Carmelite has always been proud of the pupillage structure that it offers and the exceptional candidates who have joined us over the years, many remaining in chambers as tenants once pupillage is completed. We strive to offer the very best training for a successful career at the Bar and we endeavour to recruit candidates with the potential and talent to become future leaders in their field.

In order to ensure that we continue to recruit the best aspiring new barristers, following an extensive review of our pupillage application process last year we introduced new marking criteria and increased Carmelite’s pupillage award by 50% for the January 2017 selection round.

Our review continued and we can confirm that from January 2018 Carmelite Chambers has withdrawn from the Pupillage Gateway process. Applications from which we will select new pupils to join us in Autumn 2019 will be considered through our own bespoke application form. Please click on the links for the Application Form and for the Equality Diversity Monitoring Form.

Carmelite Chambers is one of the few exclusively criminal defence sets in the country and unquestionably a leader in its field, highly respected and with a national and international reputation for excellence. There currently are 65 tenants including fourteen Queen’s Counsel.  Members of Chambers have been instructed in many of the high profile cases in the last ten years, including LIBOR manipulation, Operation Elveden and the 7/7 and 21/7 bombings. Our tenants have considerable expertise in all areas of crime including murder, terrorism, corporate manslaughter, police corruption, drug trafficking, sexual offences and has increasingly specialised in commercial fraud and international money laundering.

Pupils will be funded through a combination of an award scheme and guaranteed earnings. The current award is a grant of £12,000 in the first six months plus guaranteed earnings of at least £12,000 in the second six months making a total award of £24,000. Chambers also pays for all compulsory training courses and encourages pupils to take time to prepare fully for the vital advocacy training provided by the Inns.

Carmelite Chambers selects pupils who demonstrate a genuine interest in criminal defence work. Applications will be assessed on four areas: academic achievement, advocacy skills, interest in crime and extra-curricular achievement. The application form is designed to elicit information reflecting the assessment criteria. We are looking for individuals who are highly-motivated and demonstrate sound judgement. We use a dedicated and experienced team to assess all applications carefully; we are most impressed by candidates who are keen, tenacious and ready to face the challenges of a career at the Criminal Bar in difficult times when competition for work is fierce.  We are interested in those with the passion and drive to succeed and build up a practice in an ever-changing branch of the profession. Above all, we are looking for strong advocates with ability, charisma and potential.

Each pupil will have a different supervisor for each three month period in order to ensure maximum exposure to different types of work and advocacy styles. Support is also provided from members of chambers independent to pupil supervisors.

Throughout pupillage, Chambers provides weekly in-house advocacy training which provides our pupils with the necessary skills to survive in their early days in Court. Chambers also offers 24-hour support and guidance if and when the need arises. All pupils are fully involved in the life of Carmelite Chambers during their time with us and are invited to social events and Chambers lectures allowing exposure to members of Chambers as well as solicitors.

During their first six months our pupils will experience a wide range Court work from high-profile and complex cases in the Crown Court to more straightforward matters before Magistrates. Once on their feet, they should expect to be extremely busy and will be instructed to conduct court work, including trials, in both the Magistrates’ and the Crown Court.

We aim to give pupils all of the knowledge, skills and practical experience that will equip them for a successful career at the Bar. Upon successful completion of the initial 12-month period pupils will be invited to apply for a third six. In order to maximise a pupil’s opportunity to consolidate relationships with solicitors and to develop a thriving practice, any decision as to tenancy would not ordinarily take place until a pupil has been on their feet for twelve months.

To apply for pupillage with Carmelite Chambers for 2020:

We intend to offer up to three pupillages with an award of £24,000 (in addition the cost of all compulsory courses will be met). 

Please complete the Application form and the Equality and Diversity form and submit to chambers via email to pupillage@carmelitechambers.co.uk.

Opening date for applications on 3rd December 2018

Closing date for application by the 14th January 2019

First round interviews will take place on 2nd March 2019

Second round interviews will take place on 23rd March 2019


Please note offers will expire after 14 days.



We do have mini-pupillages available. Please apply by November for a place with us during the following year. Your application should be by CV and covering letter to our Chambers’ Administrator, Orla O’Sullivan. The places will be allocated in November and notified to you.


Click here for a Pupil's View of Pupillage