Meet our Pupil
For an insight into pupillage at 5RB, we asked Lily Walker-Parr, our pupil, a few questions:
Where did you go to university and what did you study?
I read law at the University of Bristol before studying the BPTC at the University of Law, London.
Why did you choose 5RB?
5RB is unique in its reputation for defamation and privacy work. Members of chambers are leaders in these fields and it is humbling to learn from both authors of the practitioner textbooks and those who appeared in the seminal cases.
I completed a number of mini pupillages before applying, but 5RB was the only set in which I saw such interesting work coupled with an unfailingly welcoming atmosphere. From then on, I knew that this was where I wanted to start my career at the Bar.
What’s the best thing about pupillage?
5RB covers a wide area of media law and my time in chambers has already been characterised by extreme variety. The cases to which I have been exposed have covered issues of defamation, data protection, vicarious liability, limitation, privacy and family proceedings. There is an unshakeable feeling that the work is at the cutting edge of legal development, and it is often the case that something you are working on one day appears on the front pages of the next day’s newspapers.
What’s the worst?
You get thrown in at the deep end. Within my first two weeks I had completed written exercises and observed a two day trial at the Court of Appeal. Skills and knowledge required in practice are different from anything that I have come across in academia because of the particular idiosyncrasies of this work.
The learning curve is sometimes quite challenging, and made more daunting by the prospect of completing work for people with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law. Luckily, both my supervisor and other members of chambers are more than willing to take time to explain concepts, review work and direct me to the most useful resources.
Was pupillage what you were expecting?
I was concerned about the challenges which can accompany being the only pupil. Since starting, however, I have been surprised to find that both the clerks and members of all levels of seniority have really taken the time to make sure that I don’t ‘sweat the small stuff’ or feel out of my depth. This really reflects the collegiate ethos of 5RB.
The Pupillage Policy was also useful in outlining the logistics of pupillage, and day to day work has generally fallen within the confines of that document.
What advice would you give to potential applicants?
Even if you haven’t studied media law as a standalone subject, there are many different ways to stay up to date with legal developments. I suggest that you check the 5RB website regularly and subscribe to media law podcasts, daily email updates and blogs which discuss the key issues arising in defamation and privacy law. These will help you to develop a broader understanding of the work that you would be undertaking in pupillage.
If able, I also suggest getting some practical experience, whether through mini pupillages or other work experience in the wider media industry. For example, I undertook work experience at a production company and an internship at a media law charity which gave me a feel for the wider media issues at play.
Finally, as is the case with any pupillage, I recommend dedicating time to your applications so that you can comfortably and convincingly explain why you are the right person for that profession, area of law, and chambers.