I want to introduce you to a new site called The Pupillage Pages. It has been added to the Useful Links list below. The site is run by two pupils to be (that is to say, they have secured pupillages and start in due course). I’ve reviewed the information and advice they provide and it is solidly reliable. For those of you applying this year it should be of assistance.
The site is super-duper up to date and makes me feel old and tired. It includes live fora, the development of which I shall watch with interest. It also includes a space for people to keep each other up to date on applications and progress. I would like to think that everyone will contribute to that part of the site in a careful and constructive way, focussing on disseminating knowledge to their peers: as trying to get barristers to agree is commonly compared to herding cats, that might be slightly optimistic but I live in hope. For those feeling bilious, the Wall of Shame will be open here for business as usual.
The authors are open to advertising. Although I have mixed feelings about this, I know that they have invested in the development of the site and I trust them to declare any conflicts of interest. It seems to me that they are unlikely to go in for quite the same amount of expression of opinion as I do, so the issues are not as tricky. Certainly, what is currently up there is trustworthy. It is also better, more focussed and more in depth than the Bar Council’s new “Become a Barrister” website. I say that with some regret, because the very fact that the Bar Council has produced such a site is good news and one which would have been unthinkable 10 years ago. The difficulty is that professional bodies have to keep it to information only and the site is thus a bit vanilla (if this site is – as I hope it is – chilli, then The Pupillage Pages is, say, saffron. Any competing spice analogies gratefully received below). The authors are also anonymous. I have urged them to out themselves, because it seems to me that when a site offers information, those wondering whether to use that information are entitled to know the background of the person offering it. They have, perfectly reasonably, said they would like to discuss that with their Chambers. I very much hope their Chambers support the endeavour. For the time being I am prepared to say that the authors know what they are talking about.
I am excited, because the site seems to me to potentially fulfil a real need. Some of its content is covered here as well, and that has the advantage of allowing you either two opinions, or the comfort of agreement. Some of it will, hopefully, consist of information which I frankly doubt I would be given – information directly from Chambers for example – because I wish to retain the right to criticise and suggest improvements. Some of it consists of basic information which I am too idle to put up because it is available elsewhere, but there are distinct advantages to gathering it all together in one place. Go and have a look and let me – and them – know what you think.