“The advocacy training programme at Red Lion Chambers is first-rate. We’re instructed by senior silks and leading juniors who are experienced advocates, frequently appearing in high-profile and leading cases.” Katie Bacon

“Since starting pupillage, I’ve been amazed at the supportive environment that Red Lion Chambers offers. I feel very much at home here and am so glad that I joined.” Theo Burges

Red Lion Chambers

We provide first-class training that cultivates exceptional advocacy skills for successful barristers. With our members undertaking a range of serious crime, fraud, inquests and inquiries, regulatory and international work, we provide a varied and comprehensive experience.

How is pupillage structured?

We usually offer two 18-month training programmes each year consisting of 12 months of pupillage and a six-month probationary tenancy. Our pupillages align with the Bar Standards Board (BSB) framework and are flexible, accessible, affordable and of a high standard.

You will have an experienced, dedicated supervisor every four months throughout your pupillage. You will spend time in London and our Chelmsford annexe, which will expose you to diverse cases and different working practices and assist you to build connections.

After your first six months, you will be appearing daily in the Magistrates’ Court and the Crown Court to develop your own practice.

What support and learning opportunities are available?

We offer a range of support and learning opportunities throughout your pupillage, including:

  • A full induction day to meet members, your supervisor, clerks and other Chambers’ staff. You will also receive a pupillage handbook including relevant policies and programmes.
  • Frequent court visits and conference attendances with your supervisor or other members.
  • A brief period of judge marshalling to learn more about court procedures and hone your advocacy skills, watching barristers or solicitors in action.
  • Regular in-depth discussions with your supervisor
  • Regular formal feedback from your supervisors and chambers members.
  • Self-reflection exercises every four months, and assessments with your supervisor to discuss progress and future development.
  • Opportunity to get involved in outreach, encouraging people from diverse backgrounds to come to chambers (e.g. talking to university students, attending pupillage fairs and participating in mock trials in schools).
  • Regular check-in calls from our wellbeing team.
  • Confidential ad hoc support from our wellbeing team when requested.
  • Regular social, networking and wellbeing events.

How are advocacy skills developed?

We take immense pride in our in-house advocacy training programme led by esteemed King’s Counsel (KC). The unique training our members provide is second to none. You will benefit from the unmatched expertise of our exceptional KCs and receive tailored guidance that hones your advocacy skills. This personalised, constructive feedback is a rare privilege.

Our advocacy training includes:

  • Regular practical exercises on bail applications, pleas in mitigation, examination in chief, cross-examination, closing speeches and legal argument.
  • Written work, including drafting attendance notes, agendas, case summaries and openings, skeleton arguments and applications.
  • Interactive workshops on topics such as ethics, good conduct and client care.
  • Training sessions on court procedures, etiquette and valuable practice tips.
  • Practical advocacy sessions with guests, including district and circuit judges.
  • Opportunity to conduct a mock trial at a Crown Court or the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) with a circuit judge and members of chambers acting as witnesses and jury.

Do you offer tenancy for successful pupils?

We have a long history of recruiting from our pupils. We accept tenancy applications from pupils who have completed 18 months of pupillage. The application process includes a written application, submission of written work and references, an interview and an advocacy exercise. Our assessment criteria are based on Fair Recruitment principles, equal treatment and Professional Statement competencies.

Is funding available for pupillages?

Our pupillage package provides a minimum of £40,000 throughout the programme, consisting of:

  • Funding of £25,000 over 12 months paid by monthly instalments of £2,222 for the first nine months and £1,667 for the final three months.
  • £1,000 before your pupillage starts to purchase court wear, a laptop and any other expenses.
  • Guaranteed minimum earnings of £15,000 during the second six months of your pupillage (with earnings in your final six months based solely on your caseload).
  • Pupils are not required to pay rent or clerks’ commission on any earnings.
  • Payment of all compulsory courses undertaken during your pupillage.

What are prerequisites for a pupillage?

We recruit individuals who demonstrate exceptional intellectual ability and strong interpersonal skills. Candidates should have a passion and talent for advocacy, a commitment to our practice areas and the determination and potential to excel at the Bar. Our requirements include:

  • At least a 2:1 degree, however, you may be considered with a 2:2 based on evidence of extenuating circumstances.
  • If you have completed the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), we will take this into consideration with your undergraduate degree.
  • Successful completion of the Bar Practice Course (BPC) by the time you start pupillage.
  • Additional accomplishments, including legal work experience, personal achievements and experience and keen interest in criminal justice will be considered.

How does the application process work?

Our pupillage programme and all application processes adhere to equal opportunities and fair recruitment practices. The application process consists of three stages:

  1. Anonymised application form screening.
  2. A short first-round interview in which you will be asked to debate a general interest topic and answer some general legal knowledge questions.
  3. An extended second interview involving an advocacy exercise, questions on professional ethics and the life of a barrister, and a discussion of your skills and experience.

How do I apply for a pupillage at Red Lion Chambers?

If you are interested in a pupillage with us, you can apply through the Bar Council’s Pupillage Gateway platform, which also provides further information about our programme.