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Red Lion Chambers – 18 Months – September 2025

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Pupillage Vacancy Information

About Authorised Education and Training Organisation and Structure of Pupillage
We are one of the largest and highest ranked criminal sets in the country, with many tenants also working in related areas such as Regulatory & Professional Discipline, Health & Safety, Environment, International Criminal Law and Inquests & Inquiries. Our work is challenging, rewarding, varied and often attracts public and media attention. Our members have a collaborative working approach and contribute to practice groups which are designed to disseminate knowledge and develop group expertise. We have a progressive work culture that allows candidates with exceptional ability to flourish.
Our set is home to over 100 barristers including 25 King’s Counsel (a third of whom are female) and a number of Crown Court Recorders. Many of our former members have been appointed to the judiciary, both as circuit and High Court judges. Our ex-Head of Chambers, Max Hill KC, now Director of Public Prosecutions, held positions as Leader of the Criminal Bar Association, and the South-Eastern Circuit.  Those who gain pupillage with us will be able to train alongside a diverse range of experienced specialists with an extensive pool of knowledge and expertise, and can expect to learn from some of the best practitioners at the Bar.
Our pupils are welcomed into the social life of chambers. We pride ourselves on being a friendly and approachable set.  There are frequent opportunities to meet and mingle with members at all levels in an informal context. Regular events in chambers, include talks and social networking events organised by our juniors, lectures and CPD sessions, monitoring groups that meet to discuss developments in a variety of areas of law, dinners and celebrations.
We are committed to wellbeing and have offered courses on Mindfulness and Wellbeing to our members. We provide access to Mindfulness materials and information about support services in our common room and on our intranet. We have a mentoring scheme to encourage and support junior members of chambers.  In addition, our Wellbeing Committee offer their support for any issues raised, or confidential advice sought.  Pupils are entitled to four weeks’ holiday in the first 12 months of pupillage. We have policies on grievance/complaints, illness, bereavement and maternity/paternity. 
Our historic reputation for excellence alongside our warm and collegiate environment regularly attracts talent from other chambers. Ultimately, it is our values, skill, and passionate belief in representation for all that bind us together as one of the country’s most respected and admired legal teams.
Red Lion Chambers generally offers up to two pupillages per annum. Pupils will have one pupil supervisor every four months to ensure they observe a wide range of work and are able to draw from different working practices and approaches. Pupils will spend some time at our Chelmsford Annexe, allowing them the opportunity to meet all members of chambers and to further develop their professional connections.
In the second and third six-month periods, pupils can expect to be both in the Magistrates’ Court and the Crown Court, usually on a daily basis, and sometimes twice a day.  Pupils begin to develop their own practice and will continue to be involved with that of their supervisor, and other members of chambers.
Chambers enjoys an outstanding reputation for advocacy. We are particularly proud of our in-house pupillage training programme run by King’s Counsel and members of chambers, which includes:
  • A full programme of advocacy sessions designed to help our pupils develop their skills, and ensure that they start second-six pupillage well-equipped for courtroom trial advocacy. This training continues throughout pupillage.
  • Regular exercises reflect the full range of skills required in tactical advocacy, legal argument and witness handling. The exercises include bail applications, pleas in mitigation, examination in chief, cross-examination, speeches, and disclosure applications.
  • The sessions also cover written work. Pupils gain experience in drafting attendance notes, agendas, case summaries and openings, skeleton arguments, and applications.
  • Interactive workshops are held to address topics such as ethics, good conduct and client care. Just before the second six months of pupillage, our junior tenants host a training session on Magistrates’ Court procedure, etiquette and useful tips to help with the first few weeks of practice.
  • Our pupils have the opportunity to conduct a mock trial at a Crown Court. In recent years the mock trial has taken place at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey), judged by a circuit judge, with members of chambers acting as witnesses and jury. This is an invaluable opportunity for advice and feedback.
Financial and Other Support Available
Chambers’ Pupillage package provides our pupils with a minimum of £40,000 over the course of their pupillage. The way this is calculated is broken down in the list below, together with a number of other benefits that we offer:
Chambers will provide the following funding and opportunities for all pupils:
(i)   Funding of £25,000 over 12 months paid by way of monthly instalments of £2,222 for the first nine months and £1,667 for the final three months.
(ii)  Guaranteed minimum earnings of £15,000 during the second six months of pupillage.
(iii)  Chambers will pay for all compulsory courses undertaken during pupillage.
(iii)  Chambers offers a £1,000 grant prior to the commencement of pupillage to assist with the purchasing of a laptop, court clothing or other expenses.
Chambers understands the difficulties facing those who enter the profession at the most junior level. To that end during the second six month and third six-month periods Chambers does not require pupils and probationary tenants to pay rent or clerks commission on any earnings. Chambers makes monthly payments in advance for all outstanding aged debt amounts, so that our pupils do not have any owed income.
Equality Diversity and Inclusion
We conduct our recruitment process in strict accordance with the principles of Fair Recruitment, the Equality Act 2010 and the BSB’s equality guidance. This includes anonymising application forms before they are marked, ensuring all our markers have received Fair Recruitment training, conducting standardisation exercises with markers and using fixed criteria, based upon the Professional Statement Competences, to assess applicants via the application forms and during interview. Our application process comprises three stages: (i) application form screening, (ii) a short first round interview at which applicants will be expected to debate a topic of general interest and answer questions of general legal knowledge, and (iii) a longer second interview at which applicants will be asked to conduct an advocacy exercise, answer questions relating to professional ethics and the life of the barrister and discuss their skills and experience. Details of our assessment criteria for our application process can be found on our website:

Red Lion Chambers no longer assesses applicants based upon their secondary education.  We do not ask applicants what university they attended and ask that information is not disclosed elsewhere on the form.  Furthermore, if an applicant’s academic achievement at university and post-graduate level does not reflect their academic ability, the applicant is invited to explain these mitigating circumstances on the application form and provide other evidence on the form of academic ability.
Candidates are invited to inform us of any reasonable adjustments they may require.
In the event of a tie break scenario between two candidates of equal excellence and ability we will rely upon section 159 of the Equalities Act 2010.    
Our aim is to build a working environment that is diverse and inclusive, one that reflects and understands the society we serve.  As a set we strive to attract members that possess ability. We are therefore committed to ensuring equality of opportunity regardless of race, nationality, social class, gender, age, disability, parental or carer status, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.
Our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is reflected in the adoption of policies that seek to ensure everyone, whether member or staff, is valued and enabled to contribute to our success and to empower members and staff to thrive and prosper.  This is an essential part of who we are and has been integral to our achievements.  Further information can be found on our website.

How to Apply
We invite applications from candidates who will have completed the academic and vocational stages of their training before September 2025.
Aspiring barristers are invited to apply to Chambers between Wednesday 3 January 2024 and Wednesday 7 February 2024 using the Pupillage Gateway application system to search for the relevant Pupillage Vacancy and selecting ‘Apply for this pupillage’.

In addition to the standardised Bar Council questionnaire, candidates will be asked to respond to the following questions from Chambers:

  • Why do you want to be a barrister? (200 word limit)
  • Why are you applying to Red Lion Chambers? (200 word limit) 
  • Please identify with examples any experiences/skills that you have which will help you in a career at the bar. (200 word limit) 
  • Please give one example of a time where you have worked hard to influence someone to your way of thinking. Please provide the situation, what you did/said, and the result that it had. (200 word limit) 

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