Pupillage at Five Paper

Each year we offer one or two fully-funded, 12-month pupillages.

We believe in investing in our pupils.

Through our pupillages at Five Paper we aim to provide pupils with a wide variety of legal work and as much hands-on experience as possible. It’s vital that you receive a thorough, practical training in the business of being a barrister and understand how we conduct ourselves and the etiquette of the Bar.

It is equally important that pupils enjoy their time with us. We want you to feel part of chambers and hope you’ll find us friendly and welcoming.

Diversity, equality and flexibility

At Five Paper we are committed to the principle of equal opportunities for all. We value diversity within our team and amongst our clients and those we meet during the course of our work. We fully support equal opportunities and enforce anti-discrimination legislation.

Five Paper Equality Policy

What to expect

On or before your first day we will discuss your tenure with you and tell you in detail what to expect. We will provide you with copies of our Guidance for PupilsPupillage Policy Statement, Grievance Procedure and Discrimination and Harassment Complaints Procedure.

First things first

Pupillage is divided into five periods of three months and you will have a different pupil supervisor for each period. Our supervisors are all on the approved register maintained by the Bar Council and have attended the ‘Training for Prospective Pupil Masters’ course.

We respect the fact that you want to come to Five Paper for training. Except in exceptional circumstances, we won’t ask you to do photocopying or typing in connection with work that you haven’t been involved with. Under no circumstances will your supervisor or any other member of Chambers ask you to run errands. 


Working within our areas of specialisation

Five Paper is a specialist chambers with practice teams focusing on specific areas of law. Pupils spend time with members from different teams to experience as wide a variety of work as possible.

You will generally have your own desk in the same room as your pupil supervisor so that you can benefit by observing him or her. You will also have the opportunity to do work for other members of Chambers.


We believe it is important for pupils to have an objective assessment of their progress at regular intervals throughout the year.

At the end of each three-month period your pupil supervisor will carry out an appraisal, which is graded to give an indication of your level of performance. You are encouraged to respond in writing. Your strengths and weaknesses will be identified and future objectives agreed. Any work done for barristers other than your pupil supervisor will also be appraised.

When will you find out if you have tenancy?

We believe it is important that pupils should know the outcome of their application for tenancy in sufficient time to enable them to make alternative arrangements if necessary. We therefore make decisions about whether or not to recruit a junior tenant and if so, whether to take on a pupil, by mid-July at the latest. When considering pupils for tenancy, we use a formal selection procedure during which our tenancy committee takes into account:

  • two assessed pieces of written work
  • two assessed advocacy exercises
  • appraisals from pupil supervisors
  • appraisals from other members of chambers
  • written comments from other members of chambers, the senior clerk
    and solicitors for whom the pupil has done work.

What we are looking for in our pupils

Applicants for pupillage are assessed objectively, on the basis of merit only, and in accordance with Five Paper’s Pupillage Selection Policy and Pupillage Selection Criteria.

In summary, we are looking for applicants who display:

  • Proven intellectual achievement.
  • Strong oral and written advocacy skills.
  • Experience of building relationships, and working effectively with colleagues, solicitors, and lay clients, regardless of their background.
  • The ability to communicate readily and clearly, both orally and in writing.
  • Evidence of an analytical mind, which can absorb and process large amounts of complex, detailed information quickly and accurately.
  • Knowledge or experience of at least one of Five Paper’s specialist practice areas.
  • A calm and controlled approach to pressure and difficult situations, with the ability to think on your feet and respond appropriately.
  • An independent work ethic, and good judgment.

The Selection Policy and the Pupillage Selection Criteria can be downloaded from the “Our Offer and How to Apply” page.