At Dere Street Barristers we know mini-pupillages are a vital tool in helping potential barristers progress their legal education and career. We have always selected mini-pupils carefully and tried to make their time with us as beneficial as possible. We offer Assessed Mini-Pupillages, alongside traditional mini-pupillages, to help groups under-represented at the Bar discover whether our Chambers could be their future home.

Now we have updated our mini-pupillage scheme with a new application form to provide candidates with the best opportunity to demonstrate their suitability for mini-pupillage with us. We have also updated our application timetable and now have two application deadlines per year.

What do we offer?

All mini-pupillages at Dere Street Barristers last for three days (Monday to Wednesday typically) and are based at our Newcastle, Middlesbrough or York chambers, though candidates must be prepared to travel wherever they are based. We aim to offer mini-pupils exposure to a variety of the practice areas in which our barristers work.

Attendees on the Assessed Mini-Pupillage scheme will gain the additional benefit of:

  • A bursary towards travel and accommodation costs incurred in attending the mini-pupillage;
  • Spending time with one or more members of the pupillage committee to talk about practice at Dere Street and to gain an insight into what we look for in pupils;
  • Each year, the person who we consider to be the most impressive potential barrister on the Assessed Mini-Pupillage scheme, based on feedback and a marked piece of written work, will be guaranteed a first-round pupillage interview when they apply for pupillage with us.

How to apply

The deadlines for applying for mini-pupillage at Dere Street Barristers are:

1st March (for mini-pupillage in May-June)

1st September (for mini-pupillage in October-November)

To make an application please complete the application form here and send to Your application should demonstrate how you meet the criteria set out below. Allowances will be made for your current level of academic study. Please note any applications not sent to the above email address will not be considered.

Should you wish be considered for an Assessed Mini-Pupillage please complete the relevant sections of the application form, demonstrating how you meet the additional criteria. Applicants for Assessed Mini-Pupillages will automatically be considered for a standard mini-pupillage should they not be one of the two strongest candidates offered an Assessed Mini-Pupillage. If you do not specifically apply for an assessed mini-pupillage but meet the criteria, we will offer you a choice of assessed or standard mini-pupillage.


Applicants for all mini-pupillages need to demonstrate that they meet the following criteria in their application:

They are:

  • a graduate (of any subject), or undergraduate studying law or with a place on a law conversion course for next academic year; and

They have:

        • An interest in a career at the independent Bar; and
        • An interest in practising as a barrister in the north-east.
        • Proven academic ability;
        • Knowledge of and/or interest in Dere Street Barristers;
        • A well-rounded personality;
        • Motivation to succeed;
        • Strong written skills;
        • Experience of public speaking;
        • Good people skills.

        Additional Assessed Mini-Pupillage criteria

        Candidates who meet the additional criteria set out below may also apply for an Assessed Mini-Pupillage. To be eligible for consideration you must meet all criteria in section 1 and at least one in section 2:

        Section 1

        You must:

        • Have attended a state school or college; and
        • Demonstrate high academic achievement; and
        • Be in at least your second year of university or a graduate.

        Section 2

        You must also meet one or more of the following criteria (please include all that apply):

        • Neither of your parents went to university;
        • You have received free school meals;
        • Your family has received income support;
        • You have caring responsibilities;
        • You were in care yourself.


        In the event that during a mini-pupillage your behaviour or appearance falls short of the standard reasonably to be expected or it transpires that you fail in a material way to meet the criteria for a mini-pupillage then we reserve the right to terminate the mini-pupillage with immediate effect.

        All mini-pupils will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement on commencing a mini-pupillage, promising not to discuss any information they hear during their mini-pupillage with anyone other than members of Dere Street Barristers.

        We regret that we are only able to offer mini-pupillages to a limited number of applicants each quarter.

        We are unable to provide feedback on unsuccessful applications.