Life as a pupil
A pupillage at QEB is divided into three four-month periods each spent with a different supervisor. Each pupil shares a room with their supervisor where they will be provided with their own workspace.
Although pupils are expected to have their own computer they will be connected to the chambers network, which also allows them access to our electronic legal resources. It will also give them access to the internet and a chambers email address.
The intention is that a pupil shares their supervisor's daily professional life. They are expected to read their supervisor’s papers and attempt any paperwork which the supervisor is doing - e.g. position documents, opinions and written submissions - as if they were themselves the barrister instructed. They will accompany their supervisor to court and also attend conferences between the supervisor and clients.
The aim is that pupils learn by direct experience how to prepare for hearings, and to do the necessary legal research, while at the same time developing an understanding of the non-legal, (but equally important) aspects of professional life, such as the relationship with lay clients and solicitors.
Each pupil is assigned a junior contact with whom they can discuss any worries or concerns that they might feel uncomfortable raising with their pupil supervisors. Moreover a pupil is encouraged to accompany their junior contact to court during their first six so that the pupil has the opportunity to see some of the work that they themselves are likely to encounter during their second six months.
After six months a pupil becomes eligible to take on court work in his or her own right. We recognise that these first steps in court can be a daunting prospect and so we make sure that each pupil has undergone regular in-house advocacy exercises (as well as their own Inn advocacy training course) before they undertake their own work. A second-six pupil can usually be expected to be in court once or twice a week, with the volume of work increasing towards the end of their pupillage. Together with their own court work, pupils are also given the opportunity to undertake, on a paid basis, pieces of paperwork for members of chambers other than their supervisor ("devilling").