Selection criteria

All applicants for pupillage are assessed on the basis of the criteria set out below. In relation to each of the five criteria, we identify relevant achievements and qualities that will be considered.

In assessing candidates for pupillage, we are looking for individuals with the potential to become highly successful commercial barristers. We place particular emphasis on intellectual ability (which will generally be reflected in first-class academic achievement), analytical ability, and advocacy.

We do not expect applicants to have any knowledge of commercial law when they apply to us and we recognise that many, in particular non-law graduates, will not have had an opportunity to study the areas of law in which we practise. Nonetheless, successful candidates are likely to have an interest in the combination of legal analysis and practical application offered by practice at the Commercial Bar.

To assist in the assessment process, 7KBW also uses contextual information provided by candidates through a questionnaire that they are asked to complete on submitting their applications. This enables us to take into account a candidate’s background and circumstances, where relevant, in the assessment of that candidate against the criteria set out below.

A. Intellectual ability

  • Excellent graduate or post-graduate achievement
  • Other academic achievement or recognition
  • Non-academic (e.g. professional) evidence of intellectual ability
  • Exceptional achievement in challenging circumstances

B. Analytical ability

  • Ability to process and absorb information from extensive material
  • Ability to identify salient issues from complex information
  • Ability to identify helpful material and dealing with unhelpful material
  • Depth and consistency of analysis
  • Attention to detail

C. Advocacy (written and oral)

  • Excellence in written analysis and presentation
  • Oral advocacy proficiency
  • Clarity of expression
  • Effective and persuasive advocacy
  • Resilience and responsiveness

D. Temperament and interpersonal skills

  • Commitment to and capacity for hard work
  • Ability to perform under pressure
  • Ability to work alone and as part of a team
  • Understanding of the needs and concerns of others

E. Commitment to the Commercial Bar and 7KBW

  • Interest in and drive to succeed at the Commercial Bar and 7KBW in particular
  • Potential to contribute to 7KBW more generally (e.g. talks, seminars, marketing)