Walnut House is always interested in hearing from high calibre practitioners with established practices in any of our core areas. All applications for tenancy are considered on their individual merits and will always be dealt with in the strictest confidence. In the first instance enquiries should be directed to our Head of Chambers, Adrian Chaplin,, or our Practice Director Bernard Hayward who will be happy to discuss your application on an informal basis and advise further on the application process.


Pupillage vacancies will be advertised on the Pupillage Gateway.

Our pupillage interview dates have now been set as:

First round: 16 and 17 March 2024

Second round: 13 April 2024

Please note we will reimburse reasonable travel expenses for applicants invited to second round interview.

If you have any questions please email Emmi Wilson (

Walnut House Chambers in Exeter, Devon is offering up to one 12 month specialist family pupillage to commence in October 2024. The pupillage will be offered with a view to tenancy within the family team in Chambers.


We offer a pupillage award of £25,000 made up of a £12,500 grant for the first six and £12,500 guaranteed earnings for the second six, payable in monthly instalments. Pupils are not expected to pay any chambers contributions on their second six earnings.

Chambers will also pay for all compulsory training courses. We will also pay all travel expenses during the first six months.

We are delighted to say that the usual experience of pupils has been that they earn in excess of the guaranteed minimum earnings in the practicing period of pupillage.

How to Apply

Applications for pupillage should be made by completing the application form on the Pupillage Gateway.

There will be two rounds of interviews with at least one of those involving an advocacy exercise, such as a plea in mitigation, which will be given to candidates on the day.

Chambers will then review the performance of all candidates at interview and, if appropriate, make an offer of pupillage.

Selection process

Our selection process aims to identify pupils who have the potential to be members of chambers in due course by reference to the following criteria:

  • Academic Achievements – A good record of achievement in formally assessed qualifications with a weight towards legal academic achievements at tertiary level and above. We expect candidates to have achieved or be predicted to achieve a Very Competent on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), although we will take into account exceptional circumstances. Offers of pupillage made before completion of the BPTC will be conditional upon achieving an overall final grade of Very Competent, although again we will take into account exceptional circumstances.
  • Influencing/Advocacy Skills – Experience of mooting, legal work experience, other evidence demonstrating ability in this area.
  • Effective written communication skills – Well written and well structured application, demonstrating evidence of analytical thinking.
  • Motivation and determination – Work experience, the reasons for seeking to become a barrister, the candidate demonstrates a particular interest in Walnut House.

Pupillage structure

Chambers is offering a specialist family pupillage which will involve the successful applicant spending six months shadowing members of the family team at different levels of seniority. The second six will involve the successful applicant undertaking their own court work in courts throughout the Western Circuit. Whilst the pupillage is a specialist family pupillage, Chambers is a mixed common law set and therefore should the successful applicant have an interest in gaining in experience in other areas, such as crime or civil, Chambers will endeavour to accommodate this.

You will have a pupil supervisor who has overall responsibility for making sure that your training needs are met. You will also be assigned a mentor who will take responsibility for your welfare during pupillage and with whom you will meet periodically to discuss your progress and any concerns that you might have.

You will be provided with a training plan which will set out what is expected of you during your pupillage and how you will be assessed.

You will be asked to carry out advocacy exercises and submit written work periodically throughout your pupillage year, on which feedback will be given.

Chambers does not require its pupils to make a separate application for tenancy. Decisions on tenancy will be made towards the end of pupillage. Your performance in assessed advocacy exercises and your written work will be taken into account as part of the tenancy decision process.

Equality and Diversity Monitoring

Walnut House is committed to equal opportunities and diversity. We aim to select candidates for pupillage solely on merit irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

As part of chambers’ commitment to equality & diversity, it collects and analyses statistical information on all pupil applicants to monitor the effectiveness of its policies.

As such all applicants are encouraged to fill in the equal opportunities monitoring form provided on the gateway and submit it with their application. All information gathered will be used for monitoring purposes only and will not form part of the selection process.


Chambers can offer mini-pupillages of three days to exceptional candidates who have reached at least the second year of their undergraduate studies. Mini-pupillages are intended to give an introduction to the life and work of a barrister and how chambers operates. You will shadow members of our chambers at court and may also have an opportunity to see some of the work done in chambers.

Applications should be made on our application form which can be found here. You are also encouraged to fill in our E&D monitoring form and submit it with your application.

Your application form, together with the E&D monitoring form (if you choose to submit one), should be sent by email for the attention of the Mini-Pupillage Co-ordinator to the following address: All applications should be submitted between 10.00 am on 14th November and 4.00 pm on 30th December each year with a view to mini-pupillages taking place between March and September of the following year. Any applications received outside this window will not be considered.

Chambers is delighted to announce that we are now able to offer a financially assisted mini-pupillage to up to two candidates each year who meet certain criteria. More details about the scheme and how to apply can be found here. In addition, the Lincoln’s Inn Mini-Pupillage Grant Scheme offers funding for mini-pupils for travel and accommodation. You can find more information on the Lincoln’s Inn website (