Recruitment

Current Pupillage Recruitment

Walnut House in Exeter, Devon is offering up to two 12 month pupillages to commence in October 2022. All pupillages are offered with a view to tenancy and pupils and junior tenants are expected to undertake work across all three practice areas of Civil, Crime and Family.

The first six months of pupillage will involve the successful applicant spending two-month rotations with each of the Civil, Crime and Family Teams shadowing members of chambers at different levels of seniority. The second six will involve the successful applicant undertaking their own court work in courts throughout the Western Circuit and across chambers’ practice areas.

Funding

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.

Chambers’ selection and recruitment policies are implemented in a manner that is fair, based on merit and non-discriminatory. Chambers invites applications from all sections of society. Such factors as age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, sex or sexual orientation shall not be considered at any stage of the selection and recruitment process.

Chambers is committed to equality and diversity. As such all applicants are encouraged to fill in the equal opportunities monitoring form provided on the website and to submit it with their applications. Any forms submitted will be used for monitoring purposes only and will not be seen by the selection panel.

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

During your pupillage, your first six months will be spent in two month rotations with the Crime, Civil and Family Teams shadowing members of chambers at different levels of seniority. Your second six will be spent undertaking your own court work in courts throughout the Western Circuit and across chambers’ practice areas.

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.

Tenancy

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.

Mini-Pupillage

January 2022 Update – Chambers aims to recommence its mini-pupillage programme in September 2022, with applications opening at the beginning of July 2022. When applications reopen, we will be introducing a financially supported mini-pupillage scheme, funding up to two mini-pupillages a year for candidates from under represented backgrounds that meet certain criteria. Please check this page of the website for further announcements in due course.

We 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. Please send your completed application to Emmi Wilson by email: Emmi.Wilson@walnuthouse.co.uk. You are also encouraged to fill in our equal opportunities monitoring form and submit it with your application, which can be found under the Equality & Diversity tab below.