Search & Apply

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

Government Legal Department - 12 months - September 2023

AETO information
Name of AETO:
Government Legal Department and HM Revenue & Customs
Head of AETO:
Address of AETO:
Government Legal Department HQ
102 Petty France, Westminster
AETO's email:
AETO's website address:
Main practice area:
Public Law
Practice areas:
Business; Education; Environment; Equality and Discrimination; Healthcare; Human Rights; Immigration; Tax; Commercial; Employment; Public Law; Employed Bar
Specialist services:
Number of junior tenancies (in the last three years):
Pupillage vacancy information
Number of pupillages:
Financial support level:
£30,000 - £39,999
Closing date:
18 June 2021 at 11:59 PM
Pupillage start date:
September 2023
Pupillage type:
12 month pupillage
Whether the government is creating new laws, buying goods and services, investigating mergers which could restrict competition, setting the annual budget and collecting the right amount of tax, employing people, fighting organised crime or defending its decisions in court, it needs significant levels of legal advice on a whole range of complex issues. To carry out this work, the government needs its own lawyers, who understand its business, to provide legal services to a wide client base - including a range of central government departments and other government bodies.

Providing legal advice to the government is an important element of the work. Government lawyers work alongside ministers and officials as they seek to turn government objectives into policy and law and enforce regulation. Their work is determined by the business in which their departmental clients are engaged.

The diversity of the work reflects the wide range of activities within government. These range across issues of national and international significance and across public and private law, embracing advisory and legislative work, litigation, commercial, employment, and a wealth of specialist areas.

The legal work is interesting, intellectually challenging, varied and often unique. The opportunity to be involved in creating and implementing new legislation is simply not available elsewhere. The Government Legal Profession’s litigation lawyers represent the government in the highest courts – with more cases at the Supreme Court each year than any other organisation. The outcome of cases can have wide implications for government policy and even raise questions of constitutional importance.

The Government Legal Department (GLD) and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are looking to recruit pupil barristers through the Government Legal Profession Legal Trainee Scheme, to start in September 2023.

The training period will last 2 years. During the pupillage period (first 12 months) your time will be split between the department and a set of external barristers’ chambers.

You can expect to be involved in the wide range of work in which your department and chambers are involved. You will attend court, initially with your supervisor, carry out research for other lawyers and draft opinions.

Government departments use the services of external counsel for a significant amount of their court work. There is, however, the opportunity to conduct cases in tribunals or courts, although the extent of that opportunity varies between departments and teams. Those wishing to focus principally on an advocacy career should bear this in mind.

Sponsorship is available for the BPTC/LPC. A bursary/grant may also be available.

Arrangements on qualification: Whilst this cannot be guaranteed, on successful completion of the training period departments hope to be able to offer a permanent qualified lawyer position (subject to probation). The arrangements in place for newly qualified lawyers differ between departments. For example, GLD operates a 2+2 Scheme. This scheme aims to ensure that newly qualified lawyers gain a breadth and depth of experience by exposure to GLD’s contentious and non-contentious work, over and above the six month rotating training seats. On taking up the offer of a qualified lawyer role within GLD, there will be two further postings, each lasting two years (and comprising of two years in a contentious post and two years in a non-contentious post). Postings will depend on business need but will take account of personal preference where possible. In HMRC Solicitor’s Office you will typically spend your first two to three years, post qualification, in a litigation team. Subsequent posts will generally last three or four years and may be in litigation or advisory teams. Postings will depend on business need but will take account of personal preference where possible.

How to apply
The application process opens on Tuesday 1 June 2021.

The deadline for submitting the completed application form and Situational Judgement Test (SJT) is Midday on Friday 18 June 2021.

For further information on the participating departments and the recruitment process, please visit the GLP website at