Recruitment failure forces set to raise stakes

Devereux Chambers has upped its pupillage package from £22,000 to £30,000 after failing to recruit any pupils last year.

A shortage of suitable candidates meant that the common law set failed to recruit any pupils last year.

So this year it has upped the ante with a revamped pupillage package. This includes £8,000 extra for the Bar Vocational Course year and £22,000 guaranteed minimum earnings during the first year.

Fears that the Bar is still losing out to law firms in the battle for the best talent have also prompted Devereux to host a seminar on life as a barrister.

The set&#39s practice development manager Laura Collins said the high costs of attending law fairs up and down the country once a year made it difficult for chambers to reach out as much as they would like.

&#34We don&#39t have the same knowledge and materials as the big law firms,&#34 said Collins, who complains that students emerge from the &#34crunch&#34 of final year exams and head straight into training contracts at law firms without a second thought.

The evening seminar, scheduled for 6 February 2003, will include a series of talks by members of the Devereux team, on life as a barrister, how to become a barrister and the role of a clerk in chambers.