Frequently asked questions

Recruitment – FAQs

Is any prior experience of media law required?

No. It is not necessary for you to have a law degree, still less for you to have studied law relevant to our practice areas. However, any relevant interest or experience you can demonstrate will certainly be considered.

Do I need to do a mini-pupillage at 5RB before applying for pupillage?

No, particularly not in the current circumstances. Our mini-pupillage programme has never been a requirement; it is not assessed. Of course, one of the factors we consider in the application process is the degree to which an applicant has demonstrated in interest in and aptitude for our areas of work which can, of course, include having completed a mini-pupillage with us. A mini-pupillage can really help you in ascertaining whether you would enjoy working in any particular chambers. We recommend that you apply for a mini-pupillage wherever you are thinking about applying for pupillage.

Can I make a deferred application for pupillage?

We do not encourage such applications. It is difficult for us to make decisions about recruitment so far in advance, particularly when this decision has necessarily to be made without the benefit of seeing the full range of potential applicants for the relevant places. If you consider that there are special reasons why you need to make a deferred application, we would encourage you to contact us before submitting your application.

Do I need a first or a 2:1?

Competition for pupillages at 5RB is fierce. Ordinarily we would expect a 2:1 degree or better. However, a candidate’s performance at degree level is just one of the factors that we consider. We do not screen out applicants that do not have a 2:1 or first, but we do encourage applicants to be realistic about their prospects if they have a poor academic background, and we would expect a convincing explanation as to why an applicant with the necessary intellectual ability did not achieve such a result.

What is pupillage at 5RB like?

You can expect to spend your 12-months broken up into four 3-month periods with different pupil supervisors. During the first six months you will spend most of your time working for your own pupil supervisor, although in the second six we will encourage you to do work with and for other members of 5RB. You will gain a unique insight into practice at the highest level, and will be given expert tuition in practice in our specialist areas, including drafting and advocacy. Your work will be regularly reviewed by your pupil supervisor and guidance and feedback provided. During your pupillage it is likely that there will be a number of in-house training seminars, as well as opportunities for you to broaden your experience by spending time at the in-house legal departments of national newspapers and broadcasters. For further details please see our Pupillage Policy and the ‘Meet our Pupils’ section below.

What opportunity will there be for me to get advocacy experience in my 2nd six-months?

Very limited. The nature of our work means that advocacy opportunities for pupils are rare. The focus of pupillage throughout the 12 months is on learning about practice in our particular highly specialist areas. However, 5RB has strong links with Islington Legal Advice Centre, which can offer pupils in their 2nd-six the opportunity to provide pro bono advocacy. In addition, we actively supports pupils volunteering for FRU.