Pupillage Competition 2021/2022
"We see our pupils as our future tenants and our junior tenants as our future.”
All pupillage vacancies at 36 Group are placed on the Pupillage Gateway, which is the annual online application system for pupillage operated by the Bar Council.
About The 36 Group:
The 36 Group comprises 5 specialist Practice Groups: 36 Commercial, 36 Crime, 36 Family, 36 Public and Human Rights and 36 Stone (International Trade and Shipping).
The total membership of The 36 Group now numbers over 160 which includes over 20 Silks and a significant number of arbitrators, authors and judicial appointees. We are located in impressive offices in Gray's Inn, London but our clients are nationwide, and our work extends to courts in the whole of England and Wales. We also have operations in Singapore and Cyprus and strong links with many other jurisdictions reflecting our international client base and outlook, and work which is increasingly international in nature.
Chambers has a history stretching back to the 1850s with a common law background. Recognising the increased need for specialism at the bar, over the past 25 years, Chambers has moved steadily towards dedicated specialist Practice Groups. Within each Practice Group there are further areas of specialism and opportunities to develop niche areas of practice.
Each Practice Group has its own Head of Team, its own Practice Manager and its own strategy, business plan and ethos. Most practitioners are members of only one of the practice groups and specialise in that area alone, although there are opportunities to do work which transcends more than one practice area, and there are special interest groups within Chambers which are common to a number of Practice Groups.
Pupillage at The 36 Group:
All pupillages offered by The 36 Group are specialist pupillages attached to one of the Practice Groups. Pupils are always recruited with a view to tenancy, and only in exceptional circumstances would a pupil not be invited to apply for tenancy at the conclusion of their pupillage.
Pupils will have at least two Pupil Supervisors from their core Practice Group and will have the opportunity to observe and undertake a range of work across the areas of specialism of their core Practice Group.
In addition, pupils will have a Supporting Pupil Supervisor from a different Practice Group in each of their six month periods of pupillage, and will have the opportunity to spend around 20% of their time working in their subsidiary practice area with their Supporting Pupil Supervisor. Subsidiary areas of practice will be chosen in consultation with the pupil on commencing pupillage.
Practice Managers for each Practice Group assist individual barristers with their practice development and will discuss with pupils their practice development interests and needs as second six approaches and on a continuing basis.
Our barristers and staff work as a team to achieve the best for Chambers and for the individuals, and our barristers are offered a high level of support with running a self employed practice. The Practice Groups are supported by a well-funded marketing strategy tailored to each Practice Group’s particular needs, including providing regular high level training for clients as a means of showcasing barristers’ skills.
Pupillage competition 2021-2022:
The 36 Group is offering six pupillages through the Pupillage Gateway. All pupillages are for a 1st October start. The pupillages and awards which will be available are as follows
- Stone (International Trade and Shipping) for 2023 £70,000
- Commercial for 2023 £65,000
- Crime for 2022 and 2023 £45,000
- Family for 2023 £45,000
- Public and Human Rights for 2023 £45,000
Applicants for a 36 Crime pupillage may apply for a 2022 start or 2023 start or both. Applicants for both will only be interviewed once.
Applicants may apply for pupillage in more than one practice area, applications in each practice area will be marked separately.
The awards are comprised of a core grant during the first six months and guaranteed earnings during the second six months. Pupils are paid in 12 equal monthly instalments throughout pupillage.
Pupils also have the option to draw down an advance on a portion of their core grant during the 12 months prior to commencing pupillage to assist with meeting financial commitments.
Travel expenses are included in the pupillage awards, and as such pupils are expected to meet travel expenses from their awards. Additional discretionary travel expenses can be applied for in unusual circumstances or where reasonable adjustments are required due to disability.
The 36 Group looks for excellence in its pupils. Applications are welcomed from all highly talented candidates regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, sexuality, health, disability, neurodiversity or family / financial / other personal circumstances.
Chambers will take active steps to reduce the obstacles that disability presents in the application process. Where reasonable adjustments are requested, required or implemented this plays no part in marking applications or deciding whether to offer a candidate an interview or a pupillage. Any applicant who wishes to discuss reasonable adjustments is invited to contact the Head of Pupillage, who is not involved in marking application forms or interviewing prospective pupils.
The ground floor of our premises is wheelchair accessible by prior arrangement and our toilet facilities are partially accessible. This is due to the age and structure of the building. Arrangements will be made for access to alternative toilet facilities if not accessible to a particular visitor.
Applications from overseas candidates are welcomed, but candidates will need to demonstrate their commitment to the Bar of England and Wales and to Chambers. Any offer of pupillage will be subject to the offeree having the right to work and remain in England. Candidates who need a visa to be able to live and work in the UK during or after pupillage are invited to contact the Head of Pupillage to discuss their circumstances.
We aim to make our pupillage application process as rigorous and fair as possible, and to encourage the widest diversity of exceptional applicants. Pupils are selected according to our selection criteria which can be found here.
Full details of our pupillage application process, and of our policies and procedures are set out in our Pupillage Manual here.
Our Pupillage Manual and pupillage application process are reviewed annually. The mark scheme for 2021/2022 applications for each Practice Group can be found here:
- Stone Mark Scheme
- Commercial Mark Scheme
- Crime Mark Scheme
- Family Mark Scheme
- Public and Human Rights Mark Scheme
Applicants for pupillage are not expected to have completed mini-pupillage with us previously.
