Career in Law-Blog

Pupillage Cover Letter

With only 600 pupillages being made available each year, the competition could not be anymore fiercer. However, you can make your application stand out by producing a flawless application cover letter that will maximize your chances to secure an interview. To help you on the way, we have put together our top tips and advice on how to draft a pupillage cover letter. 

1. Get the basics right
Make sure your letter states the correct address of the chambers and you must address it to the person that deals with pupillage applications. If you do not make the effort to find out the person's name, this is unlikely to give a good first impression and will demonstrate a lack of effort.

2. Follow the one-page rule
Whilst sometimes it can be tempting to put together a cover letter longer one page, so you can get in some vital experience perhaps you had but a letter longer than one page is unlikely to impress the recruiter no matter the quality of that additional information. Stick to one-page rule and this is particularly important for aspiring barristers who by default are expected to be able to articulate information in the concise matter. 

3. Keep the format simple
The fact is that funky or unusual text font and size make the cover letter difficult to read and its an instant put off. Avoid it and instead use standard fonts such as Cambria or Calibri and the font size should not be larger than size 12, although ideally, you should use size 11, as it will give you more space to write your letter.

4. Well structure the content
We would recommend that your cover letter has anything between five to six paragraphs and ideally covering the following in this particular order:

  • Paragraph 1- A quick introduction about your current stage of studies and for you are applying for
  • Paragraph 2 - A concise answer which particular areas of laws that chambers practices you are interested in, how you can about to be interested in these areas (ideally through mini-pupillage) and why this particular set.
  • Paragraph 3 - In here you should cover your relevant experience by outlining key points and achievements and the knowledge you have learned from these experiences that should ideally be relevant to a career at the bar.
  • Paragraph 4 - In this section, you should highlight relevant skills to a career as a barrister and ideally back them up with relevant examples ( e.g public speaking) by giving circumstances when you have used these skills.
  • Paragraph 5 - You should end the letter positively by stating your commitment to the bar, your availability for interviews and if is addressed to someone specifically should be 'Your Sincerely' otherwise 'Yours Faithfully'. 

5. Other Points to consider
In addition to getting the cover letter right, there are other areas and points you should be aware of and get it right:

  1. No grammatical errors or typos. 
  2. Your cover letter is tailored to target chambers
  3. Get someone to proofread your letter
  4. Do not submit your application in the last hour before the deadline
  5. Make sure your cover letter is as strong as your CV and no less
  6. Keep your social media presence clean and professional 

6. Top tip to a successful cover letter
Every job seeker has a unique selling point that they would have developed over the course of education or work experience. The key to securing a pupillage and indeed any other job is to identify what makes you unique and articulate that in your application. This alone will make your application stand out and be memorable to the recruiter. 

We highly recommend you visit the newly created site pupillageandhowtogetit and the PupillagePodcast for very helpful and insightful tips directly from barristers. 

We hope you have found this article helpful and useful for your pupillage applications. Feel free to comment and or share it with anyone who you believe may find this article useful.


Joe Simmons

Legal recruiter and blogger @purelegaljobs

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