Pupillage

Harcourt has a rich tradition of attracting and developing the strongest emerging legal talent and of recruiting junior tenants from among our pupils. We believe that pupillage is the very best and most efficient way of identifying the barristers who will go on to become leaders in their fields and uphold the standards and values of Chambers. We take selecting candidates for pupillage, and the experience they receive as pupils, very seriously indeed.

We aim to recruit up to two pupils through the Bar Council’s Pupillage Gateway in 2021, to start their twelve-month pupillage with us in 2022.

Type of work undertaken

In line with Harcourt’s focus on family law, your pupillage will be spent learning about all aspects of family law (children, international, and family finance). You can expect to attend court with your pupil supervisor very regularly and undertake written exercises, drafting and legal research. Chambers has a growing ADR team and you will be able to experience some of this work.

Structure of pupillage

Pupillage is divided between three supervisors in four month periods providing exposure to different work and practice styles whilst ensuring that you are fully supported and have continuity with your pupil supervisor during the transition to your ‘second six’. Wherever possible, we will endeavour to match you to barristers whose practices reflect your particular interests but your pupillage will cover all aspects of family law.

You will receive constructive feedback throughout with your supervisor committed to developing your skills as an effective family law advocate. Your supervisor will also arrange for you to spend time with other members of chambers to ensure that you are exposed to a wide variety of work. Towards the end of your first six months, you will accompany junior tenants to court so that you can experience the type of work you will be undertaking in your second six-month practising period. Our pupils have excellent prospects for earning during their second six months.

You can choose to be based primarily in our London or Oxford premises for your pupillage. To ensure that you experience everything that chambers has to offer, you will be allocated a supervisor from each location for at least one four month period of your pupillage.

Harcourt operates a ‘buddy scheme’ for our pupils. You will be allocated a junior tenant as your ‘buddy’ to offer you support as you embark on your pupillage and they will be available to you throughout the year. Your buddy will arrange an introductory meeting with you before your pupillage starts.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for a pupillage at Harcourt, you should have a 2:1 degree or higher. We will consider candidates with lower grades in cases where there are genuine extenuating circumstances and there is evidence of other outstanding attributes in the application. We do not require applicants to have studied law at university. Many members of Chambers have come from other academic backgrounds or have had other careers before coming to the Bar.

We are committed to equal opportunities and diversity in all its forms. We select candidates for both pupillage and tenancy on merit alone, regardless of age, disability, gender, marital or civil-partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.

In support of this commitment, we are open to making any reasonable adjustments you may need to ensure that you can participate in our selection process fairly.

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer student visits to Chambers prior to application for pupillage.

Award

The pupillage award for prospective pupils is currently £32,000 and this is reviewed on an annual basis.

Recruitment from our pupils

In recruiting our pupils, we always have an eye to the future and our pupils potential to become tenants. Harcourt is committed to expansion and ensuring our pupils develop their legal talents. Recruitment from our pupils is our favoured route for tenancy and as you demonstrate your skills and progress through your pupillage, we will begin actively to consider your suitability for tenancy. In the last three years, we have recruited five junior tenants from our pupils.

Tenancy

Over the last few years a number of practitioners have joined chambers from other sets. We encourage applications from practitioners and will always give serious consideration to any application to join Chambers from barristers practising elsewhere. To apply, please email tenancy@harcourtchambers.co.uk.

Third-six pupillage

At Harcourt, we recognise that not everyone finds the ideal fit during pupillage. For this reason, we are happy to consider applications for third-six pupillages from pupils who have not secured tenancy on completion of their pupillage at another set.

Third-six pupillage with us will be much like the second six for our home grown pupils, although we will expect you to hit the ground running and make rapid progress, increasing your technical knowledge and establishing your practice as a family lawyer. You will, however, receive plenty of support from our members and your fellow pupils as you find your feet here.

We apply exactly the same standards and expectations to third-six pupils as we do to our twelve-month pupils and you will be treated in exactly the same way when it comes to an application for tenancy.

To apply for a third-six pupillage, please email pupillage@harcourtchambers.co.uk.

Mini-pupillage

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 crisis, we are currently unable to offer any mini-pupillages in Chambers.

Subject to any further updates (to be found on this page), the application process will re-open on 1st February 2021 for mini-pupillages between 1st May and 31st August 2021.

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