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  1. Law
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  3. Career advice
  4. Pupillage Advice Service
    1. PAS Events
About City

Pupillage Advice Service

Pupillage Advisory Service (PAS) offers support to you as soon as you accept your place on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) or the Bar Vocational Studies programme (BVS) and whilst your on these courses.

One-to-One Advice

Students are advised to develop their CVs and Gateway forms over the year. The best time to start doing this is straight away. The pupillage advisors will be available to give you structured advice on your applications in one-to-one sessions lasting 30 minutes per session. You can have as many sessions as you would like, as long as there is availability. The advisers can cover matters such as: strengthening your CV, completing pupillage application forms, creating legal CVs, covering letters and general interview techniques. All appointments for pupillage advice are booked through the School Office. You can book a general advice session or you can book a session with an adviser with experience in the practice area that you wish to join.

Mock Interviews

The Pupillage Advice Service offers mock pupillage interviews throughout the year. The interviews are conducted by a Panel and will be tailored to your practice area. You can choose to have an unseen advocacy exercise incorporated into your mock interview, if you wish. You will be filmed so that you can watch your performance and you will receive feedback on your performance and structured advice. All appointments for mock interviews are booked through the School Office and full instructions will be given on preparation.

Pupillage Lectures and Workshops

We run a very comprehensive enrichment program to ensure you are ready to complete your Gateway and non-Gateway Application Forms and perform well in interview. Never underestimate how much work these forms and the interview process require. The lectures and workshops that we run throughout the year will help you 1) Gain valuable knowledge on practice areas and what Chambers are looking for, 2) Develop your skills, and 3) understand what Pupillage Committees are looking for.

Practitioner Workshops

To coincide with the Gateway Timetable - we run two practitioner panel events. The first focuses on how to stand out on your Gateway form and the second on how to perform well in interview. We invite Chambers from a variety of practice areas to talk and answer questions, followed by networking with drinks. In the past year we have had in attendance: 11 Stone Buildings, 5 Essex Court, 2 Temple Gardens, 9-11 Bell Yard, Coram, Garden Court, Breams Buildings, Hardwicke and Lamb Building. There are many other practitioner events throughout the year, for example - our 'Breakfast with…' events, where Chambers host a breakfast meeting with City Students.

See all upcoming events

Once you have accepted your place on the BPTC or BVS courses

  • One-to-one pupillage advice sessions with members of the Pupillage advice team (all members of the team are barristers with experience in interviews and pupillage selection)

  • Mock pupillage interviews (20 minute general interviews with feedback)

  • Mock pupillage advocacy exercise and a presentation with feedback

  • Lectures on how to complete and stand out on the Pupillage Gateway Forms

  • Workshops with practising barristers on pupillage committees on how to make an effective application

  • Workshops with practising barristers and Pupillage Committees on what Chambers are looking for at interview

Once you have commenced your BPTC/BVS studies

In addition to the support available to you as soon as you have accepted your place, BPTC and BVS students can benefit the additional resources throughout their studies:

  • Three pupillage workshops that are run by panels comprised of members of the Bar. Two of the workshops include matters such as how to strengthen applications, researching chambers, and preparing for interviews, all from the perspective of successful applicants, and members of the Bar involved in pupillage selection. The third workshop focuses on giving you an insight into the various experiences/ expectations of the pupillage year, and advice on what to expect when you join chambers.

  • We run a large number of networking events and enrichments sessions with Chambers over the year including Lectures from the authors of 'The Path to Pupillage' - Georgina Wolfe and Alexander Robson.

  • Unlimited advice sessions and mock interviews (subject to availability)

Pupillage Advice Team

Clare Brown

First called to the bar 20 years ago, Clare Brown is a Tenant at 2 Temple Gardens as well as a lecturer at The City Law School. She is a specialist in Human Rights and has worked for the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and for the Ombudsman of Human Rights in Bosnia. She lectures in Civil Litigation and Advocacy and within PAS runs one-on-one advice sessions and panel and advocacy Interviews. Clare is ratified by the Inns Advocacy Training Council (ATC).

Tara Celikoz

Tara was called to the Bar in 2007 and undertook pupillage in a mixed common law set. She is a tenant at Westgate Chambers and has extensive experience in both Criminal and Family law. Tara is a practising Family law barrister specialising in complex Public law Children Act cases involving serious sexual abuse, non-accidental injury and chronic neglect. Tara’s practice also comprises of Private Children Act matters and emergency remedies including international child abduction.

Tara was In House Counsel with solicitors firms in Sussex and therefore has extensive experience of conducting litigation. She has been central to training and personal development of pupils including regularly supporting pupils and new practitioners to develop their advocacy skills. Tara teaches civil litigation, drafting, alternative dispute resolution and advocacy on the BVS.

Amanda Clarke

Amanda is a tenant at Westgate Chambers. She is a Family law practitioner and specialises in complex Children Act public law.  She also undertakes private Children Act and Education Law work.  She is an Arbitrator for private Children Act matters. She was Called to the Bar in 1998 after a previous career in the Royal Navy. She is a Reviewer for the Bar Pro Bono Unit.

