Applications for Pupillage for 2015-2016 are now closed.

12-month pupillage for 2015 -2016

Number of pupillages: Two
Awards available: Yes
Financial support level: £47,500.00 (£12,500.00 of which can be drawn down during the BPTC year)
Closing date: 4pm on 28 February 2014
Pupillage start date: October 2015
Pupillage type: 12 month pupillage

The majority of our work is Property.  In addition, chambers has a significant amount of Private Client, Business & Commercial and Employment work.

Chambers adopts a pro-active and involved approach to pupillage, taking on up to two pupils every year with a view to eventual tenancy. Our policy is only to recruit those we consider to be potential future tenants: it is unusual for us to recruit junior tenants who have not completed six months’ pupillage in Chambers.

Pupillage at Tanfield is divided into three periods of four months each with different pupil supervisors. The aim is to introduce pupils to each of the core practice areas in Chambers, giving them experience of court work and the opportunity to work with as many members of Chambers as possible. During their second six months, pupils can expect to be in court regularly. Their work will consist mainly of possession claims and interim applications. Other likely work could include small claim trials, fast track trials and tribunal work. Chambers offers up to two 12–month pupillages. The current level of award for each pupil is £47,500.00, half of which is by way of guaranteed earnings during the second six months. Up to £12,500.00 of the award can be drawn down during the BPTC year.

Candidates are expected to have first class or good second class degrees (a lower degree result will be considered in exceptional circumstances). We are also looking for evidence of analytical thinking, effective communication skills and the ability to influence and persuade. Successful candidates will have to show strong interpersonal skills, resilience, drive, determination and motivation.

Application form and guidance

If you would like to apply for pupillage at Tanfield Chambers for 2015–2016, please download the following documents and follow the instructions to complete and submit your Pupillage Application

Pupillage Application Form

Diversity Monitoring Form



  • Guidance Notes

    These notes provide guidance for completing the application form for pupillage in 2015– 2016. For information on,  and a timetable of, the selection process, please refer to the  document  titled Selection Process. For  details of  the criteria that will be used by the Pupillage Committee to select candidates, please refer to the document titled Selection Criteria. The documents referred to above  (including the Pupillage Application Form) are available on the web site at http://www.tanfieldchambers.co.uk/Recruitment.


    • The word counts stated in the application form are limits and not targets.
    • Where a question requires you to provide a specific number of examples, you will be penalised for providing morethan this number.
    • Completed application forms should be emailed to 

    Any application form for pupillage in 2015–2016 that is received after 4pm on 28 February 2014willnot be read or considered. An application form will be considered to have been received at the time it arrives in the message Inbox at the above email address.

    • You are asked to complete the optional Diversity Monitoring Questionnairethat is available on Chambers’ web site along with the pupillage application form. The information provided by you on thisquestionnaire will be held confidentially by Chambers’ Diversity Data Officer (or another member of the Equal Opportunities Committee) in accordance with the Bar Standards Board Guidance on Diversity Data Collection Rules. The information will not form any part of your application for pupillage; please see the information box on page 1 of that form for further information.
    • Chambers regrets that it is unable to provide feedback to candidates.If you have any queries about these guidance notes, the selection process, or the selection criteria, and if these queries are not covered within the documents available on Chambers’ web site, please email pupillage@tanfieldchambers.co.uk.Pupillage CommitteeJanuary 2014 
  • Selection Process

    Stage 1

    Application forms must be submitted by 4pm on 28 February 2014. 
    Application forms received by Chambers will be printed by a member of Chambers’ 
    administration team after the deadline for submitting application forms. Only members of this team are able to access the Inbox at pupillage@tanfieldchambers.co.uk. 
    Each completed form will be assigned a unique number. Page 1 of the application form (boxes 1 and 2) will be detached from the rest of the application form, and the information contained thereon will be held securely by a member of Chambers’ administration team. The Pupillage Committee will mark each application form without sight of page 1 (boxes 1 and 2). 
    The Pupillage Committee will then consider all completed application forms in accordance with the selection criteria that are published online. The Pupillage Committee will then shortlist applicants for interview. 

