Drystone Opportunities


Drystone Chambers are seeking to recruit up to 3 pupils to commence in September 2021, with an offer of a total award of £20,000 for 12-months. All applications are processed through the Pupillage Gateway.

Why Drystone?

We believe that the independent Bar plays a vital, if under-appreciated, role in our society. The quality of training that is offered by responsible sets of chambers to its pupils is obviously important for the future of the profession. But its greater role is to ensure that future generations have access to independent advocates whose very existence acts as a guarantor of individual liberty. We provide a supportive environment designed to develop a pupil into a tenant. A significant number of our pupils do become members of chambers.

What to expect?

We will allocate you a pupil supervisor in advance of your start date. Throughout your pupillage your pupil supervisor will ensure you receive the support and guidance you need. Additionally, members of the pupillage committee offer professional assistance and pastoral care. During the first six months of your pupillage you will follow your pupillage supervisor. When not in court, you will be expected to assist in all aspects of the preparation of forthcoming cases, including legal research and case-specific drafting. You will attend client meetings and conferences.

Drystone also offers an in-house training programme aimed at improving both advocacy and research skills. As a second-six pupil you will be encouraged to appear in court as often as possible. This is most likely to be criminal defence work. Currently, we expect that our second-six pupils will be in court most days. The work can be challenging. It is in the nature of criminal cases that you will rarely have much notice of your instruction and therefore little time to prepare. Although this can be daunting at first, you will have access to advice from senior members of chambers in addition to your pupil supervisor. This is the strength of the chambers’ system and something that Drystone takes very seriously. The workload of members of chambers encompasses a wide geographical area and you will be expected to cover cases in all of those areas. Travel, particularly to far-off magistrates’ and crown courts can be a frustrating and tiring exercise. Life as a pupil at Drystone can be rewarding and exhilarating. Inevitably there will be times when it is neither of these. These highs and lows reflect contemporary practice at the Bar. It is not for the faint-hearted.

Interview Process

Application forms are blind marked against the following criteria:

• Analytical Skills

• Persuasive communicator

• Commitment

We double mark all applications when sifting to first-round interview. Our mark scheme runs on a criteria from 1 (not met) to 4 (exceeds). In recent years those who were successfully sifted to first round interview had received at least two scores of ‘4’. We look for real talent and potential. Whilst academic scores are often a guide to that, experience has taught us that they are not determinative. Consequently, we do not solely take academic achievement into account in applying the above criteria. Depending upon the number of candidates, you may be invited to more than one interview. These usually involve the advance submission of a piece of written work, an oral advocacy exercise, and your choice of a current topic to discuss.

Mini Pupillage

All mini-pupillage slots for 2020 have been allocated. Applications for slots in 2021 will be accepted from 1st July 2020. Any applications submitted before this date will not be considered.