My pupillage year at Littleton was divided into four three-month periods, each with a different supervisor. That meant that during pupillage I saw a balance of employment and commercial work, which are Chambers’ core practice areas. Littleton barristers appear in leading cases in those fields.
My work during pupillage typically involved preparing a draft of documents that my pupil supervisor or another member of chambers was working on, including pleadings and other court documents, skeleton arguments and written advice. I also attended a range of court hearings from case management hearings to multi-day hearings on liability, both in the Employment Tribunal and the Civil Courts. I was encouraged throughout to discuss cases with my supervisors and other members of chambers and, to my surprise, found that even from day 1 they were interested to hear my views. It was particularly rewarding when I saw my own work being used in court or in front of clients.
To give a flavour of the kind of work you might see during pupillage at Littleton, the cases I worked on included a 2 week merits hearing in claims of workplace discrimination, a team move case in the High Court, a civil fraud claim involving parties in the UK, the US, Italy and China and a contractual dispute between a premier league footballer and his agent. Littleton pupils are on their feet once April comes around and so I also had my own matters by the end of pupillage. That was a little daunting at first, however, the clerks liaised closely with my pupil supervisors to make sure that the workload stayed manageable, and I received plenty of support and guidance where required.
Chambers really does want pupils to succeed. And whilst it is fair to say that the nine months leading up to the tenancy decision can be stressful, the process at Littleton is extremely well organised and transparent. I received careful and detailed feedback on every substantive piece of work that I did on pupillage. This not only helped me to improve but relieved the pressure of not knowing whether or not I was on the right track (which friends who did pupillage elsewhere described as one of the hardest parts of their year).
Finally, but importantly, Littleton is a very welcoming place and the level of support creates an atmosphere in which pupils and junior tenants are able to thrive. It is also very sociable. I transferred to the Bar after 5 years at a firm of solicitors and had been concerned that it might be a more solitary existence. Fortunately, this has not been my experience at Littleton.