This vacancy has now closed and is listed for reference only.

3PB Barristers - 12 months - Oct 2021

Chambers information
Name of chambers:
3PB 3 Paper Buildings
Head of Chambers:
David Berkley QC
Address of chambers:
3 Paper Buildings
Chambers email:
Chambers website address:
Practice areas:
Commercial; Employment; Family; Personal Injury; Property and Land; Public Law; Regulatory; Crime
Specialist services:
London; Western; South eastern; Midlands; Northern; North eastern; Wales & chester; European circuit
Number of junior tenancies (in the last three years):
Pupillage vacancy information
Number of pupillages:
Awards available:
Financial support level:
£30,000 - £39,999
Closing date:
7 February 2020 at 11:00 AM
Pupillage start date:
5 October 2021
Pupillage type:
12 month pupillage
3PB is a highly regarded, friendly, inclusive set. We have strong links in London, the Midlands and the South West with Centres in London, Oxford, Birmingham, Bristol, Winchester & Bournemouth. We have a wide range of quality work across most of the main areas of practice at the Bar and a high level of excellent clerking support. We provide a supportive environment for pupils to learn and gain confidence in their chosen profession.

We are looking for motivated, intelligent and forward-thinking pupils.


This year we are looking for up to four pupils. One may be able to start in April 2021 and the rest in October 2021. We have a particular interest in a mainly Family pupil who is willing to be located in Birmingham.


Whilst undertaking pupillage you will be based at one of our six centres. However, Chambers operates as a single unit and arrangements are made to visit the other centres. You may be asked to attend other centres from time to time and you will do work for members of Chambers across all the centres. You will also have joint educational sessions with our other pupils throughout your pupillage year.

We do not require you at this stage to nominate a centre or to indicate when you wish to start.

Should you reach our second round you will be asked to rank your preferences as to centre; exclude one or more centres; or to explain why it is necessary for you to work from a particular centre. You should be aware that if offered tenancy at the end of your pupillage it will be on the basis that you continue to work from your pupillage centre for at least two years.


Our total package is worth around £47,000 (including benefits). The award is £30,000 [50% award and 50% guaranteed earnings in the second six]. Our pupils have always earned in excess of £15,000. Unlike many Chambers, we do not charge any Chambers’ fees on second six earnings. Chambers also pays some travel expenses and covers the costs of the compulsory external courses. We provide our unique practical internal training, including advocacy exercises and acquisition of the necessary skills for running your own business, with other benefits such as free software, private health insurance and IT support. We have a strong pastoral system for pupils as we believe in giving you the opportunity to do your best and we have a positive “can-do” attitude to reasonable adjustments.

We divide your pupillage into 3-5 periods with different supervisors, depending on specialisation and needs. In the first six months your focus will naturally be on your supervisors' work, with encouragement to seek out work from other members and to go to court with other practitioners, particularly junior tenants, so that you can get a feel for the work that you'll be doing in the second six. Chambers operates a continuous assessment system to enable us to identify any areas in which you need assistance.

In your second six, you can confidently expect to hit the ground running in terms of court work - we are strong believers in developing advocacy skills from an early stage and offer exciting and varied work at junior level whilst continuing with your education and support. Where possible, pupils carry out work local to their pupillage centre, but you may be required to travel further.


3PB has over 185 members across our six centres. Each member belongs to one or more of 12 Practice Groups. These are: Property & Estates; Construction & Engineering; Commercial; Education; Employment & Discrimination; Mediation; Public & Regulatory; Sports; Personal Injury; Family; Crime; Clinical Negligence. There are sub-groups within the main groups representing specific interests. Members of Chambers are also mediators and arbitrators.

One of the advantages of 3PB is that you will be exposed to a number of different areas and we do not insist that you remain committed to legal areas in which you originally expressed interest if you find another area or areas which suit you better. Your initial interests will affect which centre(s) would be suitable for you during pupillage as each of them has a slightly different focus and range of work.


Intellectual ability

We expect you to demonstrate the ability to master and retain complex and extensive information; identify essentials; produce pragmatic and practical solutions; and respond quickly to intellectual challenge. This may be demonstrated through academic achievements and/or employment experience. An upper second-class degree or above is desirable, but intellectual ability may also be demonstrated through other means, e.g. postgraduate qualifications, excellent research work or other academic or workplace achievements. We do not have a template! Intellectual ability is, however, double weighted in our initial sift.

Drive and Determination

We look for candidates with initiative and commitment, demonstrated by overcoming obstacles, undertaking work and voluntary experience. We do understand that it is not always possible to do a great deal of unpaid work or undertake large numbers of mini-pupillages. We do however, expect to see at least two mini-pupillages. More than four is not an advantage. We look for addition evidence of motivation, such as volunteering or work experience in solicitors’ firms. It is not necessary to have undertaken a mini-pupillage with 3PB.
Ability to deal with people

The ability to forge and sustain relationships with a wide range of colleagues, members of professional teams and clients, both lay and professional.

Judgement and temperament

We look for evidence of having, or being able to acquire, the ability to sustain attention whilst working with complex material and meeting deadlines; remaining calm and retaining priorities whilst meeting unexpected demands; to be confident and objective in challenging circumstances. We seek articulate, persuasive, confident people, of the highest integrity who are perceptive, sensitive to situations and able to demonstrate sound judgement. We place particular emphasis on integrity and good judgement.

Commitment to the Bar and to 3PB

We expect to see evidence of commitment to the life and work of a barrister and to 3PB as a Chambers. We do expect you have some knowledge of Chambers, its work and its ethos. Mooting or other public speaking experience is essential.


Our initial paper sift is done on a “blind” basis with names and other personal information being removed. Each application is then double-marked. We select approximately forty-five candidates for our first round. The first interview consists of a short piece of advocacy on a non-legal topic, the provision of a self-selected piece of written work and questions about your application form. It lasts for 25-30 minutes. Approximately fifteen candidates are selected for the second interview. They are sent a brief a week in advance and are expected to produce written work and then do an advocacy exercise based on that work at the interview. The second interview will last 30-35 minutes.


Our first round interviews will be held for all candidates on 2nd, 3rd and 4th April 2020. Second round interviews will be held on 24th and/or 25th April 2020.


Pupillage doesn't guarantee you a tenancy at 3PB, but we treat every pupil within Chambers as a potential candidate and we like to recruit from our pupils where possible. We do not limit ourselves as to numbers in any given year. You will not be in competition with the other pupils, but with yourself and if you satisfy our high standards then you have every prospect of being offered tenancy and a future with a vibrant and forward-thinking Chambers.
Application Questions

The following questions will form the Pupillage Application Questionnaire section of the application form for this pupillage vacancy. These are included here to allow you to prepare in advance.

  1. What advocacy experience do you have? Please describe one occasion on which you believe your advocacy made a difference and why. (100 words)
  2. Please indicate all Chambers’ practice areas in which you are interested. (200 words)
  3. What advocacy experience do you have? Please describe one occasion on which you believe your advocacy made a difference and why. (100 words)
  4. Tell us about a mistake you have made. How did you rectify it and what did you learn? (250 words)
  5. Describe an obstacle that you have had to overcome and how you dealt with it. (250 words)
  6. Tell us about a time you had difficulties with another person or group of people. What steps did you personally take to resolve the difficulties? (250 words)
  7. Why do you believe you will make a good barrister? In your answer, please identify any relevant experiences or skills that you believe may help you in your career. (100 words)
How to apply
To apply, please click on the Apply Online link below and then complete the online application form.