Mini-Pupillage FAQS

How many mini-pupillages do you offer per year?
We are offering 10 mini-pupillages in 2023.

How long does a mini-pupillage last?
Our mini-pupillages last for one single week Monday to Friday.

Are your mini-pupillages funded?
Yes.  We provide our mini-pupils with up to £25 per day towards subsistence and the cost of travelling to and from the courts they will be attending during the week.  This will be via a method of reimbursement administered by the Chambers Administrator.

Are your mini-pupillages assessed?
No, our mini-pupillages are not assessed.

When should I apply?
The application window for 2023 is 1st - 31st March 2023.

When do your mini-pupillages take place?
Our mini-pupillages take place between the 15th May and 1st December 2023.

Where do you advertise your mini-pupillage vacancies?
Our website is the central source of all our mini-pupillage information.  Prior to the application window, we advertise our mini-pupillage vacancies and application time-table on our social media channels on Twitter @DrystoneCrime and Linked-In.   You may like to follow us on these channels to keep abreast of our latest updates.

Do I need to be studying Law?
No, but you need to evidence a strong desire to come to the Criminal Bar.  In the event that we receive more applications than places, priority will be given to those candidates who are undertaking, or have undertaken, a Law Degree or equivalent.

Where do your mini-pupillages take place?
You will go to the courts in the London area unless you specify a preference for work outside of London.   Members of Chambers also practice on the MidlandSouth Eastern and Western Circuits, which enables us to be able to offer mini-pupillage opportunities in these regions and not solely in London. If you would prefer your mini-pupillage to take place on circuit rather than in London, please include your court preferences in box 6 of our application form.

What type of criminal cases can I expect to see?
Drystone Chambers covers the full gamut of criminal work.  The vast majority of our work is in the Crown Court but where availability allows, we will arrange for our mini-pupils to experience some time in the Magistrates Court shadowing our junior barristers in order to obtain a first-hand understanding of real life in the earlier part of a criminal barrister’s practice.

What should I wear during my mini-pupillage?
Smart dark office wear, for example, a black, navy blue or dark grey suit and a white or other light coloured shirt. Men should wear ties. Women can wear a black or dark coloured dress and jacket or smart dark coloured trouser suit.   Please wear sensible shoes that you can walk in all day as you may find you have a lot of walking to do between courts. For the sake of clarity, trainers are not acceptable footwear.  Please bear in mind that whilst you are undertaking your mini-pupillage with us you are representing Drystone Chambers and therefore a professional looking appearance at all times is essential.

Should I do any preparation?
There is nothing specific that you need to prepare, but it would be prudent to make yourself familiar with the type of cases that members of Drystone Chambers undertake via our website.  Our news page is a useful source of information in this regard as are our social media channels.

Can I join in discussions about the case with the client or solicitor or help with advice?
No you cannot.  The role of a mini-pupil is to observe only.  You will get the opportunity to discuss the case with the barrister afterwards in private.

Can I talk to my friends and family about the cases I have seen?
Barristers are bound by very strict rules about confidentiality and you must not discuss confidential information with anyone other than the barrister who you are with.  If in doubt ask the barrister.  You will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement prior to the start of your mini-pupillage.

Do I need to bring anything with me?
You should bring a notebook and pen or equivalent. It is a good idea to make notes to remind yourself of any questions you may have later, but you should avoid making notes of any ‘personal information’.  We want you to get maximum benefit from your mini-pupillage experience.  Making the most of your time with us by having a positive attitude, taking notes and asking good questions at appropriate times will enable you to gain an insight into life at the Criminal Bar and what it entails.

Who will my point of contact be?
The point of contact throughout the application process is the Chambers Administrator.  When your mini-pupillage is about to commence, a Clerk will be nominated to be your daily liaison during your mini-pupillage and you will be notified in advance who this person will be along with their contact information.

We appreciate feedback on how well we have done so we encourage our mini-pupils to comment on their experience, whether positive or negative, as this will help us to review our processes and procedures to ensure the best possible experience for future mini-pupils.  Feedback should be emailed to the Chambers Administrator at