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
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.
Applications for Pupillages starting in October 2020 are now closed. Applications for pupillages are advertised through the Pupillage Gateway. Applications for Pupillage starting in October 2021 will be open in January 2020.
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.
4 Paper Buildings offers 3 funded 12-month pupillages every year, these are purely family based.
The award for pupillages starting in 2021 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 2021, 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