Bar council to encourage early pupillage applications

The Bar Council is looking to encourage more pupillage applications from graduate diploma in law (GDL) and final year law students.

Maura McGowan, chairman of the bar council, responding to a question as to whether the bar council planned to change the current timetable by which students apply for places on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) before knowing whether they have secured pupillage, said “the timetable is not under our control, all we can do is to try to encourage more people to apply a year early.”

Guy Fetherstonhaugh QC, training for the bar committee chairman, said “Maura has tasked me with seeing what can be done and asked if this is something we wish to encourage. I am firmly of the view that students should apply a so-called year early and get a crack on.

“This is a work in progress and I hope to persuade GDL providers to encourage students to apply a year early. The next stage is to approach providers of law degrees to see what can be done.

“So far I have written to all the BPTC providers asking how many students got pupillage before beginning the BPTC. I am now going to write to all the GDL providers asking what they are doing currently to encourage students to apply for pupillage,” he said.

The new online pupillage application system Pupillage Gateway was launched by the Bar Council earlier this week (28 February 2013).

For more on the timetable for becoming a barrister see this article here.