My Experience as a Pupil at Central Chambers – Pupillage Series

by Ayse Akgol

Ayse Akgol - Pupillage

I started my pupillage in April 2021 under the supervision of Joseph Lynch and as I have just entered my second-six, I thought sharing my experience was a wonderful way to roundup the first half of pupillage. 

I am already seven months into my life as a pupil, although it feels like I just started a few weeks ago. The saying, ‘time flies when you are having fun’ is the most accurate description I can give about my time with Central Chambers. 

Prior to starting pupillage, I remember reading numerous articles entitled ‘How to Survive,’ ‘The Year-long Interview,’ and ‘What Not to Do During Pupillage,’ I expected to give up my spare time, be absent from my family and friends, and for downtime to become a hot commodity but the reality was far from it. From the first day I entered Chambers everyone was incredibly supportive, and careful to make sure I felt welcome. 

My pupillage, like most of the pupils at Central Chambers, is a specialist one. I have been focused mainly on family law. My supervisor put a lot of time in ensuring I saw the wide variety of work undertaken in Chambers, whilst providing a good balance of attending court and remote working. My first-six at times involved attending court or shadowing cases with a member other than my own supervisor, exposing me to different cases and styles of advocacy.

I saw a wide array of work and the learning curve has been steep, however, one of the most important things to which I was exposed was work-life balance. I have never been expected to stay late in Chambers or work into the late hours at home. I can use my own judgement to measure the time I require to prepare the cases and tasks, which set me up perfectly for second-six.

Central Chambers

As a second six pupil, I have started representing clients in my own right. I am excited by each new case, as each day is different. I learn something new every time I appear in court. My clerks helped me hit the ground running from the first day on my feet and I am pleased to say my diary has remained full ever since.

The support I got from the members of Chambers during the first week on my feet, and in the weeks that followed, has been second to none and has made everything less nerve-wracking. Whilst the work has been challenging at times, my pupil supervisor and many members of Chambers have helped me whenever I have come across something I had not seen before or just had an idea to bounce off them. 

My life as a pupil with Central Chambers has not stopped at court. I have had the opportunity to attend several wonderful events hosted by Chambers and external organisations, the most recent being Chamber’s 25th Anniversary Dinner. These events have been the perfect opportunity to develop relationships with solicitors, barristers, and judges and have shown me the powerful sense of community within the Northern Circuit

You will notice I have not mentioned any negatives about my time in pupillage, which is because whilst writing this the only one I can think of is that it is going too fast.

I will end this by just mentioning my biggest tips for anyone embarking upon this career path: don’t worry too much; trust in your skills; remember your seven Ps– Prior Preparation and Planning Prevents Poor Performance in Pupillage.