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 experience you can demonstrate will certainly be considered relevant to your application.

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

No, and our mini-pupillage programme is not an assessed one. Again, although one of the factors we consider in the application process is the degree to which an applicant has demonstrated in interest in or aptitude for our areas of work prior to applying to us for pupillage (which can, of course, include having completed a mini-pupillage with us), we do not consider that it is essential for you to have done a mini-pupillage. We do however recommend that you apply for a mini-pupillage if 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 is fierce at 5RB as it is across the whole Bar. Ordinarily we would look for a 2:1 degree or better. However, a candidate’s performance at degree level is just one of the factors that we consider on your application form. Whilst we do not screen out applicants that do not have a 2:1 or first – all applications are considered – we encourage applicants to be realistic about their prospects if they have a poor academic background. The minimum academic qualifications are those required for call to the Bar.

What is pupillage at 5RB like?

You can expect to spend your 12-months broken up into four 3-month periods with one of our pupil supervisors. During those periods it is likely that you will spend most of your time working for your own pupil supervisor, although in the later stages of your pupillage we will encourage you to do work for other members of 5RB. Your work will be reviewed by your pupil supervisor 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 spend time in the in-house legal departments of national newspapers and broadcasters. Also see Meet our Pupil to get an idea of what day to day life is like for a pupil at 5RB.

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

Limited. The nature of our work means that advocacy opportunities for pupils would be rare. Indeed, this was one of the reasons why, for many years, we did not offer 2nd six-month pupillages. 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, 5RB actively supports pupils volunteering for FRU.