Social Mobility Mini-Pupillage

At New Square Chambers we’re committed to promoting and advancing equality, diversity and inclusion. And we recognise that social mobility remains an issue at the Bar.

Things may be improving but the Bar Standards Board’s most recent Diversity at the Bar Report (published in January 2022) records that 38.8% of barristers are female, and 14.7% of barristers are ethnic minorities. Furthermore, 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.

Since 2020, we have welcomed 36 prospective pupillage candidates from socially diverse backgrounds to undertake assessed work experience through our Social Mobility Mini-Pupillage programme.

More information about our Social Mobility Mini-Pupillage programme

Each year we offer up to ten, assessed mini-pupillage places. The assessed mini-pupillage is for a period of two days, during which candidates will spend one day shadowing a member of Chambers, and one day undertaking an oral advocacy assessment. Mini-pupils will be asked to complete a written advocacy assessment following the mini-pupillage.

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.

Where does this take place?

The assessed mini-pupillage takes place in Chambers, but we are happy for candidates to attend virtually, or partially virtually should they wish to. In the latter case, candidates will need to be able to access and use platforms such as Skype for Business, Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Chambers will reimburse candidates for reasonable travel expenses.

Who can apply?
The Social Mobility Mini-Pupillage is open to candidates who attended a state secondary school, AND who 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.

How can you apply?

We will be releasing the dates for the 2024 Social Mobility Mini-Pupillage programme later in 2023. Applications are usually accepted in November/December, with mini-pupillages taking place early the following year.

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

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

Download the application form

More information

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

Download our Pupillage & Mini-Pupillage policy

Download our Reasonable Adjustments policy

Download our Equality & Diversity policy

Join the Social Mobility Mini-Pupillage mailing list

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