Life as a Crucible Pupil - End of First Six.

15 May 2024

Our pupils got on their feet in the middle of April, and they wrote the below blog posts to set out how they were feeling as they took this important step. Coming soon: their experiences of their first month or so on their feet.

Christopher Bealey

By the time you read this, Alice and I will have started our second six. Overnight we have become responsible for our own cases and our own clients. It has been a long time coming, yet it feels like yesterday that I travelled to St Albans Crown Court for my first day of pupillage. It is both exciting and nerve-wracking, but I am confident that the training I have had over the last six months has prepared me as well as possible.

In particular, the last two weeks since Easter have been geared towards building up experience ready for starting. Tasmin Malcolm, my supervisor, has done an excellent job in making sure that those weeks have been filled with the type of work I will be doing early on (predominantly Magistrates’ Court work and Crown Court hearings). I started off by visiting different Magistrates’ Courts to get familiar with their procedure and the common issues that arise. For some court visits, Alice and I decided to go together, which was great fun and really useful for discussing any points of interest. Where possible, Tasmin has also arranged for me to attend Pre-Trial Preparation Hearings in the Crown Court with different members of chambers so that I see that side too. It is remarkable how much more you notice when you realise it will be you in that position in under a month!!

Alice and I have also been able to gain practical advice from the junior tenants in chambers. We arranged two round table discussions for us to ask questions and learn tips and tricks from those who have made it through their second six. These sessions have made me realise that although I will now be on my own in court, it does not mean that I am being left alone to fend for myself. I have received lots of offers to help from everyone in chambers, and even from barristers at other chambers. Knowing that I have that support network is a great comfort as I head into the next six months. I look forward to the challenges ahead. 

Alice Byron

Chris and I are now halfway through our pupillage and ready to embark on the next step; putting what we have learned over the last six months into action on our feet. Although a healthy degree of apprehension has crept in, from the things I have learned in the last six months, I know I have the tools and support at my disposal to help me to succeed.

Supervision and Support

Throughout my first six, I learned under supervision of Clea Topolski KC and Oli Renton, both of whom have taken a hands-on approach in helping me to prepare for this next stage. Throughout my first six I have worked on documents such as advices, defence statements and skeleton arguments, for which I have been given detail feedback at every opportunity. This has really focussed my research and analytical skills, which will be invaluable for my future practice.

As well as observing my named supervisors, I have also spent time with various other members of chambers, who have all welcomed both Chris and I, and been open to answering our many questions when they arise. In the last few weeks, I have spent a lot of time shadowing junior members of chambers to gain insight into the practicalities of the type of work I am soon to undertake.

Alongside this, we have had discussions with both junior tenants and clerks, who have provided us with tips for second six. I am very grateful to have such a broad support network, who I will no doubt reach out to regularly in the coming months.


Chambers has done everything possible to prepare us for this next stage, significantly, in house advocacy sessions. We have followed a trial process and had the opportunity to prepare applications to exclude both bad character and identification evidence, bail applications, plea in mitigations, opening and closing speeches and witness handling. At each session we were given targeted and measurable feedback. I have found this to help me improve week on week, and formed the foundations of advocacy from which I can develop throughout my practice.

Now I am embarking on second six, I feel prepared and supported, and look forward to the challenge ahead. 

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Alice Byron.
Christopher Bealey.