Our pupils are our future. Junior tenants are recruited largely from only three pupillages a year. Great importance is attached to pupillage, resulting in enjoyable, practical and above all high-quality training from experienced pupil supervisors, each with their own practice.

Pupillage at 4 Paper Buildings

We have a deserved reputation as one of the friendliest sets in which to do your pupillage. Long established in the heart of the historic Inner Temple and highly respected, 4 Paper Buildings has maintained its position as one of the leading sets in the Temple by blending unrivalled stability with a forward-looking policy of modernisation and expansion.

4 Paper Buildings combines the best of modern and traditional aspects of life at the Bar. Members aim to be approachable and supportive of pupils, whilst allowing them sufficient space to demonstrate initiative and to develop as individual practitioners. 4 Paper Buildings’ status coupled with the quality and breadth of training means that the pupils who do not obtain tenancy have usually done so elsewhere. Members of 4 Paper Buildings go on to do great things; former members include the Honourable Mr Justice Kirkwood, the Honourable Mrs Justice Pauffley and the Honourable Mr Justice Peter Jackson and Circuit Judges HHJ Cryan, HHJ Anwyl, HHJ Murdoch, HHJ Brown, HHJ Probyn and HHJ Simon

Chambers’ work

4 Paper Buildings are an exclusively specialist family law set. 4 Paper Buildings is nationally and internationally recognised as one of the leading Family Law sets. Members of Chambers specialise in high-profile and cutting-edge public law, private law, financial remedies, international and Court of Protection cases and are instructed in cases which regularly make the front pages of the newspapers as well as the law reports. Members regularly write articles and give lectures and seminars around the country.

Pupillage applications

Applications for Pupillage starting in October 2018 will be open on 9th January 2017.

To apply you will need to download and complete both the editable PDF 4PB Pupillage Application Form 2017 and Pupillage Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form 2017.  You may need to download Adobe Acrobat to read and edit the forms, this is free and can be downloaded here. The closing date for applications is 11am on 7th February 2017. No applications received after this time will be considered of accepted.

You should complete the application form fully without amending the format or sizes of the boxes, regrettably if you make amendments to the form your application will not be processed.

You are asked to send one email with both your completed application form and your equality and diversity monitoring form to Pupillage@4pb.com

The equality and diversity form will not be seen by the selection panel and is only used to monitor our equality and diversity. If you would prefer not to submit this data then please just return a blank equal opportunities form with your application form.

Application forms will be marked by the following four criteria:

  • Academic and Intellectual Qualities
  • Impact and written articulacy
  • Commitment, drive and capacity for hard work
  • Qualities and suitability for the Bar/Chambers

There is a two stage interview process that will take place. Applicants that are selected for a second round interview will also be invited into chambers for a one-day mini-pupillage.

We regret that due to the volume of applications we receive we are only able to provide feedback to second interview stage candidates. In line with the Pupillage Gateway dates offers for 2018 Pupillages will be made to successful applicants on 3rd May 2017.

Pupillages offered

4 Paper Buildings offers 3 funded 12-month pupillages every year, these are purely family based.

The award for pupillages starting in 2017 will be £25,000 per year for pupillages commencing in 2018 the pupillage grant will be £30,000 per year and these amounts are supplemented by any earnings from work done in your second six which is expected to be approximately £5,000.

In addition to the £30,000 paid to the successful candidate starting in 2018 , 4PB offer a hardship bursary fund totalling £18,000 to be divided as appropriate to successful candidates. This is payable during the 12 month period prior to the commencement of pupillage to assist in meeting the costs of the Bar Professional Training Course fees (or to assist with repaying the course fees if you have already completed the BPTC. The award of the Bursary is means –tested and the amount of the award is discretionary. Applications for the Bursary will be open only to those who have been offered and accepted a pupillage at 4PB and an application may be submitted upon the acceptance of an offer of pupillage or at any time prior to the conclusion of the BPTC.

You can expect to be in court on average two to three times per week. As one of only three pupils, you will take on a varied but manageable caseload in your second six months.

The pattern of pupillage at 4 Paper Buildings

During your 12 months you will be allocated three pupil supervisors. We will try and tailor your pupillage to meet a pupil’s interest whilst also ensuring that pupils receive a thorough grounding in family practice. In addition to working with your supervisor you will work for and go to Court with other members of Chambers.

In your second six months you will have a caseload of your own to which priority will normally be given. You will have the opportunity to see all types of family work including ancillary relief, public and private childcare, adoption and parental child abduction cases.


If you are taken on, you can expect earnings in your first year roughly equivalent to those of a newly-qualified solicitor in a medium-sized city firm.

4PB’s status, coupled with the quality and breadth of the training we provide, means that those pupils who do not obtain tenancy with us have, invariably, been placed in other sets.  Chambers regards it as part of our duty to our pupils to endeavour to find alternative tenancies or third sixes for those not taken on.  We have, at present, a 100% success rate in this endeavour, with our most recently unsuccessful pupil walking straight into a tenancy at another well regarded London set.

“Pupillage was challenging as one would have expected, however the depth of support from all members of chambers was exceptional.”

At bar school you hear some real horror stories about pupillage. At 4 Paper Buildings you can be sure that you will be judged by the quality of your work and the content of your character, and nothing else.

“You can be pretty certain that you will get more court work during your pupillage here than any other chambers, and that means more experience and higher earnings in your second six to help with the transition to being self-employed.”

Comments from recent pupils