The Bar Council is to delve deeper into the impact of moving the Pupillage Gateway annual opening from April to January. The Bar Council wants to ensure the Gateway system is robust rather than rushed and is exploring with the profession the practical implications of bringing forward the opening date of the Gateway. Chambers are encouraged to take part in the consultation once it is live in the autumn.
A Bar Council spokesperson said: “The Bar Council is a truly representative body in that it listens to its members. We are sensitive to the fact that for some chambers, moving the Pupillage Gateway opening to January for 2016 is too soon and that there will be logistical problems for chambers already in the process of recruiting pupils for next year. Equally, some students have expressed a desire for us to hold off changing the date. Rather than turn a blind eye to what chambers and students are telling us, we are keen to take on board all concerns. It is therefore vital that we consult further on this matter.
“We remain eager to help students get a better idea of their chances of securing pupillage before committing time and money to the BPTC. We urge students to apply as early as possible for pupillage to gage whether they have a realistic opportunity of beginning a career at the Bar and before making those costly commitments. Students shouldn’t go into the BPTC blindly. By applying early, those who might previously have been put off by the financial risk associated with committing to the BPTC without some assurance of a pupillage in future, but who have the talent to pursue a successful career at the Bar, will get a better understanding of their chances before it is too late.”