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Pupillage interviews and offers

Applications for pupillage starting September 2022 closed on Monday 8 February 2021.

The pupillage interview at Atkin Chambers

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. Candidates are asked to make a short presentation on a current affairs issue and to answer questions on that presentation. The aim of the initial round interviews is to select between 6 – 8 candidates who will be invited back for a second round interview.
  • 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

Formal offers of pupillage are made in May.

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 a long 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”.