Law Graduate Earns Pupillage to Become Barrister

Jack Best

Jack was one of the first cohort of graduating students from the University’s Law degree last November and is the first to get a pupillage, which will enable him to train to practise as a barrister.

“I’m overwhelmed.  I can’t wait to start and I’m really looking forward to it,” said the 23-year-old, from Bridgnorth, Shropshire.

Jack, a former pupil at the Oldswinford Hospital in Stourbridge, has just finished his Bar training course in Birmingham.  He went through three rigorous stages of virtual interviews before finding out he was one of five selected for a pupillage at St Philip’s Chambers in Birmingham, in family law.

In some cases, pupillages can have over 1,000 applications and many Law graduates can find themselves applying for four to five years to try to get one.

“I have wanted to be a barrister for as long as I can remember,” said Jack.  “I like the challenge of a legal problem.  The fact that there’s always one side to be argued against the other and I like the challenge of arguing that legal problem as well as I can do.  I enjoy picking that aspect apart.  With family law, I enjoy that connection that you can build with a client because it’s such a personal experience for them.  My experience working as an usher last summer made me realise many people will never have been in a courtroom before.  I enjoy that I’m the person guiding and helping them through that.  Your words could well have an impact on their life.” 

Due to Covid-19, Jack will be taking up his place with the Chambers in October 2021 and has lined up work as a paralegal until then.  He hopes this will give him greater insight into criminal law and more exposure to the court system, in preparation for the pupillage. Jack has already given a talk to current students about his experiences and plans to continue returning to the University in the future to pass on his insights.

Head of Law, Bill Davies, said: “We are really delighted at Jack’s success.  It is great to see that the first graduates from our School of Law are already making their mark on the Legal Profession. The Law course was specifically designed with employability in mind and it is brilliant to see the plan come to fruition.”

Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost, and former barrister, Professor Sarah Greer, added: “The competition for pupillages is very tough, so it is great news that one of our very first Law students has earned one so quickly after graduation. Jack’s commitment to pursuing a career at the Bar was very clear and he made the most of the extensive range of work placement and networking opportunities offered by the Law School to develop his employability and advocacy skills.  We wish him every success in the future and we hope that he will continue to be part of our university community, sharing his experiences with future Law students, to guide those wishing to follow in his footsteps in a career at the Bar.”

Jonathan Brew LLB, Solicitor and Chair of The Legal Forum, added: “The members of the Legal Forum attached to The Law School at the University of Worcester, send their heart felt congratulations to Jack on securing a pupillage at St Phillip’s, a prestigious and well respected leading set of barristers chambers. During his degree course, with the assistance of The Forum, Jack was able to undertake mini pupillages and accordingly have some real and meaningful insight to the career he has now chosen to pursue. We wish Jack every success for the future and as Chair of The Legal Forum thank him for proving to us that our efforts do really make a difference when it comes to the employability of University of Worcester Law Students.”

Yolanda Pemberton, Chair of the Pupillage Committee at St Philips Chambers, said: "St Philips Chambers, is delighted to welcome Jack Best as one of their family pupils for 2021. The Family Team, and St Philips Chambers as a whole looks forward to welcoming Jack in 2021 alongside his fellow pupils.”