What Will You Do During Pupillage?

What Will You Do During Pupillage?

Pupillage is the professional and final stage of bar training that all aspiring barristers in England and Wales are required to complete following successful completion of the Barrister Training Course (BTC). Pupillage is one-year practical apprenticeship divided into two stages: Pupillage 1 and Pupillage 2.

Pupillage 1
Also known as the "non-practising" or "first six" pupillage, this stage lasts for six months. During Pupillage 1, aspiring barristers work under the supervision and guidance of an experienced barrister known as the pupil supervisor. The primary focus of Pupillage 1 is on learning and observation, allowing pupils to gain exposure to the practical aspects of barrister's work.

During this stage, pupils typically assist their supervisor with legal research, drafting documents, attending court hearings, and observing advocacy. They have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the day-to-day activities and challenges faced by barristers. Pupils also have the chance to interact with clients, witnesses, and other legal professionals under the guidance of their supervisor.

Pupillage 2
Also referred to as the "practising" or "second six" pupillage, this stage also lasts for six months. Pupillage 2 builds upon the foundation established during Pupillage 1 and allows pupils to develop their advocacy skills by taking on their own cases and appearing in court. Pupils will need to apply to the Bar Standards Board (BSB) for a provisional practising certificate which authorises them to exercise a right of audience before every court in relation to all proceedings. During this stage, they gain practical experience by representing clients in various legal proceedings, including hearings, trials, and appeals.

During Pupillage 2, pupils are no longer limited to observing and assisting their supervisor but are actively involved in their own caseload under their supervisor's supervision. They are expected to handle legal matters independently, prepare arguments, cross-examine witnesses, and present their cases before the courts.

At the end of Pupillage 2, pupils can apply to the BSB for a full practising certificate. They may be offered tenancy (i.e. permanent employment) within a barristers' chambers, subject to their performance during the pupillage period. Tenancy offers the opportunity to practise as a fully qualified barrister and take on a wide range of cases independently. Once they accept the offer, they are the tenants of the chamber, sharing the costs of administrative services and other overheads.

Pupillage serves as a crucial period of practical training for aspiring barristers, allowing them to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the BTC in real-world legal practice. It provides valuable hands-on experience, mentorship, and the opportunity to develop their advocacy skills before embarking on their career as a barrister.
Back to blog
UOL Case Bank

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law


    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory


    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.