For an insight into pupillage at 5RB, we asked Luke Browne, our pupil, a few questions:
Where did you go to university and what did you study? I studied law at Trinity College Dublin, and did an MPhil in politics at Cambridge University. I then worked for several years before deciding to come to the Bar.
Why did you choose 5RB? The area of law I’m most interested in is media law, and 5RB is the leading set in this area. Members of chambers have been involved in practically every important case in recent years; learning from them is an incredible opportunity.
What’s the best thing about pupillage? It’s practical and hands-on: you learn by doing, asking questions, building up your knowledge, and incorporating what you learn into your work. By the end of my first month I had produced two draft opinions and one draft skeleton argument: I’ve found this a great way to get to grips with the law, and improve my advocacy and drafting skills.
What’s the worst? Obviously you want to impress, and produce work to a very high standard. If you’re dealing with an unfamiliar area of law this can be tricky. But my pupil supervisor and other members of chambers are very giving of their time in explaining concepts, reviewing my work, and helping me improve.
Was pupillage what you were expecting? Yes, by and large. Pupillage is in general quite a unique year, but through mini-pupillages and conversations with barristers I had a sense of what to expect. Everyone at 5RB is very friendly and welcoming, which has made it a really enjoyable experience.
What advice would you give to potential applicants? In general, think about why you feel you’re a strong fit for the profession, for the area of law you’re interested in, and for the particular chambers you’re applying to, and build your application out from there.
In terms of media law specifically, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on the latest legal developments – particularly if you’re invited to a pupillage interview. The 5RB website is a good place to start, and there are various media law podcasts and blogs that are helpful too.