The Bar Council’s Pupillage Fair 2021

Saturday 16 October 2021, 09:30 GMT+1

Designed in partnership with the Inns of Court and Specialist Bar Associations, The Bar Council’s Pupillage Fair is the largest recruitment event for students and graduates aspiring to join the Bar of England and Wales. Free of charge and held entirely online, this year’s event will give you the chance to engage with practising barristers, find out about their work and gain insight into what a career at the Bar involves.

Over 1400 aspiring barristers took the opportunity to visit last year’s Pupillage Fair and attend a range of advice and panel sessions, drop in at the stands of 80 exhibiting barristers’ chambers and other relevant organisations, and talk to hundreds of volunteers from across the profession. Book your place at the 2021 fair to make sure you have the same head start for a potential career at the Bar.


All of our live webinars will be recorded and made available to view for up to thirty days post-event.

  09:30 – 10:15

Funding and Support from the Inns of Court

Representatives from each of the Inns of Court outline the opportunities and support that they offer aspiring barristers.

  10:30 – 11:30

Life at the Chancery and Commercial Bar

Barristers from leading chancery and commercial sets give insight into their working lives and the skills required to succeed in their areas, and discuss recent practice developments.

  10:30 - 11:15

Life at the Criminal Bar

Barristers from leading criminal sets give insight into their working lives, the skills required to succeed at the criminal Bar, and discuss key developments in the area of criminal law.

  11:30 – 12:15

Life at the Family Law Bar

Barristers from leading family law sets give insight into their working lives, the skills required to succeed as a family barrister, and discuss key developments in the area of family law.

  12:00 – 12:45

Life at the Employed Bar

Employed barristers from a range of organisations and practice areas give insight into their working lives and how they compare or contrast to life at the self-employed Bar.

  13:00 – 14:00

Unconventional Routes to the Bar

Meet the Bar Council’s Social Mobility Advocates - barristers who have volunteered to tell their stories of coming to the Bar from 'non-traditional' backgrounds and/or as career changers, to demonstrate that social mobility at the Bar is an important and realistic goal, and to help inspire and advise the next generation of barristers.

  14:00 - 14:45

Life as a Civil Law Barrister

Civil law barristers, including public law and human rights barristers, will present on their working lives and key developments in their respective specialisms.

  15:00 - 15:45

Applicants with a disability

Barristers with experience of a range of disabilities share their thoughts on the pupillage recruitment process and life at the Bar, including the challenges that they face(d), existing forms of support and areas for improvement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely nothing. The virtual Pupillage Fair is completely free to attend.
We have developed the virtual Pupillage Fair experience to give you the same access to pupillage providers, advice from barristers, insight from Specialist Bar Associations and Inns of Court, and guidance on available funding and application building you would have experienced at an in-person event.
The Pupillage Fair 2021 will be held on the vFairs platform, enabling you to get the most out of the event and its content online. All speaker and consultation sessions accessed from within the platform will be held on the Zoom videoconferencing platform.
The Pupillage Fair is designed to arm you with everything you need to know about accessing the profession and starting a career at the Bar. You’ll get advice from barristers, be able to discuss your prospects with representatives from a wide range of pupillage providers and other experts across the Bar and hear how to build your CV and access sources of funding and support.
Make sure you do plenty of research ahead of the Fair and think about what kinds of questions you might like to ask. You will be emailed a copy of the Bar Council’s Pupillage Fair Brochure closer to the date of the event, so look out for that in the weeks prior.
The Bar Council works with the Inns of Court and the Specialist Bar Associations – the Chancery Bar Association, the Commercial Bar Association, the Criminal Bar Association, the Employment Law Bar Association, the Family Law Bar Association and the Technology and Construction Bar Association – to deliver the Pupillage Fair.

There are four Inns of Court - Gray's Inn, Inner Temple, Lincoln's Inn and Middle Temple - and you must be a member of one of the Inns before beginning the vocational component of becoming a barrister. The Inns of Court are effectively professional associations and they play an important role in the education of young barristers whilst overseeing several elements of the journey to the Bar. They also provide a strong sense of community and support for the professional development of aspiring barristers and junior practitioners.

The Specialist Bar Associations are voluntary membership organisations for barristers and are usually established to support those practising in a specific area of law such as crime, chancery, commercial, family or personal injury. They provide representative services to their members, run training and other events, and often respond to Government consultations which are likely to affect their specialist area.
Your login details will be emailed to you ahead of the event. You can use these details to access the online event.
If you have not received your login details or are unable to access the platform then send an email to for general technical assistance. Once you have accessed the event you will be offered support through the ‘Helpdesk’ chat function, which will be manned by a vFairs employee. For all other enquiries contact .
Unfortunately, you will only be able to access the event from 09:00 on Saturday 16 October 2021 onwards. However, in advance of the event you will be emailed a User Guide and other relevant information, so as to ensure that you are able to familiarise yourself with the interface in advance.
The on-demand content will be hosted for 30 days following the event. This means that you will be able to access the panel events and the content contained within the Exhibition Booths up until 16 November 2021.
We recommend Chrome or Firefox.
Good internet connectivity (i.e. turning off other streaming services) will ensure high-quality video streaming.