Applications for RLC Pupillage will re-open in October 2021.
Red Lion Chambers will not be recruiting for pupillages due to commence in September 2022. Our pupillage programme will re-open for applications from October 2021 for pupillages due to commence in 2023.
Chambers is committed to delivering the highest standard of pupillage training and ensuring it is a fulfilling experience. We have taken this decision in light of the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on court work and delivery of the pupillage programme for 2020/21 and 2021/22. We believe this decision is also in the best interests of those due to commence pupillage with us in January 2022.
Chambers remains committed to our outreach programme and promoting diversity, equality and social mobility within the profession.
Red Lion Chambers prides itself on providing excellent pupillages that train and prepare junior practitioners for a successful career at the bar.
We place great emphasis on developing the potential of each pupil, enabling them to enjoy a varied and rewarding pupillage designed to promote and produce well-rounded first-class advocates.
The diverse work of our members enables pupils to work with leading practitioners across a full calendar of criminal and regulatory specialisms. A number of our members are also involved in international and human rights work, and pupils are frequently asked to assist in their research. Pupils will observe both prosecution and defence work and will spend time both in London and at our Chelmsford Annexe, thus gaining experience and insight into the differences in practice in London and on circuit.
Our pupillage programme, and all applications for pupillage and tenancy are governed by equal opportunities and fair recruitment principles.
We are one of the largest and highest ranked criminal sets in the country. Our work is challenging, rewarding, varied and often attracts public and media attention. We have a progressive work culture that allows candidates with exceptional ability to flourish.
Our set is home to over 100 barristers including over 20 Queen’s Counsel and a number of Crown Court Recorders. Many of our former members have been appointed to the judiciary, both as circuit and High Court judges. Our ex-Head of Chambers, Max Hill QC, now Director of Public Prosecutions, held positions as Leader of the Criminal Bar Association, and the South Eastern Circuit. Those who gain pupillages with us therefore have access to an extensive pool of knowledge and expertise. By working alongside a diverse range of experienced specialists, pupils will learn from some of the best practitioners currently serving at the Bar.
Our members have a collaborative working approach and our practice groups are designed to disseminate knowledge and develop group expertise in a number of specialist areas. Those who gain pupillage with us will therefore be able to train alongside a range of experienced specialists.
Our pupils are also welcomed into the social life of chambers. We pride ourselves on being a friendly, approachable set, and there are regular opportunities to meet and mingle with members at all levels in an informal context. We have a very relaxed tea at 4pm where those working at their desks in chambers meet to chat about everything and anything. There are regular events in chambers, including talks and social networking events organised by our juniors, lectures and CPD sessions, monitoring groups that meet to discuss developments in a variety of areas of law and IT, dinners and celebrations.
We are committed to wellbeing and have offered courses on Mindfulness and Wellbeing to our members. We provide access to Mindfulness materials and information about support services in our common room and have a mentoring scheme to encourage and support junior members of chambers, Specifically for pupils, the Education and Training Committee hold regular office hours to allow any issues or concerns to be raised, and pupils are entitled to four weeks’ holiday in the first 12 months of pupillage. We have policies on grievance/complaints, illness, bereavement and maternity/paternity.
Our historic reputation for excellence alongside our warm and collegiate team environment regularly attracts talent from other chambers. Ultimately, it is our heritage, values, skill and passionate belief in representation for all, that bind us together as one of the country’s most respected and admired legal teams.
Red Lion chambers offers up to two pupillages per annum. Upon completion of 12 months of pupillage, Chambers practice is to invite some, or all pupils, to complete a further six months pupillage prior to consideration of any tenancy applications. In exceptional circumstances a tenancy application will be considered after completion of 12 months pupillage. Pupillage may be terminated at the conclusion of 12 months pupillage by either the pupil or chambers.
Pupils will generally have one pupil supervisor every four months to ensure they observe a wide range of work and are able to draw from different working practices and approaches. Pupils will spend some time at our Chelmsford Annexe, allowing them the opportunity to meet all members of chambers and to further develop their professional connections.
In the second and third six month periods, pupils can expect to be both in the magistrates and Crown court, usually on a daily basis, and sometimes twice a day. Pupils begin to develop their own practice, and will continue to be involved with that of their supervisor, and other members of chambers.
Chambers is fully compliant with the Authorised Education and Training Organisation Framework established by the BSB. We ensure that only those members of chambers with sufficient experience and whose practice offers significant training opportunities will be authorised as pupil supervisors. We provide regular training to our pupil supervisors. Our training programme for pupils emphasises flexibility in learning to enable those with responsibilities outside chambers or personal challenges to receive the same high-quality training. The training programme sets out the core principles and competences which form the basis of the training Red Lion Chambers commits to provide to its pupils. However, pupil supervisors will be responsible for the way in which they implement this training programme. Every pupillage will necessarily be different because of the differing nature of professional practices at the Bar, even within Red Lion Chambers.
