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The application process at Atkin Chambers

Please note that the below concerns applications for pupillage starting in September 2020 which have now closed. This is therefore for information only and may be subject to change for pupillage starting in September 2021. Further details will be posted here in June/July.

How to apply for pupillage at Atkin Chambers

  • Applicants should send their CV and a covering letter of no more than two pages in length to
  • We require two references (of which at least one should be academic) which should be sent directly by the referees to clearly marked with the name of the applicant.
  • Please list the names of your two referees in your cover letter.
  • Please also completed and include the confidential equality & diversity monitoring form which is available to download here.
  • Chambers is not a member of the Pupillage Gateway scheme. Please apply direct to Chambers.
  • Applications for the year starting in September 2021 will open in December 2019 but dates are TBC and candidates should check this website in the autumn.

The pupillage interview at Atkin Chambers

We aim to interview in late January/early February of the relevant calendar year. We select all pupils via a two round interview process. Generally, around 20-25 applicants will be invited to the first round interview. From this six-eight will be selected to attend a second, more lengthy, interview.

  • The first round is a quick 10-15 minute general discussion with a panel of members and senior practice management.
  • The second round preparation requirements will be detailed in advance, but generally include a short written submission and the requirement for candidates to present their arguments orally at the interview itself.

At each interview, applicants will have the opportunity to ask the Pupillage and Recruitment Committee any further questions about the pupillage and Atkin Chambers.

The pupillage offer at Atkin Chambers

Offers of pupillage will generally be made in or around mid-end February.

Applications for deferral should be made in writing to the Pupillage and Recruitment Committee as soon as possible before commencement of the pupillage, explaining the reasons for the deferral and by how long it is proposed to defer the start of pupillage. Although not guaranteed, Chambers will make reasonable efforts to accommodate any such request.

Atkin Chambers will support international students in their pupillage process. Details on sponsorship and immigration support can be found on the Bar Council’s website.

Comments from Members of Atkin Chambers

Atkin Chambers set the bar extremely high. But, as one junior barrister says, the interview process “isn’t particularly adversarial” and that they got the opportunity to gain “a really good impression of what it would actually be like to work in Chambers and what everybody would be like to work with”.

What does Atkin Chambers look for? “Certainly people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and work as part of a team because that’s the modern way. Yes you have to be really good academically but increasingly also commercially minded because that’s what’s actually important to the client. You are there to solve a problem, to help make solicitors’ lives easier with their clients and that’s more than just about being very clever. That’s about being flexible, friendly and available and all that gets you along way. That’s harder to teach.”

However “that’s not to get away from the importance of the academic side particularly as you progress in your career and have to make the really difficult calls”.