    Stage 2

    Short–listed candidates will be invited to an interview. Only after candidates have been selected for interview will their names be provided to the Pupillage Committee. The number of candidates who are invited to an interview is necessarily limited. As a guide, in past years, Chambers has invited 22 candidates (2013) and 20 candidates (2012). 
    Invitations to interview will be sent out by email by a member of Chambers’ administration team. Likewise, candidates who are unsuccessful following Stage 1 will be notified by email. Notifications to both successful and unsuccessful candidates will be emailed by 17 April 2014. 
    A member of Chambers’ administration team will contact candidates who have been invited to an interview and have special requirements, as stated in box 1 of the form. 
    Interviews will be held between around 6–12 May 2014. The interview will comprise two parts. The first part of the interview will involve the discussion and analysis of a legal problem (which will be provided to each candidate before the interview begins). This first part of the interview will last approximately 30 minutes. Candidates whose first 
    degree is not in law will not be disadvantaged by the first part of the interview. 
    The second part of the interview will be a more general discussion based on candidates’ application forms. It will consist of competency–based, situational, and biographical questions, as well as a question on an ethical issue. 
    You may be asked to sit the general interview before the legal interview. Clear instructions as to the order of interviews will be provided to candidates on the day.  
    You will be assessed in accordance with published selection criteria that are available to download from the Recruitment section of Chambers’ web site. 

    Stage 3 

    If you are successful at Stage 2, you will be invited to attend Chambers for an assessed mini–pupillage. The number of candidates who are invited to an assessed mini–pupillage is necessarily limited. As a guide, in past years, Chambers has invited 7 candidates (2013) and 6 candidates (2012). Candidates will be notified whether or not they have been successful at Stage 2 by 30 May 2014. 
    Assessed mini–pupillages will take place between around 9–20 June 2014. Each mini–pupillage will last two days. On the first day,candidates will shadow one or more members of Chambers in court. On the second day, candidates will carry out a work sample exercise. The work sample exercise will involve researching a legal problem and producing a written answer which will form the basis of a discussion in a short,  structured interview at the end of the second day. 
    If you are successful at Stage 3, you will be notified by 23 June 2014. 
    The following timetable shall apply to applications for pupillage for 2015–2016:

    Stage Event Date/deadline 

    Stage 1 Application forms available From 24 January 2014 onwards 
    Deadline for submitting application form by email  

    Before 4pm on 28 February 2014 
    Notification by email of successful and unsuccessful candidates 

    Stage 2 By 4pm on 17 April 2014 
    Interviews Between 6–12 May 2014 
    Notification by email of successful and unsuccessful candidates 

    Stage 3 By 4pm on 30 May 2014 
    Assessments Between 9–20 June 2014 
    Offers Notification by email of successful and unsuccessful candidates By 23 June 2014 
    Pupillage Committee 
    January 2014 

  • Selection Criteria

    Selection Criteria

    The Pupillage Committee will have regard to the criteria in the table below at each stage of the selection process. The criteria reflect the competencies that we are looking for and which represent the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviours that are required in a Tanfield pupil.

    Some of the indicators below may be demonstrated by your completed application form.  We would  expect others to be demonstrated during subsequent stages of the application process.

    Criterion  Indicators

    Intellectual achievement  A good record of achievement in formally assessed 


    • a First Class or Upper Second Class degree (or equivalent)
    • a lower degree result will be considered in exceptional circumstances
    • analytical thinking and the ability to absorb and process a large amount of complex and detailed information both quickly and accurately can deal effectively with written, numerical, and 

    Spoken information

    • can quickly distinguish between relevant facts and irrelevant information relates facts to key aspects of the law 
    • able to unpick complex arguments
    • does not over–interpret information or make unwarranted assumptions
    • does not panic when faced with a deluge of information

    Effective communication  

    • Communicates readily and clearly both verbally and in writing
    • communicates clearly, giving sufficient background information to aid understanding without overloading the audience structures
    • communication to aid understanding adapts style and language of communication to the needs of the audience 
    • presents complex legal points simply and accurately listens to others and builds on their points 

    Influencing / advocacy skills  

    Can build strong, logical cases for various points of view regardless of own personal perspective.