The training programme has regard to and implements the four key requirements of the Authorisation Framework, namely:
c. Affordability; and
d. High standards.
It has also been drafted in accordance with:
a. The Professional Statement, Threshold Standard and Competences;
b. The Curriculum and Assessment Strategy;
c. The Bar Qualification Manual
d. The BSB Handbook
e. The Equality Act 2010;
f. The BSB Equality Rules for BSB Authorised Bodies;
g. Supporting information on the Equality Rules of the BSB Handbook.
The training programme will enable each pupil to at least meet the competences in the Professional Statement to the ‘threshold standard’, in other words the minimum standard of knowledge, skills and attributes that all barristers should have on ‘day one’ of practice upon the issue of a full qualification certificate. It is our goal to ensure that, at the very least, every pupil meets the competences in the Professional Statement to the ‘threshold standard’ so that they can be awarded a full qualification certificate.
However, simply meeting the competences in the Professional Statement will not be sufficient to obtain tenancy at Red Lion Chambers (‘RLC’), and pupils at RLC will be encouraged throughout their training and assessment to attain the highest standards. The training programme is intended to produce barristers with the potential for excellence.
At the beginning of pupillage, pupils will attend an Induction Day and will be provided with the Pupillage Handbook and relevant policies and programmes.
During the first (non-practising) six months of pupillage, pupils will attend court and conferences with their pupil supervisor, or alternatively with another member of chambers if their pupil supervisor is unavailable. They will usually undertake a period of marshalling with a judge. They will be expected to speak to their pupil supervisor at least three times a week in order to update their pupil supervisor on the work they have been doing, discuss any queries, concerns or issues and reflect upon what they have learned.
During the practising period of pupillage, pupils will largely be undertaking their own court work. Contact with their pupil supervisor will, inevitably, be reduced. However, the pupil will be expected to speak to their pupil supervisor at least twice a week (except if agreed otherwise with the pupil supervisor) in order to update their pupil supervisor on the work they have been doing, discuss any queries, concerns or issues and reflect upon what they have learned. Furthermore, when not undertaking their own work, pupils will be expected to attend court or conferences with their pupil supervisor.
Throughout their pupillage, pupils will be asked to keep a record of their experiences and learning. Formal feedback will be collected from pupil supervisors, the Advocacy Committee and members of chambers for whom pupils undertake work. Every four months, the pupil will complete a self-reflection form and attend an assessment meeting with their pupil supervisor, at which progress and future development in accordance with the Professional Statement Competences will be discussed.
Chambers enjoys an outstanding reputation for advocacy. We are particularly proud of our in-house advocacy training run by Queen’s Counsel and members of chambers throughout pupillage.
- A full programme is designed and delivered throughout the year, helping our pupils develop their skills, so as to ensure pupils starting their second six pupillage are well-equipped for courtroom trial advocacy. This training continues throughout the second six months of pupillage.
- The regular exercises reflect the full range of skills required in tactical advocacy and witness handling. The exercises include bail applications, pleas in mitigation, examination in chief, cross-examination, speeches and legal argument.
- The sessions also cover written work. Pupils gain experience in drafting attendance notes, agendas, case summaries and openings, skeleton arguments, and applications.
- Interactive workshops are held to address topics such as ethics, good conduct and client care. Just before the second six months of pupillage, our junior tenants host a training session on magistrates’ court procedure, etiquette and useful tips to help with the first few weeks of practice.
- We also invite guests into chambers to assist with advocacy sessions, including district and circuit judges.
- During the course of the year, our pupils have the opportunity to conduct a mock trial at a Crown Court. This year the mock trial will take place at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey), judged by a circuit judge, with members of chambers acting as witnesses and jury. This is an invaluable opportunity for advice and feedback.
Chambers Pupillage package provides our pupils with a minimum of £27,000 over the course of their pupillage. The way this is calculated is broken down in the list below, together with a number of other benefits that we offer:
Chambers will provide the following funding and opportunities for all 12 month pupils:
(i) Funding of £17,000 over 12 months paid by way of monthly instalments.
(ii) Guaranteed minimum earnings of £10,000 during the duration of your first 12 Months of pupillage (including during the first six period).
(iii) Chambers will pay for all compulsory courses undertaken during pupillage.
(iv) Chambers will pay for a zone 1-6 travel card (worth £1200) during the first 6 months of pupillage.
(v) Chambers offers an interest free loan scheme to our pupils wishing to purchase a laptop for work use.
Chambers understands the difficulties facing those who enter the profession at the most junior level. To that end during the second six month and third six month periods of pupillage Chambers does not require our pupils to pay rent or clerks commission on any earnings. Chambers makes monthly payments in advance for all outstanding age debt amounts, so that our pupils do not have any owed income.
