Mini-Pupillage

The window for applications for mini pupillages in 2023/24 is now closed. Applications for mini pupillage placements in 2024/25 will reopen in September 2024 and the new dates will be published on our website in July 2024.

Mini pupillages at 3VB are assessed and an essential part of our recruitment procedure. We ask all applicants interested in undertaking pupillage at 3VB to apply for and complete a mini pupillage at 3VB prior to applying for pupillage.

Mini pupillages provide us with an opportunity to assess applicants’ suitability for a career at the Commercial Bar before we issue invitations for pupillage interviews. They give our mini pupils a chance to introduce themselves to us at an early stage and to demonstrate their interest in 3VB. They also allow our mini pupils to decide whether a career as a commercial barrister, and at 3VB in particular, would be right for them.

Mini pupillages are essentially a short period of simulated pupillage, during which each mini pupil will sit with a barrister to observe and discuss aspects of his or her work. In addition, mini pupils will spend half of the second day completing a short piece of assessed written work. The assessed written work does not require any particular preparation, and all of the relevant legal materials will be provided. The aim of the mini pupillage is to ensure a mix of contact with chambers and the mini pupil’s supervisor. It enables the mini pupil to experience work in chambers (including what work is like under the current circumstances), to form a rapport with their supervisor who can give feedback on their oral and written skills, and to formally assess the mini pupil’s capabilities.

Applicants for mini pupillage will be assessed against the same criteria as applicants for pupillage and should have, or expect in due course to have, the qualifications required for full pupillage. At a minimum, this is generally an upper second-class degree in an honours subject, not necessarily in law.

3VB prefers candidates for mini pupillage to apply in the year of their intended application for full pupillage. Applicants will not be permitted to undertake a second mini pupillage within three years of their first.

In our experience, students on the GDL find it beneficial to undertake their mini pupillage after they have completed their first term. GDL applicants are therefore strongly encouraged to apply for spaces in our December–March sessions.

When applying, applicants should indicate their preferred mini pupillage session(s). Applicants may specify multiple sessions, provided their applications are received in time. Please note that, because of the high demand for mini pupillages once you have been allocated a session it will only be possible to change to another session in exceptional circumstances beyond your control.

Applicants are advised that the December and January sessions are particularly oversubscribed and should bear this in mind if they specify that they wish to apply for those sessions.

Applicants are invited to send a CV (which should include a full breakdown of all university examination results to date) and covering letter to minipupillage@3vb.com. Applications for each virtual mini pupillage close six weeks prior to that virtual mini pupillage commencing.

The Bar Standards Board requires all Chambers to monitor applicants for assessed mini pupillage by race, disability, and gender. To assist in compiling accurate data, 3VB therefore asks applicants to complete and submit this equality and diversity monitoring form when applying for a mini-pupillage. Please note that completion of this form is optional and declining to do so will have no effect on applications. Monitoring information provided will not form part of the assessment of the application but will be anonymised upon receipt and dealt with in the strictest confidence by Chambers’ administrative staff.

Our Mini Pupillages will take place on the following dates:

Date of Mini Pupillage Apply By

1. 25-26 Sep

2. 16-17 Oct

3. 13-14 Nov

4. 4-5 Dec

5. 8-9 Jan

6. 22-23 Jan

7. 5-6 Feb

8. 19-20 Feb

14 Aug 2024

4 Sep 2024

2 Oct 2024

23 Oct 2024

27 Nov 2024

11 Dec 2024

24 Dec 2024

8 Jan 2025

3VB will reimburse mini-pupils’ reasonable travel expenses and/or the cost of necessary overnight accommodation and will provide mini-pupils with a Travel Claim Form for this purpose.  Overnight accommodation is usually considered to be necessary only where the journey would be more than 90 minutes each way. Please email minipupillage@3vb.com in advance of your mini-pupillage to seek prior approval for accommodation expenses.

Mini-pupils wishing to claim such expenses should retain receipts and submit a completed Travel Claim Form within two weeks of completing their mini-pupillage.

Reimbursement of expenses is at the discretion of 3VB. 3VB will not reimburse an expense claimed if it is unreasonable (e.g. 3VB will not refund first-class train travel if more expensive than a standard-class ticket).

Reimbursements are not available for virtual mini-pupillages.

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