Bar Council puts forward proposals for Pupillage Gateway date change

24 November 2015

Plans to shift the Pupillage Gateway recruitment window to the January to April period have been published by the Bar Council. The representative body for barristers is calling on its members, as well as students, chambers and others involved in pupillage recruitment to respond to the proposals. 

The Pupillage Gateway is the method through which 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. The Bar Council is proposing to change the recruitment window to between January and April, rather than between April and August. 

The Bar Council says that the potential benefits of moving the timetable are that pupillage applicants would know the outcome of their applications before they commit money to the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), and that it would avoid clashes between academic exams and pupillage interviews, which may be discouraging students from making an application before they start the BPTC course. On the other hand, some pupillage providers have expressed concern to the Bar Council about the impact of the change for their recruitment processes.

Before deciding on whether to makes this significant change, the Bar Council wants views on how it will affect those involved in the recruitment process. Interested parties are encouraged to take part in the Bar Council's Pupillage Gateway Timetable survey. The feedback received in this consultation will be used to determine whether to move the Gateway timetable as proposed. The deadline for response is Friday 11 December 2015

Take part in the survey at


Notes to Editors 

  1. Further information is available from the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 and
  2. The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes: 
  • The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services
  • Fair access to justice for all
  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and
  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at 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 Board