Social Mobility Mini-Pupillage


There is no doubt that diversity at the Bar is improving year on year: the Bar Standards Board’s most recent Diversity at the Bar Report records that 38.2% of barristers are female, and 14.1% of barristers are BAME. However, social mobility remains an issue: the Bar Standards Board’s sole measure of social mobility is attendance at independent secondary schools, and those statistics show that a disproportionate number of barristers attended an independent secondary school.

At New Square Chambers, we recognise that greater social mobility is required for a host of reasons, and we wish to take active steps to encourage social mobility at the Bar generally, and in particular at the Commercial and Chancery Bar.

We are therefore proud to once again run our Social Mobility Mini-Pupillage programme, after its successful launch in 2020.


About the mini-pupillage

We will offer up to 10 assessed mini-pupillage places to candidates from socially mobile backgrounds. The assessed mini-pupillage will be for a period of up to five days, during which candidates will undertake a written and an oral advocacy assessment. All candidates who perform well during the assessed mini-pupillage will be guaranteed a first-round interview for pupillage in the next recruitment round in which they are eligible to apply.

It is currently intended that the assessed mini-pupillage will take place in Chambers. However, candidates should be aware that we may be required to run a wholly virtual assessed mini-pupillage if new restrictions are imposed as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Candidates may therefore need to be able to access and use platforms such as Skype for Business, Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

The mini-pupillage is open to candidates who attended a state secondary school, AND fulfil one or more of the following criteria:

  • Your parent(s) did not attend university;
  • Your household income is less than £25,000;
  • Anyone in your immediate family has at any point received state benefits;
  • You have at any point been eligible for free school meals;
  • You have been in care and/or are a carer; or
  • You have refugee or asylum status.

Applications from female, BAME and disabled candidates are particularly encouraged.

Priority will be given to candidates intending to apply for pupillage in 2022.


How to apply

This year, applications will be accepted from 1 November 2021 until 17 December 2021, with mini-pupillages taking place in early 2022.

Applications should be made using Chambers’ Social Mobility Mini-Pupillage application form, and saved in MS Word format.

Applications may only be made by email, and should be sent to with “Social Mobility Mini-Pupillage Application” as the subject heading.

Please click here to download the application form.



Additional correspondence regarding the Social Mobility Mini-Pupillage, including any requests for reasonable adjustments, should be made to Jessica Powers or Jeff Hardman on
+44 (0)20 7419 8000 or at


Further Information

Mini-Pupillage Policy

Equality and Diversity Policy