How to become a barrister
The steps typically taken to become a barrister involve three
main stages of training:
Pupillage is the final and practical stage of training to become
a barrister, which can commence up to five years after completing
the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). It is either completed
in a set of chambers or with another Authorised Training
Organisation (ATO). Pupillages usually start in September or
October, one year after being accepted by the chambers (so, for
example, successful April 2015 applicants will usually commence
pupillage in autumn 2016). However, they may start at other times,
depending on the set of chambers or ATO.
It is a Bar Standards Board requirement that all pupillages are
advertised on the central pupillage website the Pupillage
Gateway for a minimum of two weeks.
This is an online pupillage application system operated by the Bar
The Bar Council also has a Pupillage Handbook
which provides an extra resource to view vacancies. The handbook
has been put together to provide you with an additional tool to
browse pupillage options. Please note that the Handbook contains
all applications that are on the Pupillage Gateway, however, there
may be some vacancies not listed in the Handbook.
After training, the final stage is to obtain tenancy in a
set of barristers' chambers as a self-employed barrister, or to go
into practice as an employed barrister.