Interviews are likely to take place in person. This is subject to review in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. Requests for interviews to take place remotely will be considered. The following are the dates for interview, but any candidate who is unable to attend an interview on one of the scheduled dates is invited to contact the Head of Pupillage to discuss an alternative date. This includes, for example, reasons relating to religious observance.
March 19th – first round interviews Stone, Commercial, Public
March 26th – first round interviews Family, Crime 2022, Crime 2023
2nd April - second round interviews Stone, Commercial, Public
23rd April – second round interviews Family, Crime 2022, Crime 2023
We are firmly committed to providing our pupils with the best possible pupillage experience and training. Pupil development and wellbeing are hugely important to us. Pupils will be nurtured and supported to reach their full potential throughout their pupillage and beyond. We pride ourselves on being a welcoming, sociable and supportive team of barristers and staff members and want all of our pupils to feel welcome in Chambers. Pupils will be supported not only by their Pupil Supervisors, but also the Head of Pupillage, their Practice Manager and Clerks, the Pupillage Officer for their Practice Group, a ‘Chambers Buddy’ and all members of the pupil’s Practice Group.
Testimonials from recent pupils reflect the rich experience that pupillage at The 36 Group offers;
Shyam Thakerar – Commercial Pupillage, 2017-18
“Pupillage at The 36 Group gave me the opportunity to not only pursue my specific interests but also provided me with a breadth of experience that is rare to find at other chambers. It was invaluable observing criminal and family cases in addition to commercial ones. Much of the advocacy I witnessed in those other fields has helped with my own practice now.
Further, the regular advocacy training sessions were extremely helpful in providing a safe space in which I could develop my own technique freely. I received detailed and candid feedback from experienced practitioners, which is hard to come across once in regular practice.”
Tom Parker – Crime Pupillage, 2019-20
“It was made clear to me right from the start that Chambers was interested in what I wanted to do, and what areas of practice I wanted to develop. I felt comfortable stating honestly what I found interesting, and where I saw myself going over the next few years. Both my supervisors and the clerks went out of their way to find me people to shadow or work to do that suited those interests, even if it was outside our team.
The clerks were so supportive during my second six. We had really useful discussions about how I would progress over the coming months, what sort of work schedule I could expect, and what areas I could branch into. I was never made to feel like I just had to ‘do what I was told’ – it was a collaborative effort, and made the whole experience better.”
Paul Schwartfeger – Commercial Pupillage, 2019-20
“While my pupillage was focused on developing the legal knowledge, skills and expertise required for practice in commercial law, Chambers also encouraged me to engage with its other practice specialisms during my training. Doing so provided me with additional opportunities to hone my advocacy skills and to familiarise myself with different court settings and procedures. Moreover, it helped me to better appreciate how legal issues common to my chosen specialism can arise in other practice areas too, providing further opportunities for me to develop my commercial law skills and to grow my practice. This is one of the many advantages I believe there are to completing a specialist pupillage within a multi-specialist set like The 36 Group.”
Lydia Myers – Stone Pupillage, 2020-2021
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my pupillage experience with The 36 Group. I have worked on a variety of matters ranging from general commercial to complex and novel shipping disputes. It is rare to have the opportunity to work with some of the leading minds in an area of law that has interested me for years.
What is unique about The 36 Group is that firstly, the work is incredibly international and there is no case that goes without some conflict of laws, jurisdiction or extra-territorial element. Secondly, each member of the group is incredibly welcoming and genuinely wants to support you in your career, whether by way of a coffee, a virtual meeting or a call for advice when things don’t go according to plan on one of your briefs.
I would strongly recommend The 36 Group to any aspiring pupil who wants to work hard and be rewarded.“
Lara Izzard-Hobbs – Family Pupillage, 2020-21
“I sought a pupillage where I could train in the full spectrum of family work at a set which was ambitious but grounded. This is precisely what 36 Family provided. Its reputation for accessibility was borne out in the generosity of members with their time. I am extremely grateful to each of my supervisors and many other members for sharing their knowledge and experience at crucial moments. I was made to feel confident that tenancy turned only on the quality of my work. 36 Family offers a supportive and modern community as well as the opportunity to build a thriving practice.
During your first six, you can expect to see and learn from leading barristers across finance and children work. During your second six, you can expect a busy practice from the outset with court hearings most days, including trials. Your caseload will be divided between finance and private children matters. You will also have the opportunity to assist with cases at the highest level throughout pupillage. There are always senior members of Chambers willing to offer advice which helps with the unavoidably steep learning curve. The support of pupils in other practice areas is also invaluable.”
Sebastian Walker – Crime Pupillage, 2020-2021
“From the very beginning of my pupillage it was made clear that Chambers’ priority was to ensure I was given the experience I would need for a successful career at the Bar. Throughout pupillage I was invited to indicate what experiences I thought would find most useful and how I saw my practice developing. My supervisors and clerks worked hard to ensure I shadowed the work I wanted to in my first six months and had a broad exposure to the work of Chambers. All members of Chambers I worked with were welcoming and freely gave their time up to provide feedback and explain things. At no point was there an impression I was there to provide cheap labour for other members of Chambers.
A similar approach was adopted in my second six. The clerks ensured, particularly at the start of my second six, that I had sufficient time in my diary to prepare cases and received a variety of work. I was invited to indicate the work I would want to explore and given opportunities to expand my practice. At all stages I felt well supported by Chambers and the clerking team.”