    • Is comfortable in handling conflict. Is able to remain composed when under pressure
    • does not back away from tackling difficult or stressful situations
    • remains calm and in control when under pressure
    • is able to give unpalatable news
    • can cope with working in a highly competitive environment

    Interpersonal skills  

    • Is skilful in building productive working relationships with both colleaguesand clients
    • demonstrates positive working relationships
    • treats others with courtesy and respect
    • has a genuine interest in others and works to understand their points of view
    • connects with others and demonstrates empathy
    • Drive and determination Has a strong focus on what needs to be achieved and puts 
    • energy and effort into ensuring that goals and outcomes are met
    • sets objectives and works out how best to achieve them
    • works to get around obstacles and does not give up
    • is proactive in shaping what gets done, whilst being 
    • aware of where the boundaries of their own responsibility lie
    • ensures that deadlines are met and promises are kept


    • Is committed to a career as a barrister.
    • Has a good understanding of what a career in chambers entails, including the negative as well as the positive aspects
    • career choice is considered and well thought–out
    • has a good understanding of the realities of the role
    • is willing and able to undertake the less–glamorous aspects
    • is motivated by the role
    • Ability to work independently
    • Able and motivated to work on their own, seeking guidance as appropriate
    • demonstrates the ability to work independently
    • able to rely on their own judgment when guidance cannot be found elsewhere
    • does not get distracted or de–motivated when working alone

    Pupillage Committee

    January 2014 


Third-six pupillages and mini-pupillages

In addition to twelve-month pupillages, we usually look to recruit an additional number of third-six pupils. We also have an active programme of mini-pupillage during vacation periods, encouraging those with an interest in chambers - or those contemplating a career at the Bar - to gain experience in an informal way. 
For further information, please see details below

  • Third-six pupillage

    Third Six Recruitment

    Chambers has a history of recruiting third six pupils in July and August of each year for a September/October start, and with a view to tenancy. This website will be updated with further information when chambers next has a vacancy for a third-six pupil.

    Contact: For any information on third six pupillage at Tanfield Chambers, please emailpupillagecommittee@tanfieldchambers.co.uk

  • Mini-pupillage

    Mini-pupillage is an excellent way for those considering a twelve-month pupillage to experience the working atmosphere in Chambers. It is also a unique opportunity for students to find out whether they might be interested in a career at the Bar. Chambers has the capacity to offer one mini-pupillage during every week of the year except during the two week period over Christmas and the New Year.

    How to apply

    In order to ensure that mini pupillage is a valuable learning experience Chambers will ordinarily expect applicants to have at least reached the final year of undergraduate study or commenced the law conversion course prior to spending time in Chambers. If you are interested in taking one of the mini-pupillage places and have either reached or surpassed the appropriate academic stage please apply by email to minipupillages@tanfieldchambers.co.uk at least twelve months before you wish to start enclosing (1) a covering letter, to include, if applicable, whether Chambers needs to make any reasonable adjustments to address any disability from which you may suffer (2) a full and an up-to-date copy of your CV and (3) optionally, a completed copy of the diversity monitoring questionnaire which can be downloaded from this website. Applications made by any means other than by email to the aforesaid email address may not be considered.


We are always looking for high-calibre practitioners to join one of our practice groups.
At Tanfield, barristers have the opportunity to build their practice in a friendly, dynamic and team-focused environment. Chambers is open to flexible working and has a generous Parental Leave policy. Chambers also offers the chance to share ownership of the freehold building from which we practise and a rent structure which reflects its out-of-Inn location.
Please send applications to Gerald Wilson Chair of the Recruitment Committee. All applications will be treated in strictest confidence.

Equal opportunities

Tanfield Chambers is a firm believer in equal opportunities and we consider all applications for pupillage, tenancy or administrative positions on merit - regardless of age, sex, sexual orientation, race, beliefs or disability.