Students call on the Bar Council to move Pupillage Gateway timetable
18 January 2016
Following calls from students and chambers, the Bar Council will
be moving the Pupillage
Gateway timetable starting in January 2017.
The decision will mean that pupillage applicants know the
outcome of their applications before they commit to the expensive
Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and pupillage interviews
will no longer risk clashes with exams.
Prior to making the decision, the Bar Council ran a consultation
about the move. There were 126 responses to the consultation (45
were from chambers). The majority of chambers supported the move
and the overwhelming response from students was positive.
Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC, Chairman of the Bar, said: "This is a
common-sense decision by the Bar and students. Given the high costs
associated with the BPTC, the new Pupillage Gateway timetable,
which will run from January to April as of 2017, means that at
least students applying through the Gateway will know if they have
pupillage before committing to the BPTC.
"However, this was never going to be about simply changing the
date of Gateway. The Bar Council has an ongoing and crucial role to
play in supporting students and pupillage providers. Over the next
year we will be raising awareness about mini-pupillages, providing
support via the Bar Council's Pupillage Fair and continuing to
equip students with the knowledge they need before they commit to
While most respondents to the consultation were in favour of the
Gateway timetable change, the Bar Council acknowledged that it
would work with those who saw some challenges with the planned new
Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC said: "We intend to learn from the
experience of those chambers who are already recruiting earlier in
the year and will work with our members to make the move work for
Notes to editors
The Pupillage Gateway facilitates a fair, transparent and
accessible pupillage application process, to help ensure that the
profession is open to all with the talent to succeed.
The Pupillage Gateway is the method through which barristers'
chambers are able to advertise and recruit pupils. The Gateway
timetable currently runs from the end of April, which is the
closing date for pupillage applications, to August when acceptance
of offers takes place. The result is that, for example, an
undergraduate law student can apply in April of their third year at
university for a pupillage beginning in the September or October of
the following year.
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- Fair access to justice for all
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the profession, and
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home and abroad.
The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the
Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions
through the independent Bar Standards