Pupillage

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A pupillage, in England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland, is the barrister's equivalent of the training contract that a solicitor undertakes. It is similar to an apprenticeship where students build on what they have learnt during the Bar Professional Training Course by combining it with practical work experience in a set of barristers' chambers.

A pupillage is the final stage of training to be a barrister and usually lasts one year, in England and Wales being made up of two six-month periods (known as "sixes"). The first of these is the non-practising six during which pupils shadow their pupilmaster and the second will be a practising six when pupils can undertake to supply legal services and exercise rights of audience.

At the end of the first six months a pupil must get their pupilmaster to sign a certificate confirming satisfactory completion and send it to the Bar Council. The pupil will then receive a Provisional Qualification Certificate. At the end of the second six months a pupil must get their pupilmaster to sign another certificate confirming satisfactory completion and send it to the Bar Council Education and Training Department. The pupil will then receive a Full Qualification Certificate.

Although pupillage is used to describe the training for all barristers, there is little in common between different sorts of pupillages. A good example is the enormous contrast between a criminal bar pupil and a commercial bar pupil: during...
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