Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Third six pupil

There was a chambers meeting last week. These are convened but rarely – only when a tenancy application is made, apparently. I therefore knew that last year’s pupil, who had not previously applied for tenancy but was instead doing a third six, had resolved to make an application.

I admit to mixed feelings. The other pupil from this year is already on her feet and has done a few very minor hearings so far. They have been uncontested interim care order renewals and the like, very straightforward. There doesn’t seem to be that much junior work coming into chambers at the moment, though, something on which a couple of people have remarked sicne I started.

Competition for scarce resources is not necessarily a good thing, then, from a purely selfish point of view. I was keen to question The Master the next morning.

She got the tenancy. I am genuinely pleased for her as she seems very nice and very competent. The line at the meeting was apparently that she was a good barrister, the tenancy committee was therefore recommending her and chambers as a whole (those who turned up, anyway) were willing to give her a chance to stand on her own two feet. If she can’t get enough work, that is her problem, basically.

I was told that this was chambers policy when I applied for pupillage, I remember, and it seems to be applied in practise. Unlike the days before pupillage awards, chambers have actually invested something in pupils and the selection process is done early on, in these chambers at least. The default position seems to be that you get tenancy as long as you don’t screw up.

That said, until last year the last pupil to be taken on was called in 2003, and I know that we were taking two pupils a year throughout.


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