At Dere Street Barristers we know mini-pupillages are a vital tool in helping potential barristers make career decisions. We have always selected mini-pupils carefully and tried to make their time with us as beneficial as possible. From 2019, we are using new Assessed Mini-Pupillages, alongside traditional mini-pupillages, to help groups under-represented at the Bar discover whether our Chambers could be their future home.
Dere Street Barristers are committed to developing a chambers that reflects the society in which we live. We are therefore offering six Assessed Mini-Pupillages, in addition to the large number of standard mini-pupillages we offer, to encourage applications from groups who have faced barriers to joining the Bar in meaningful numbers. Assessed Mini-Pupillages will include bursaries to prevent financial restrictions excluding good candidates. The strongest mini-pupil on the scheme will be offered a first round pupillage interview in the following year.
What do we offer?
All mini-pupillages at Dere Street Barristers last for three days and are based either at our Newcastle or York Chambers, though candidates must be prepared to travel. Anyone is welcome to apply for our standard mini-pupillage provided that:
- They are a graduate (of any subject), an undergraduate currently studying law or an undergraduate with a place on a law conversion course; and
- They can demonstrate an interest in a career at the independent Bar; and
- They can demonstrate an interest in practising as a barrister in the north-east.
Candidates who meet the additional criteria set out below can also apply for an Assessed Mini-Pupillage. We will only offer six of these special mini-pupillages per year, but the successful participants will benefit from:
- A bursary towards travel and accommodation costs incurred in attending the mini-pupillage;
- Spending time with one or more members of the pupillage committee to talk about practice at Dere Street and to gain an insight into what we look for in pupils;
- Each year, the person who we consider to be the most impressive potential barrister on the Assessed Mini-Pupillage scheme will be guaranteed a first round pupillage interview.
How to apply
Dere Street Barristers invites applications for mini-pupillages on a quarterly basis. We take as many mini-pupils as we can but regretfully cannot accommodate every applicant. If your application is unsuccessful we ask that you don’t re-apply for at least three months so that we are not overwhelmed with repeat applications.
- In January to March (inclusive), apply by December 1;
- In April to June, apply by March 1;
- In July to September, apply by June 1;
- In October to December, apply by September 1.
To make an application please send a CV of no more than two sides with a cover letter of no more than one side. Your cover letter should set out why you are interested in Dere Street Barristers. Your application should address how you meet the criteria of a potential pupil set out at appendix one of our pupillage policy. Allowances will be made for your current level of academic study.
Should you wish be considered for an Assessed Mini Pupillage please state in your cover letter how you meet the relevant criteria set out below. Applicants for Assessed Mini Pupillages will automatically be considered for a standard mini pupillage should they not be one of the six strongest candidates offered an Assessed Mini Pupillage.
Please email all applications to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are unable to email, please post applications to 33 Broad Chare, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3DQ.
To be eligible for consideration on the Assessed Mini Pupillage scheme you must meet all criteria in section 1 and at least one in section 2:
1) You must have attended a state school or college, be able to demonstrate high academic achievement, and be in at least your second year of university or a graduate;
2) You must also meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Neither of your parents went to university
- You have received free school meals
- Your family has received income support
- You have caring responsibilities
- You were in care yourself
Applicants from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are particularly encouraged to apply.
In the event that during a mini-pupillage a mini-pupil’s behaviour or appearance appears to fall short of the standard reasonably to be expected or it transpires that a mini-pupil fails in a material way to meet the criteria stipulated in the mini-pupillage policy then we reserve the right to terminate the mini-pupillage with immediate effect.
All mini pupils will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement on commencing a mini-pupillage, promising not to discuss any information they hear during their mini-pupillage with anyone other than members of Dere Street Barristers.
Selection for mini-pupillage is entirely separate from the pupillage process and acceptance / rejection of an application for mini-pupillage is not an indication of the likely outcome of any application for pupillage.
We are unable to provide feedback on unsuccessful applications for mini-pupillage.