Pupillage

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 continues and we are pleased to confirm that for the January 2018 round of pupillage applications from which we will select new pupils to join us in Autumn 2019, Carmelite will withdraw from the Pupillage Gateway process and introduce our own bespoke application form.

The form will be available to download from this website later in the year. We will publish a full timetable for our revised application process in the Autumn.

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. 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. 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.

Mini-Pupillages

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