Pupillage to Tenancy Success Stories

Read about some of our recent members’ experiences of pupillage to tenancy at Exchange:

Jordan Millican - Crime

I began the practising portion of my pupillage on 6th September 2023 and my first hearing was a prosecution committal for sentence in Bradford Crown Court. I was well prepared with all of the work having been done days (if not weeks in advance), albeit I didn’t get any sleep the night before thanks to the nerves. The hearing went off without a hitch, the sentencing note was uploaded well in advance and was well received by the judge and the Defendant was sentenced. And that was that.

As I reflect on the days and weeks leading up to my second six I can vividly remember the ratio of nerves to excitement constantly changing with each passing day. When I started my pupillage, the prospect of standing up and actually addressing a judge seemed terrifying. Then, the closer I got to that day the more the excitement and nervousness (the good kind) took over. When I started properly on my feet, I was busy from day one, with multiple hearings every day of the week. I liked it that way and wouldn’t have changed it for anything else. It was the momentum, the nerves and the excitement which propelled me forward. I didn’t realise it then, but this was to be my life for the next 6 months. And it was.

I successfully completed pupillage on 6th March 2024. I was in the middle of a mild work-related melt down over something I now can’t even recall, when my supervisor rang me. By this time, he had been made up as a Judge and so I thought it must be important if he is calling in the middle of the day. I answered and he delivered the good news. Elation and relief are the only memories that come to mind from that day. Everything else was a blur.

I am now three months into tenancy and enjoying every minute of the work. Whilst nothing much has changed, there is a marked sense of relaxation from the weight being lifted off your shoulders. The feeling of ‘observation’ no longer lingers over me and I am able to just get on with the work in my own way. But still, the support network never changes. Even though I am no longer a pupil, I still know so little in the grand scheme of the criminal bar. Every day is a school day cannot be understated, so much the case that it featured as one of my supervisor’s Ten Rules of Pupillage. The rest is a secret for me!

Chambers was, and continues to be, a very secure and safe environment for me to voice things and ask questions and learn from more senior barristers. So much is the case, that I was lucky enough to undertake an internal advocacy training course which was run by David Temkin KC. Not only was the training and feedback invaluable, but I know these sorts of sessions are not offered at other chambers.

In short, pupillage and tenancy were everything I wanted them to be. Hard but rewarding in equal measures. I feel confident that I have made the right choice in career and chambers.