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Regrettably, applications for mini-pupillages remain suspended until Covid restrictions are completely lifted and we have worked our way through a backlog of pre-Covid mini-pupillages.

There are still few hearings in person and many have strict capacity limits to ensure social distancing. Our chambers is also operating at a severely limited capacity with most barristers practising remotely or without attending chambers. We do not wish to offer any mini-pupillages that may not be a positive experience for the participant, nor expose them to unnecessary risk of infection.

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.

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.  We aim to offer mini-pupils exposure to a variety of the practice areas in which our barristers work.

Attendees on the Assessed Mini-Pupillage scheme will gain the additional benefit of:

  • 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.  If your application is unsuccessful we ask that you don’t re-apply the following quarter so that we are not overwhelmed with repeat applications.

For mini-pupillages:

  1. In January to March (inclusive), apply by December 1;
  2. In April to June, apply by March 1;
  3. In July to September, apply by June 1;
  4. 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 application should address how you meet the criteria set out below.  Allowances will be made for your current level of academic study.

Should you wish be considered for an Assessed Mini-Pupillage please ensure your cover letter addresses how you meet the additional criteria.  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.


Applicants for all mini-pupillages need to address the following criteria in their application:

All candidates must meet the following entry requirements:

  • They are a graduate (of any subject), or current undergraduate studying law or with a place on a law conversion course for next academic year; 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.

All candidates need to address how they demonstrate the following:

  1. Proven academic ability;
  2. Knowledge of and/or interest in Dere Street Barristers;
  3. A well-rounded personality;
  4. Motivation and drive to succeed;
  5. Strong written skills;
  6. Experience of public speaking;
  7. Good people skills.

Additional Assessed Mini-Pupillage criteria

Candidates who meet the additional criteria set out below may also apply for an Assessed Mini-Pupillage.  To be eligible for consideration you must meet all criteria in section 1 and at least one in section 2:

Section 1

You must:

  • Have attended a state school or college; and
  • Demonstrate high academic achievement; and
  • Be in at least your second year of university or a graduate.

Section 2

You must also meet one or more of the following criteria (please list all that apply):

  1. Neither of your parents went to university;
  2. You have received free school meals;
  3. Your family has received income support;
  4. You have caring responsibilities;
  5. You were in care yourself.


Please email all applications to  If you are unable to email, please post your application to 33 Broad Chare, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3DQ, marking it for the attention of the mini-pupillage co-ordinator.


Please note

In the event that during a mini-pupillage a your behaviour or appearance falls short of the standard reasonably to be expected or it transpires that you fail in a material way to meet the criteria for a mini-pupillage 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 regret that we are only able to offer mini-pupillages to a limited number of applicants each quarter.

We are unable to provide feedback on unsuccessful applications.