What does it take to get pupillage?
Many people say that getting pupillage requires luck.
That’s not the whole story.
It starts with having the basics on your CV, and
It is about drafting an excellent application form, and
It is about presenting yourself in the best possible light, and
It is about being a good advocate under pressure, and
It is about networking at the Bar and accessing the help and mentoring available, and
It is about knowing your subject and demonstrating that when it matters, and
It is about believing that you are going to succeed, and
It is about working very, very, very hard.
After you’ve done all this, then it’s about luck.
Applying for pupillage can be burdensome / overwhelming / hell but you will be better equipped to handle it once you appreciate what it really takes to succeed.
This is not to deny that there are many factors which come into play during pupillage selection. Many candidates have extremely impressive CVs, got help from a mentor, had experience at this process, or they had a particular type of work experience that a particular set wanted etc. That’s how they got pupillage.
Despite knowing that fact, unsuccessful candidates still complain that they were ‘unlucky’. Yet most of the time when these candidates’ CVs or application forms are reviewed, the same two issues crop up:
- The candidate doesn’t have enough on their CV or
- They candidate doesn’t present well.
These are things that can almost always be fixed.
However, they cannot truly be fixed until you understand and accept the reality of the process and what it takes to even have a good shot at being successful.