The Supervisor’s View

The supervisor's view

As pupil supervisors at 8 New Square, we try to achieve a number of things while a pupil is with us.

First and foremost is training. We do not expect our pupils to have any knowledge of IP law when they start pupillage, so there is a very steep learning curve as pupils become familiar with the different branches of IP law, the important principles of law and the issues that can arise. Even more important than the law, we aim to teach our pupils to be good barristers. Through working with us on our cases, we hope that pupils will learn how to advise clients in conference and in writing; to do effective paperwork, especially pleadings and skeleton arguments; and to present a case in court. But being a barrister is not simply about applying the law to the facts of a case, it is about achieving an outcome that the client is happy with. Tactical acumen is as important as legal knowledge. Working on real cases enables our pupils to experience and be involved with identifying a client’s objectives and formulating a strategy for achieving these objectives.

We do not teach our pupils by lectures. Pupils at 8 New Square work on cases as an integral part of the legal team with their pupil supervisors, other barristers (such as Leading Counsel) and instructing solicitors. As part of that team they learn through their experiences how to be a good barrister.

We also hope that our pupils will build their own relationships with solicitors and clients with that will be valuable when they start their own practice. So from an early stage, we try to expose pupils to solicitors and clients in the hope that they will see the qualities of our pupil with a view to instructing them on their own cases in due course.

Through all of pupillage, we see our pupils as potential future members of our Chambers. So pupils are encouraged to meet and work with barristers other than just their assigned pupil supervisors, and to feel like an integral part of Chambers, with the hope that they will have a happy and flourishing practice at 8 New Square for many years.

James Abrahams KC