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Senate House Chambers- 12 months- October 22 and April 23

AETO information
Name of AETO:
Senate House Chambers
Head of AETO:
Michelle Christie and Lianne Murphy
Address of AETO:
Senate House Chambers
14 Albion Place
AETO's website address:
Main practice area:
Children Law
Practice areas:
Family; Crime
Specialist services:
Number of junior tenancies (in the last three years):
Pupillage vacancy information
Number of pupillages:
Financial support level:
£12,000 - £19,999
Closing date:
9 February 2022 at 2:00 PM
Pupillage start date:
3 October 2022
Pupillage type:
12 month pupillage
Senate House Chambers is a modern provincial set of 27 tenants and 5 Queen’s Counsel door tenants, boasting a vast quantity of high-quality work and very well-regarded advocates from the Heads of Chambers to the newest junior tenants. We are a specialist family law chambers however pupils and junior tenants also undertake some criminal work in the magistrate’s court during their early years of practice which we see as extremely beneficial to develop well-rounded skills and early advocacy experience. Pupils are well supported with criminal law experience as a significant number of our tenants have a background of extensive criminal law in practice before specialising in Family Law.

We pride ourselves on service, high quality advocacy, and on being the set that goes the extra mile to ensure excellent preparation, reporting following hearings, and representation at all stages of proceedings. We are committed to quality service, and the training of top-quality advocates but consider ourselves to be an approachable set, offering a friendly, practical and down-to-earth environment in which to complete pupillage. Senate House Chambers has been ranked as a Leading Family Set in the Legal 500 each year since 2018 and was the winner of Reginal Family Law Chambers of the year at the Lexis Nexis Family Law Awards 2020 and was shortlisted for the Family Law Wellbeing award at the Family Law Awards 2021.

We don’t shy away from the fact that our pupils have to work very hard indeed, but this is in order to equip our prospective tenants with all the requisite skills to succeed in life at the Bar. Pupils are trained in accordance with our bespoke training programme which includes additional advocacy training through advocacy exercises undertaken with the committee during months 3-6 of pupillage. Once our pupils commence their second six months, they begin by undertaking court hearings on no more than 3 days per week to allow for some preparation time for cases and to ensure our pupils are not overwhelmed by the initial pressures of being on their feet. The number of days upon which pupils undertake their own cases is increased during the pupil’s second six in consultation with the pupil and pupil’ supervisor.

As a relatively young set of Chambers, Senate House is determined to grow and build upon the reputations already held by its founding members, as high-quality advocates who are approachable, client focused, and professional. Chambers will select pupils with a view to tenancy being offered upon successful completion of pupillage. Application for tenancy is by letter to the Heads of Chambers approximately 7 weeks before the end of pupillage.

Chambers is currently inviting applications for 2 pupillages, each of 12 months duration, commencing in October 2022 and April 2023. Pupillage is subject to minimum funding of £16,601 although pupils can usually expect to earn in excess of £40,000, taking account of work undertaken during the second six. Pupils are also reimbursed all reasonable travel expenses to and from court outside the Northampton area.

Chambers funds all compulsory courses required for the completion of pupillage and consideration will always be given to requests for the funding of additional, non-compulsory courses that may be of benefit to pupils. Senate House Chambers is a “paperless” chambers, and each pupil is provided with an iPad for use during their pupillage to access electronic bundles and assist with electronic working. Senate House Chambers has a strong commitment to providing the best training possible to our pupils with the hope and intention that they will use their training and experience in tenancy at Senate House.

Candidates should have a minimum 2:1 at degree level and a very competent in the BPTC, but Chambers is always prepared to consider candidates without this level of qualification in exceptional circumstances. We look for applicants who not only demonstrate intellect and sound legal knowledge but who balance this with common sense, sound judgment and a pragmatic approach that makes them accessible to solicitors and lay clients alike. All applications received are considered by members of the Pupillage Committee against standard criteria. In addition to the qualities detailed in the paragraph above and those generally expected, we look for ability to manage copious, detailed, and complicated information and to communicate such information in a straightforward manner, evidence of interaction with a wide range of people from a variety of social and professional levels, the ability to prioritise work commitments whilst sustaining other interests or facing life’s challenges, and of the ability to cope and achieve results under pressure.

We anticipate short-listing 25 candidates for first round interview. Four members of the Pupillage Committee usually conduct the Interviews, which take place over the course of a weekend. Each first interview will last around fifteen minutes and candidates will be asked set questions devised by the committee to enable a fair and effective scoring criteria to be devised, there may also be some general questions, and the aim of each is to tell us about you, your personality, and your suitability to Chambers. We also use this opportunity to assess your ability as an Advocate but in a general sense rather than via any particular exercise.

A limited number of (usually) no more than 10 successful candidates will be called to attend a second-round interview. This is longer interview (which may involve a day in chambers) and involves at least one advocacy exercise, provided in advance. There are also further general questions asked of candidates at this time. Interviews took place remotely in 2020 and 2021 however we hope to be able to undertake interviews in person in 2022.

Should you wish to have further information about Pupillage at Senate House Chambers please email
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. BC1: 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 (200 words)
  2. Why do you want to practice in family law? (200 words)
  3. Why would your friends and family say we should interview you? (100 words)
  4. Why have you chosen to apply for pupillage at Senate House Chambers? (100 words)
How to apply
To apply, please click on the Apply Online link below and then complete the online application form.