Amanda teaches all aspects of civil litigation and skills, including ADR, on the BPTC. She is a Western circuit and FLBA accredited advocacy trainer.  Amanda  has been a pupil supervisor for over 12 years and has been involved with numerous pupillage and tenancy interview panels.

Jennifer Collins

Jennifer was called to the bar in 1994 and is a tenant at Westgate Chambers, specialising in all aspects of Children Act proceedings both public and private. She was named as a Leading Junior in the Legal 500 in 2016/17 and 2017/18. She is a senior lecturer and Module Leader for drafting on the BVS, and also teaches civil litigation, opinion writing and employment law. She has sat on interview panels for both tenants and pupils in chambers. Prior to commencing her career at the bar, Jennifer was in specialist recruitment, advising on interview techniques and CV compilation.

Romilly Edge

Before Romilly came to The City Law School, she was a criminal practitioner with family practice experience at St Ive's Chambers in Birmingham. Romilly is 8 years call and is ratified by the Inns Advocacy Training Council. She lectures in Criminal Litigation and Evidence at the School. She has experience in sitting on pupillage committees and interviewing and has been running mock interviews at City for two years.

Paul McKeown

Before joining The City Law School, Paul McKeown was a criminal practitioner at Mitre House Chambers. He was a member of chambers’ general management committee and co-chaired its pupillage committee with the late Charles Chadwick. As co-chair of the pupillage committee, he redesigned chambers’ selection and interview procedures, and re-wrote its pupillage handbook. He was also closely involved in the selection of candidates for interview and sat on many first and second round interview panels.

Marian Riley-Poku

Marian was called to the Bar in 2000 and before coming to City Law School her practice was predominantly in mixed common law, human rights/immigration/asylum and company law. On the BPTC she teaches Civil Litigation, Advocacy and Drafting on the BPTC and co-ordinates the Company Law option. She also co-ordinates the Immigration/Asylum pro bono scheme.

Within the PAS team Marian conducts mock pupillage interviews and provides advice on pupillage applications and alternative legal careers. She is ratified by the Inns Advocacy Training Council.

Ffyon Reilly

Called to the bar in 1999, Ffyon Reilly is a Criminal Practitioner and is currently a tenant at Castle Chambers. She undertook a Common Law pupillage including Crime, Family and PL. She is 12 years call and is the equality and diversity officer at Castle Chambers.

Ffyon is a Visiting Lecturer at The City Law School and co-ordinates the Pupillage Advice Service. She is ratified by the Inns Advocacy Training Council and has experience in conducting Interviews and sifting applications for pupillage.

Keith Simpson

Keith is the Joint Coordinator of the Pupillage Advice Service at The City Law School. He is committed to widening access to the Bar and was formerly the Director of Equality & Diversity at the School and as extensive experience in working with those committed to a more diverse and representative Bar. Keith was a member of 2 Gray’s Inn Square and specialised in employment and criminal law. He was responsible for creating for his Chambers a transparent points based procedure for selection for pupillage interview.

Keith has developed and maintained significant links and contacts with Chambers and has a broad and deep knowledge of the Pupillage process. He has run mock interviews for 10 years plus and his experience and leadership is an asset to the team. Keith conducts one-on-one advice sessions and panel interviews. He runs the wide and varied events and lectures that are on offer to our students for supporting them in obtaining pupillage and beyond.

Nigel Waddington

A former practising barrister, associate professor and designer of the Bar Professional Training Course, Nigel Waddington is a Senior Lecturer in civil practice at City Law School. He practised at the chambers of John Cherry QC at 8, Stone Buildings (now Lamb Chambers, Temple, where he is a door tenant).

Nigel worked in both the criminal and civil courts, eventually specialising in personal injury litigation, exploiting his original training in life sciences. He provides consultancy services to the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys and to the Patent Examination Board in its development of professional qualifications for patent attorneys. As an IATC-accredited advocacy trainer he has worked as an external assessor for law firm Norton Rose Fulbright on its in-house advocacy program. As an educator Nigel has written extensively for the University of Law, contributing to course texts and scripting online courtroom training exercises. He is a visiting lecturer at Goldsmith's College, Morley College, and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Alexia Zimbler

Alexia Zimbler has been practising at the bar for 25 years, specialising in Criminal Law, Advocacy and Vulnerable Witnesses. She started her practice on the Western Circuit at 2KBW, then to Broad Chare Chambers in Newcastle before returning to the South-East where she continues to practice, specialising in criminal defence work at the highest level. She was an External Examiner on the BPTC for 8 years and has been an advocacy trainer with the ICCA (ATC) for over 15 years. She has been a Pupillage Supervisor since 2005 and has been on the Pupillage Committee in chambers for 20 years. She is highly experienced and enthusiastically supports students in preparing pupillage applications and then for interview and pupillage.


News and information

We believe that we should keep you as informed about the latest developments on the pupillage front as possible. Our pupillage team keeps you up to date on pupillage through LawBore, our twitter account (@CLSPupillageAdv), via Moodle and more traditional notices and flyers.

Useful links

Pupillage Library

The School Office and the Professional Studies Library stock relevant pupillage information such as chambers' brochures and Bar Directories.


The PAS team are available to meet with you for advice sessions or mock interviews during the BPTC term. The Careers team at City can meet with you all year round. Every student will be also allocated a personal tutor who can give advice on the application process.