Applying to the Army Legal Service as a Barrister

Hi All,

Hope someone can shed some light as I don't seem to be getting any straight answers from Army recruiters and recruiters specific to professionally qualified officers (PQO) entry.

I have 6 years military experience, but left to study at university. I'm currently in my final year of a Law degree and looking at applying to the ALS after completing the Bar course and Pupillage.

My question is - why would any chambers offer me a pupillage within their set if they knew I had no desire for tenancy? The Army don't offer a pupillage scheme and I'm struggling to understand why a chambers on civilian street would invest a lot of time and money into me, if at the end of the pupillage I was going to jump ship to the forces.

Any information anyone might have on this would be greatly appreciated!

Sam
 
Have you enquired what the expected return (time) is with a chambers?

Speak to your tutor, they may be able to offer some guidance.

How are you funding your LPC?
 
I think most sets of chambers nowadays will only offer a pupillage "with a view to tenancy". All pupillages are funded nowadays - so the chambers guarantees a minimum income to the pupil for his/her year of pupillage. A pupil cannot take on cases in his/her own right in his/her first six months as a pupil, so all funding for that comes directly from chambers. Given that all barristers in independent practice are self employed, what that means is that those self employed practitioners are paying part of their own earnings in to chambers to fund the pupil's pupillage. So you are quite right - why on earth would they do that if they did not have a reasonable expectation that the pupil will complete pupillage, become a tenant and begin contributing to the success of chambers thereafter?
 

Fake Sheikh

War Hero
Obviously the stream you decide on ie Criminal/Family etc will be looked on better than say Real Estate.
It might be worth contacting the ALS and ask them?
 
Have you enquired what the expected return (time) is with a chambers?

Speak to your tutor, they may be able to offer some guidance.

How are you funding your LPC?
The pupillage is 12 months. The issue is that the Army expect me to already have this 12 month experience under my belt prior to applying for the ALS - which I think is crazy. With the amount of competition for places on pupillage (currently only 1 in 5 students on completion of the bar course secure pupillage), why would anyone offer me this opportunity if on my application it states I aim to use their pupillage to secure a job elsewhere!

Currently applying for scholarships to fund the Bar!
 
Or you could consider gaining your pupillage and a tenancy with a set of barristers, then doing a few years at the independent bar, thus gaining valuable experience, before then applying to ALS?
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Hi All,

Hope someone can shed some light as I don't seem to be getting any straight answers from Army recruiters and recruiters specific to professionally qualified officers (PQO) entry.

I have 6 years military experience, but left to study at university. I'm currently in my final year of a Law degree and looking at applying to the ALS after completing the Bar course and Pupillage.

My question is - why would any chambers offer me a pupillage within their set if they knew I had no desire for tenancy? The Army don't offer a pupillage scheme and I'm struggling to understand why a chambers on civilian street would invest a lot of time and money into me, if at the end of the pupillage I was going to jump ship to the forces.

Any information anyone might have on this would be greatly appreciated!

Sam
Things generally don't make sense because they don't actually make sense.

The two essential truths, one of which you've squarely hit upon, are that no-one's going to sub you to f@ck off and army recruiters have targets to meet, with your field of expertise being a particular challenge.

I would respectfully suggest that you secure a pupillage, wait until you're called to the bar and then take a view.
 
Do the ALS have reserve?
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Things generally don't make sense because they don't actually make sense.

The two essential truths, one of which you've squarely hit upon, are that no-one's going to sub you to f@ck off and army recruiters have targets to meet, with your field of expertise being a particular challenge.

I would respectfully suggest that you secure a pupillage, wait until you're called to the bar and then take a view.
I appreciate your advice. One step at a time eh.
 

soleil

Old-Salt
Samuelarks

Could you apply to the GLS with a view to joining the ALS later in your career?
 

soleil

Old-Salt
Sam

Another pieces of advice which I would give you would be to seek mini-pupillages with Chambers which represent clients at Courts Martial, such as this one:


The expectations of someone doing a mini-pupillage are not the same as the expectations of someone applying for pupillage, so you can apply for a mini-pupillage with confidence. If you are able to get one with a set like 187 Fleet Street, you will meet Barristers who can offer you further guidance; some of them may even have ALS experience themselves.

I would also keep your ear to the ground once you are a student member of your Inn. You may meet someone who has experience of the ALS.

If you hear of a Barrister with that kind of background, have a look at his/her Chambers with a view to applying to them for a mini-pupillage and then be guided by them.

It's worth starting to make a list of useful contacts now.
 

9.414

Old-Salt
Do the ALS have reserve?
Yes, but only for qualified lawyers. This gets a bit circular!

The OP needs to get qualified and get some time in practice and then try to join the ALS.

As the service pay and pension will be better (unless you suddenly find a commercial practice) than normal crime etc as a civvy you will have an incentive to join up and a route out of poorly paid hard work.
 

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