad spectrum of crime work undertaken in chambers.

Each team will stagger their pupils’ start dates, following the below schedule, which is subject to change, dependent on business need and supervisor availability:

  • July 2022: Civil & Family Team Pupil 1 starts.
  • September 2022: Crime Team Pupil 1 starts.
  • January 2023: Civil & Family Team Pupil 2 starts.
  • May 2023: Crime Team Pupil 2 starts.

Chambers recruits in accordance with the Pupillage Gateway timetable, but uses its own application form. We will be open for receiving applications from 11:00 on 05 January 2022 until 14:00 on 09 February 2022. Applications received outside this window will not be considered.

Our application form will be made available from 25 November 2021 for prospective pupils to consider. KCH Garden Square operates a ‘blind marking system’ whereby markers do not see an applicant’s name, address or educational institutions. Markers do see qualifications and grades, but not the name or address of the institution which awarded those qualifications.

If an applicant is invited for interview, the interview panel will see all details on the application form, including institution details.

There are typically one or two interview rounds, which include an advocacy exercise provided to interviewees 30 minutes in advance.

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 5 using the following ranking:

  • 0 – Poor
  • 1 – Below Average
  • 2 – Average
  • 3 – Good
  • 4 – Very Good
  • 5 – Outstanding (used sparingly)

The top scoring applicants are invited to the interview phase of the Pupillage application process.

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. 

Pupillages are offered with a view to tenancy, for a period of 12 months. Pupillages are funded in accordance with BSB requirement, but in recent years, pupils have earned receipts significantly in excess of the minimum pupillage award.

Pupillage at KCH Garden Square is a comprehensive, rewarding and well supported experience, with a 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 chambers. 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.

During the ‘first six’, a pupil shadows a number of trainers in chambers, 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. Pupils are assigned a ‘clerking mentor’ to help them develop effective practice management skills.

Throughout pupillage, pupils are given the option to interact with members of chambers 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. There is also the opportunity to volunteer with careers and widening participation events at local Law Schools.

Pupils have weekly review meetings with their pupil supervisor, formal appraisal meetings every 2 months and have regular discussions with chambers’ wellbeing officer.

Pupils are also assigned a mentor from the junior ranks of chambers with whom they can have confidential discussions on a broad range of topics, including wellbeing.

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.