At the successful conclusion of eighteen months of pupillage, or exceptionally after twelve months, pupils will be eligible to apply for tenancy in Chambers. The application will comprise an interview, an advocacy exercise and a written application, including the submission of written work and references. Our assessment criteria are based upon the principles of Fair Recruitment, equal treatment and the Professional Statement Competences.
We do not have a quota as to how many pupils we recruit every year. Our policy is to recruit any applicants who meet our standards of excellence. Many of our pupils have successfully gained tenancy in Chambers and others go on to successfully practise in other top sets of chambers. Pupil supervisors and members of the Education and Training Committee are always available to assist with advice and support in the event that a pupil is unsuccessful in obtaining tenancy at Red Lion Chambers.
We seek to recruit candidates who have an impressive academic record and a real talent for advocacy, a commitment to our practice areas and the determination and potential to excel at the bar. Our application process is undertaken in strict accordance with the principles of fair recruitment and equal opportunities.
We invite applications from candidates who will have completed the academic and vocational stages of their training before 6th September 2021.
We conduct our recruitment process in accordance with the principles of Fair Recruitment, the Equality Act 2010 and the BSB’s equality guidance. This includes anonymising application forms before they are marked, ensuring all our markers have received Fair Recruitment training, conducting standardisation exercises with markers and using fixed criteria, based upon the Professional Statement Competences, to assess applicants via the application forms and during interview. Our application process comprises three stages: (i) application form screening, (ii) a short first round interview at which applicants will be expected to debate a topic of general interest and answer questions of general legal knowledge, and (iii) a longer second interview at which applicants will be asked to conduct an advocacy exercise, answer questions relating to professional ethics and the life of the barrister and discuss their skills and experience.
We mark application forms under the following headings:
We generally ask for degrees which are at least a 2:1. Where an applicant has a 2:2, the marker will read the rest of the form and decide whether the candidate should be considered for good reasons based on evidence. Where there is clear evidence on the form of extenuating circumstances for achieving a 2:2, the marker can consider marking the candidate more favourably under this heading.
The GDL is considered when awarding marks for the undergraduate degree. If the highest grade (Distinction) is scored in the GDL and the candidate has a 2:1 or 2:2 undergraduate degree, this may be reflected in the marks given in the degree section. Conversely, if for example an applicant merely passed the GDL but obtained a 1st class undergraduate degree it might be an indication that the applicant is not a 1st class ‘law’ student and marks may be deducted from the undergraduate degree.
The university attended by the applicant will not play any part in the assessment.
Other post-graduate degrees are considered in the ‘Legal Experience’ or ‘Breadth of Personal Achievements and Experience’ section of the form, particularly if the course is relevant to the type of work we do.
If the marker is considering predicted marks, or is assessing the grade for a candidate who has not yet started the BPTC, the predicated/assessed mark will have to be supported by other evidence from the applicant’s academic background.
Written communication/presentation of the application form
e.g. fluency of language, clarity of expression, appropriate style and tone, persuasiveness of written advocacy
e.g. mini-pupillages, clerking, marshalling, internships, previous legal or quasi-legal experience, mooting, debating
We bear in mind that someone without funding might not be able to carry out as much unpaid work experience, and that applicants can gain relevant experience doing other things.
We are looking for quality, not quantity. Applicants should have set out what they have learned from their experiences and how it has strengthened their application. They will not score highly if they have simply given a list of their work experience.
Breadth of personal achievements and experience
e.g. a specific project planned and executed, a previous non-legal career or work experience, voluntary work, prizes or awards
This may include those candidates who have had to self-finance their studies, which is an achievement in itself.
Reason/motivation for wishing to become a barrister
e.g. why the applicant wants to be a barrister and what skills they have which will make them a good barrister
This should be backed up with evidence of e.g. written skills, advocacy, problem-solving and organisational skills
Interest in practising at Red Lion Chambers
e.g. evidence of interest in criminal law and “crime plus”, an understanding of the reality of what Red Lion Chambers does and of the difficulties facing the profession
Marks are awarded in this category for interest in the sort of work we do, not just interest in Red Lion Chambers specifically.
Any other comments
This may include:
a) any particular reason why in the marker’s view this applicant should be interviewed;
b) any reasonable adjustments we need to make for an applicant’s disability;
c) any extenuating circumstances which have not already been factored into the marking above and which the marker thinks we should take into account.
Please note: Red Lion Chambers no longer assesses applicants based upon their secondary education. Furthermore, if an applicant’s academic achievement at university and post-graduate level does not reflect their academic ability, the applicant is invited to explain these mitigating circumstances on the application form and provide other evidence on the form of academic ability.
Candidates are invited to inform us of any reasonable adjustments they may require.
Chambers has a strong record of recruiting tenants from our probationary tenants.
We are not currently recruiting probationary tenants.