Life as a pupil

Bethanie Chambers

From the very outset, my pupillage at XXIV Old Buildings was a supportive and engaging hands-on experience.

Pupillage in chambers is structured over 4 separate 3-month periods, with a different supervisor for each period.  Chambers is careful to ensure that the breadth of supervisors that pupils sit with across the year reflects the breadth of chambers’ work.  In each ‘seat’,  I was intimately exposed to my supervisors’ cases, and worked on the full range of tasks that my supervisor was engaged with, drafted pleadings, writing skeleton arguments, and researching and drafting written advice.

The work I saw encompassed the full range of chambers’ specialisms, from civil fraud disputes, to unfair prejudice petitions, from insolvency litigation to proceedings concerning valuable offshore trusts, and from a large aviation trial in the Commercial Court to pro bono work in the County Court.  I was involved in all aspects of the advisory and litigation process, attending conferences and mediations with clients, and assisting my supervisors at hearings. In the latter months of my pupillage, I also started to take on some of my own cases, appearing as sole counsel in the County Court.

Throughout pupillage, I was encouraged to get fully involved in the life of Chambers, attending a wide range of social events including Chambers’ lunches and the Chambers Christmas party. This enabled me to build strong relationships with my fellow pupils, barristers, and clerking and administration teams. Chambers is an extremely friendly environment to work in – and supervisors encourage you to work closely with them on their cases, discussing all aspects of the strategic, procedural and ethical elements of their work.

The focus throughout the year was on training and improvement.  My supervisors developed an intimate knowledge of my work and how I was progressing, and gave me regular and careful feedback to ensure that I was in the best position possible when the tenancy decision was reached.  Pupils also have regular review sessions throughout the year with the Head of Pupillage and the Pupillage Co-ordinator so that they can discuss their work and raise any queries and concerns with people other than their supervisors.  This gave the whole year extra focus and direction.

Pupillage at XXIV Old Buildings is a challenging but thoroughly rewarding year. I quickly learned to apply the skills developed throughout my legal education to the provision of a commercial service for clients. Most significantly, I have been able to learn from some of the very best advocates at the chancery and commercial Bar, and have been personally supported by an excellent clerking and administration team. I’m so glad I applied, and am excited to begin life as a member of XXIV Old Buildings.

Bethanie Chambers joined XXIV Old Buildings upon the completion of her pupillage in October 2022.