Drystone Opportunities


Drystone Chambers offers up to two 12 month pupillages via the pupillage gateway process.

Why Drystone Chambers?

Our focus is on providing fearless top quality advocacy to our clients. To continue doing so we think it imperative that we invest in our pupils and their professional development. Drystone Chambers is committed to equality and diversity in both our recruitment procedures and work place. Please click here to view the Equality & Diversity report from our 2017 pupillage application process.

We offer a challenging but supportive environment designed to develop a pupil into a tenant and a high proportion of our pupils become tenants.

What to expect?

We will allocate you a pupil supervisor in advance of your start date. Throughout your pupillage your pupil supervisor will ensure you receive the support and guidance you need, in addition to members of the pupillage committee who will also support you in pupillage matters or to discuss confidentially any personal matters.

During the first six months of your pupillage you will closely follow your pupillage supervisor, and assist them in research for producing opinions, advices and conferences or seminars. You will accompany them to Court and sit in on client meetings and conferences.

Chambers also runs an in-house training programme aimed at improving both advocacy and research skills.

As a second-six pupil you will be encouraged to appear in Court as often as possible. This is likely to be mainly criminal work but we enjoy a varied caseload, and you will be exposed to more than one area of practise in this period. Typically second-six pupils are in Court every day, so you will soon hone your time management and advocacy skills. You will be exposed to challenging work and a busy case load, which will enable you to develop the skills you need.

If there is an area of practise that you feel more suited to than another, your pupil supervisor will be able to identify and address it in your regular reviews, and where possible put a plan in place to accommodate your wish to spend time in pursuing your chosen area of practise but you will also be expected (as are junior tenants) to assist the clerks in covering work. Chambers is a very large set which covers a wide geographical area and you will be expected to cover work in all of those areas.

The wide geographical spread of Chambers often offers juniors a faster progression through to Crown Court work, but can entail travelling and the costs associated with that. Chambers has catered for this in the pupillage award offered.

Interview Process

Application forms are marked against the following criteria:

• Interpersonal Skills

• Analytical Skill

• Persuasive communicator (verbal)

• Persuasive communicator (written)

• Integrity

• Commitment

Those scoring 80 out of 100 will be invited for a first round interview. We look for excellence, talent and potential. Whilst academic scores are often a guide to that, they are not determinative and we apply the criteria above rather than any criteria based on academic scores.

Depending upon the number of candidates Chambers may operate more than one round of interviews. Interviews usually involve submitting a piece of written work in advance, an oral advocacy exercise and being asked to choose and discuss a current topic. 

Mini Pupillage 

All mini-pupillage slots up to and including February 2020 have been allocated. Applications for slots in or after March 2020 will be accepted from 1st July 2019. Any applications submitted before this date will not be considered.

We offer two mini-pupillages per month to the first applicants. An applicant must be studying at or have graduated from a university. We are equally keen to promote the pursuit of excellence and to increase the equality and diversity of our profession. We encourage everybody interested in our practice areas to apply. 

Mini-pupillages at Drystone last one week, during which you will shadow a barrister conducting work that is of most interest to you. Please submit your CV (by attaching it to an email) to minipupillage@drystone.com for the attention of James Gray. In the body of your e-mail please provide the following details:

i. which practice area/s you would like to experience;

ii. when you would like your mini-pupillage (specify dates);

iii. in which geographical area you would like to spend your time (we work across the country).

Successful applicants are encouraged to discuss any aspect of their career during mini-pupillage. We are unable to offer feedback due to the volume of applications we receive.