Pupillage at 3VB
3VB The year of pupillage at 3VB offers the opportunity to sit and learn with four of today's leading senior juniors, for three months each.
You will sit in the rooms of your pupil supervisor and share their daily professional life, getting involved with their cases, drafting pleadings, researching legal points, writing advices and attending conferences and court or other hearings.
If, during the year, you find that there is a particular area of practice you would like to see more of, Chambers will do its best to accommodate that interest when allocating your next supervisors, and the aim is always to provide a good mix and contrast of work and working styles.
In addition to working with pupil supervisors, you will also be asked to work with a variety of members of chambers of all levels. In particular, you will have a shadow pupil supervisor (one for each six months) who is a junior member of chambers charged with giving you smaller work of the sort you will shortly be undertaking on your own.
Whilst pupils have to work hard, sometimes very hard, you can generally expect to have most evenings and weekends to yourself.
Advocacy and Education
Pupils also undertake a number of advocacy exercises, usually around four during the course of pupillage. These exercises are not formally assessed, and are not a competition between pupils, but provide an opportunity to practise and develop advocacy skills with the benefit of feedback from our head of advocacy, Paul Lowenstein QC, and to practise applications that are more focused on commercial practice than they were on the BPTC.
During the practising six, pupils are given the opportunity to undertake a limited amount of advocacy on their own account, in order to start building up experience, loyal solicitors, and earnings (which are in additional to the pupillage award and not subject to any chambers expenses).
For pupils and new tenants, we also put on a short series of talks on the basics of commercial practice, covering some of the matters (such as costs and insolvency hearings) that come up frequently but that you may not have encountered before.
Pupils get regular feedback from their pupil supervisors, and have reviews at 3 and 6 months. The 3 month review is to assess progress generally and address any concerns the pupil may have. The 6 month review is more significant. Its purpose is to provide constructive feedback and to help the pupil deal with areas of weakness in the period leading up to tenancy decisions. The 3VB pupillage is for twelve months and only in extreme cases are pupils actually asked to leave after six months. That is not to say that the 6 month assessment will not be entirely realistic - it is in no-one's interest for a pupil to be left with the idea that everything is going swimmingly, when it isn't. The tenancy decision is usually taken in mid-July.
Chambers genuinely does not have a quota or limit, and the hope when offering pupillage is for every pupil to later be offered tenancy. Where a pupil is not offered tenancy, chambers does all that it can to help place the pupil with another good set, having a good success rate of doing so in recent years.