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Mini Pupil
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

I have known for a long time that I hope to be a barrister and wanted to fully understand the way that the legal sector works, whilst reading for my law degree. I believe it ties in well with the work I do for my degree, helping me to differentiate between theory and practice and learning how advocates use their learnt knowledge of the law in the Courts.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Through family or friends

Application process

I secured my placement individually by emailing my CV and covering letter to the Pupillage Committee for review. I was fortunately successful in this and upon receiving the email detailing how to apply for a work experience bursary, I was able to provide the team with details of the placement I had secured. I was asked to apply for the bursary and outline why it is important to me and how it would help me. I had an email back that I had been successful and that I was required to attend a workshop to brief me on the program. This was of great use and really engaged my desire to make the most of my placement!

What made you choose this organisation for your placement/internship?

I had a connection within this organisation and asked if there would be any opportunity for me to gain some work experience. They are also an extremely well regarded set within the North Eastern Circuit and specialise in areas of law that I hold the most interest.

Main responsibilities

Shadowing barristers.

Typical day

I usually met the barrister I would be shadowing at Chambers before making our way over to Court. I would be briefed on the case we were involved in and the current stage in which it was at. It would be explained to me how the case is likely to progress and the reasons why/how it has developed to the stage it is in. I would witness any prosecution and defence evidence, barristers addressing the judges, cross examination of witnesses and summaries of cases, if it concludes during that day.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

I enjoy the thrill of witnessing the career I wish to enter in to and the differences in many aspects of one single court room. Each barrister will have an alternative advocate style and learning of their experiences to enhance the opportunities that I get is extremely useful. I shadowed one female barrister that had many different jobs prior to her career at the Bar. Her determination and strong will to achieve the career she now has is something that I very much connect with and has engaged my desire for it even further.

Challenging aspects

Many of the barristers I met were in some ways reluctant to show their pride in the upcoming aspiring barristers such as myself. The job of a barrister is ever changing, for many reasons. A large portion of barristers have been in their job for a considerable amount of time and unfortunately have witnessed the decline in job security, wages, job satisfaction and the justice system as a whole. To be faced with these obstacles can be difficult to overcome however I am as determined as ever to achieve my dream career and refuse to allow these changes to impact the way I perceive the legal sector.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

Some of the content that I have studied for my course enabled me to understand elements of some of the court cases with more ease.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

In some ways yes, it has verified my desire for the career of a barrister even further. In other ways, no, I was already very aware that becoming a barrister is incredibly important to me. I cannot see myself in any other job, enjoying any other job or even having much of an interest in any other job and the more practical experience I have of the industry just reiterates my determination for the job.

As a result of your placement/internship, what are your next steps in planning what you want to do after graduation?

I will be looking during final year to apply for Pupillage within the Chambers that I completed my work experience for. I have met many useful contacts during my weeks placement and will utilise the opportunity for them to help me progress on to gaining Pupillage. I will have to apply (and pass!) the BPTC course, which I chatted to all of the barristers I met about and have luckily come to a decision on the provider of the BPTC and the location that I hope to complete it in.

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

GET PRACTICAL WORK EXPERIENCE! Your degree is great, you're doing well and that's really positive. However, when applying to your desired jobs following graduation, what will make you stand out? I've been told by so many legal professionals that work experience AND extra curricular activities are what makes a CV stand out and also what makes panelists interested in you. Don't be afraid to stand out - it could be the key to your dream job.

Form completed: 08 May 2019

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