Ben Woolgar will be running a session on 26th November for City Law School students - he will cover all the steps involved in obtaining pupillage at a commercial set, including choosing where to apply, the Gateway form, interviews, mini-pupillages and pre-application activities.
Clearly everyone's path to pupillage is an individual one but Ben will share his experiences and take questions from the floor. Ben completed his GDL 2012-13 and started the BPTC in September.
Ben will be starting pupillage at Brick Court Chambers in September 2014. Last year he obtained 8 pupillage offers, including 6 of the 8 top commercial sets.
Sign up for a ticket now!
Pupillage: How the CLS Pupillage Advice Team prepared me for Application and Interview – Miranda Grell
Like many thousands of law students all over the country, for the last couple of months, I have been applying for Pupillage.
‘Pupillage’ is a word that is loaded with so many meanings, outcomes and emotions – grueling interviews, offers, rejections, ‘fitting in’, intellectual ability, euphoria and disappointment.
Despite my more advanced years and the non-traditional path that led me to this point (I am in my thirties, working full time, and was always more ‘political’ than ‘legal’), I have thrown myself fully into seeking pupillage in an attempt to try and get through what is the most rigorous and bewildering recruitment process I have ever experienced.
City Law School's Pupillage Advice Service offer a specialist team to give advice on Pupillage.
The PAS team at The City Law School have dedicated hour upon hour to reviewing CVs to help create tailored application forms, running mock interviews, mock advocacy exercises, organising lectures and Panel events with barristers and a day of lectures and advice on the bewildering process. Their advice on completing the Gateway forms helped and I was delighted when I secured a number of interviews with Chambers. Of course, that’s when the real work starts.
You can guarantee there will be a legal problem to solve but I found myself wondering; what else makes up the pupillage interview we work so hard to get?
The Pupillage Advisory Service (PAS) at The City Law School is running an all-day workshop for those seeking pupillage. There will be the opportunity to take part in group and individual mock interviews from 9 to 12.30, and again between 3-6pm (in Room 10 AB), as well as an all-day drop in CV clinic run by the Careers Service in the Careers Room, Princeton Street.
The rest of the programme as follows:
9.30 – 10.15
How to Research Chambers for Interview
10.30 – 11.30
Prof Stuart Sime
What to expect in Interview
3.30 - 4.30
Princeton Street Workshops
Criminal Advocacy (Bail applications and Plea’s in Mitigation) - Robert McPeake (PS)
Family - Ronnie L (PS)
Employment – Andrew W (PS)
This is open to current BPTC students, CLS alumni and students on academic programmes who are due to start their BPTC in September at City. To book your place please call Laura or Helen (student advisers) on 020 7404 5787.
As part of our "Lost Footage" series of video interviews (recorded in 2010 and disastrously mislaid) comes this gem with Marie-Louise Orre, a City LPC graduate. She talks us through her life as a shipping lawyer, covering what drew her to law, offering interview tips, discussing commercial awareness and the importance of a great academic record with interests outside of law.
Happy New Year!
I hope you all enjoyed the break and have arrived back ready to face the testing times ahead.
If you followed my advice in November you will have made your focused and timely applications and be waiting eagerly for the emails and letters inviting you to take part in the range of tests and activities which firms have put in place to select their future stars.
The range of these is increasing year on year so much so that I am doing a blog on the topic in both January and February .
My focus this month and next is to help you predict what these might be and prepare yourself.
Online ability tests
These are commonly used these days as the first sift, generally you will face all or one of the following:
And this year’s new entrant ......................Tests of Deductive/Inductive reasoning
So what's the bad news...?
These tests have been rigorously developed to ensure they measure an actual ability rather than something which can be improved by repeatedly taking the test as such you cannot substantially improve your score with practice. However I do have some tips which will help you show your true ability when doing these...
LLB1 student, Ghazi, reviews a talk by Robert Sutton (Senior Adviser at Macfarlanes) about the City legal market, past, present, and future, in which Robert shared some of his experiences of City Law.
Robert divided his talk into categories:
A. At the firm
B. Information about the law firm
C. Qualities which a lawyer should have
A – At the firm:
When doing interviews, Robert expresses how important it is for you as an applicant to be proactive and ask the firm questions.
Thus being confident is very important. Here are a few examples of questions you could pose to the firm:
1. What is training like?
2. The impact of outsourcing adopted by the law firms on young lawyers/trainees: Keep in mind how important Outsourcing is in terms of increasing efficiency and cutting costs.
3. What is the turnover? Keep in mind, the higher the worse.
4. Where do profits go? Are they ‘retained’ back into the firm? If yes ask by how many percent, if not ask why?
-Talk to participating solicitors at the firm:
This helps you to see the firm through the eyes of the lawyers (generally, this is a more accurate approach). Ask them of how they’re treated? Do partners treat trainees well? This helps in assessing the motivation and atmosphere of the firm.
Getting an edge
You’ve done your due diligence and submitted your training applications. Now you can breathe a sigh of relief and get on with the business of the LPC while you are waiting for the invitations to interview to roll in. But don’t waste this opportunity to give your interview that extra edge.
You want law firms to be interested in you, but they also want to feel that you are truly interested in them. The impression that most law firms want to give is that they are solid enterprises, concerned with the problems of their clients but with few real difficulties of their own. Look beneath the surface, however, and you will find that legal decisions and government policy may be giving them real cause for concern. During interview you will sometimes be asked questions that apparently have nothing to do with your CV or your motivations for becoming a lawyer.
The Macfarlanes Dinner organised by the City University Law Society at 'Smiths of Smithfield' restaurant on the 17th February 2009 was certainly one worth going for. With £25 per head, and free flowing drinks, Macfarlanes invested both their time and wealth of knowledge to 15 very lucky City University students.
Sharing a table with three trainees at different levels, a partner and a graduate from City University now on the LPC provided an excellent opportunity to understand what life might be like as a trainee at Macfarlanes. It surely provided the students with an opportunity to learn some of the much sought after skills and dare I say hat tricks needed for application forms and interview.
Even if you know for certain that you want to apply for pupillage during the GDL, with such a hectic schedule, preparing for Pupillage Portal in advance can easily be overlooked. However it is never too soon to start planning ahead! In fact, it can be a huge advantage. To help in the process, here are a few ideas that might be worth considering:
Preparing for the application process
Start off by thinking about the areas of practice you would be interested in. Most of you will already know; but if not, many begin by asking whether they want to be part of the criminal bar or not. This not only narrows the sets to trawl through, but will probably also alter your priorities for the forthcoming year. For example, those applying for ‘crime’ are generally under a higher expectation than their civil counterparts to have experience in mooting, understanding of the features of the criminal system and a particular interest in the Criminal Law module of the course. It is of course entirely possible that you will want to have a mixed criminal and civil practice, but even then the above requirements would probably still stand.