Home General Information About pupillage
General Information

About pupillage

Pupillage is the final and practical stage of training to become a barrister, which can commence up to five years after completing the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). It is completed at an Authorised Education and Training Organisation (AETO) and usually starts in September or October, 16 months after being accepted by the AETO. However, they may start at other times, depending on the AETO Pupillage can last up to 24 months and is formally divided into two periods: non-practising and practising. During the non-practising period, pupils will be assigned a pupil supervisor; a barrister in the same AETO who the pupil will shadow, and for whom the pupil will undertake supervised work, such as legal research and drafting court documents. The pupil will also accompany the pupil supervisor to court and conferences with clients. During the practising period, pupils will be eligible to undertake cases of their own, albeit under supervision, and will begin to build up their own contacts and a client base. Once the non-practising and practising period (i.e. the first 12, 18 or 24 months) are satisfactorily completed, the pupil will be a fully qualified barrister. AETOs are required to fund pupillage with a minimum award of £12,000 (and, from 1 September 2019, a minimum award of £15,728 for pupillages outside of London and £18,436 for pupillages in London). Depending on the AETO, the award may well be more (and often is) – please see individual vacancies for further information. The pupil may also earn money from case work they take on during the practising period. Decisions about tenancy are usually made around two months before the end pupillage. Appraisal might be based simply on a pupil supervisor’s assessment of a pupil’s abilities, or the pupil might have to take part in a formal exercise. Further information on pupillage is available at www.barcouncil.org.uk/careers. The rules and regulations governing pupillage are set out in the BSB Bar Qualification Manual, which all aspiring pupils, current pupils, pupil supervisors and AETOs should study.