(1) Application form

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Keating Chambers uses the Pupillage Gateway process to invite applications for pupillage.

In order to ensure that the marking of application forms is carried out in a manner which is as fair and transparent as possible, Keating adopts the following approach:

  1. Applications are anonymised prior to assessment by redacting the candidates’ names.
  2. No monitoring data (gender, ethnic background, etc) is available to assessors.
  3. The “institution” fields on each application form for both secondary and tertiary education are redacted.

How will my application form be marked?

The Mark Scheme against each of the Selection Criteria for the application form, and specific guidance both on the sort of evidence you might deploy to show us that you meet the criteria and to answer any further questions you may have, is available as a download here.

We emphasise that Chambers puts no limitation on the type of experiences and evidence which a candidate may rely on to demonstrate each of the criteria.  The examples are given as guidance only and are not intended to be prescriptive.

The applications are assessed by three members of the Pupillage Committee. At least one will be a QC and at least one will be a woman. Following a calibration process to ensure marking consistency, each assessor individually marks one third of the remaining total number of applications not already marked as part of the calibration process against the Selection Criteria and in accordance with the Mark Scheme.

What about the Keating-specific questions on the application form?

The Pupillage Gateway process allows chambers to include “bespoke” questions in addition to the standard questions and information to be provided.

As you will have seen on the Gateway, our questions are directed specifically at our Selection Criteria. When you are giving your answers, please have the Selection Criteria in mind.  The answers to the questions are marked as set out in the Mark Scheme here.

How do you select the candidates who go through to the written case study round?

A minimum of the top 65 and a maximum of the top 70 candidates will be invited to take part in the next stage of the application process, the written case study.

The selection of the top 70 is by reference to the total application form marks awarded for each candidate, subject to:

  1. Any candidate who has previously completed the written case study and was rejected by Keating Chambers (whether after the written case study or after first or second round interview) will be removed, unless they can show a material change in their application as stated in the “Extenuating Circumstances” box on the application form.
  2. Where an assessor has flagged a candidate for review on the basis of the information in the “Extenuating Circumstances” box on the application form.
  3. Application of the contextualised recruitment system.

For more information on each of these, see further below.

Those who have not been selected for the written case study round shall be informed promptly. Unfortunately, due to the number of applications we receive, we cannot give reasons for rejection or feedback on individual applications.  Candidates will be informed of our policy regarding second or subsequent applications (ie that it is necessary to show a material change of circumstances for your application to be considered again).

What about the “Extenuating Circumstances” box on the application form?

Please do complete this box either if there any extenuating circumstances you wish to rely on, or if you are applying to us again following a previous rejection and want to explain to us the “material change in circumstances” which you have to demonstrate in order for us to consider your application again.

We want to assure you that we are aware that sometimes a candidate has had an illness, or a difficult life event, or other situation, which can affect their application.  We do not regard such problems as detracting from your application.  Many of us in Chambers have also had such experiences.

When marking your form, the assessor will flag your form for later review if it is appropriate to do so having regard to the material provided.  After the everyone’s marks have been collected, the assessors and the Head of the Pupillage Committee will consider the information, and if appropriate and if your marks are within 10% of the lowest mark of the top 70 candidates, you will be included in the cohort of candidates who go through to the written case study round.

Any candidates included in the cohort for the written case study will be in addition to the original top 70 and no candidate in the original top 70 will be replaced or excluded.

What is contextualised recruitment and how do you use it?

Keating uses a system called the RARE Contextual Recruitment System. This is a way of identifying candidates who have over achieved in the light of their wider personal circumstances, or whose achievements should be seen in the light of specific challenges they have faced.

In order to take advantage of the RARE system, after applying on the Gateway, applicants are also asked to give their consent to share their candidate number, name, email address, postcode, examination grades, education history, information provided in the section titled “contextual information” and the fact that they have applied to Keating Chambers.

Following completion of the marking process, one person from the Pupillage Committee will consider those candidates who have given their consent by reference to their RARE scores and carry out the following actions:

  1. Any candidate with a RARE PI score of 30 or above whose marks are within 10% of the lowest mark of the original top 70 candidates will be included in the cohort of candidates carrying out the written case study.
  2. A review of candidates not in the original top 70 candidates will be carried out to see if they have any RARE flags. In appropriate circumstances, and in accordance with pre-established rules, a candidate who is not in the original top 70 candidates but has RARE flags may be included in the cohort of candidates carrying out the written case study.

Any candidates included in the cohort for the written case study will be in addition to the original top 70 and no candidate in the original top 70 will be replaced or excluded.

The information as to candidates’ RARE scores and/or flags and which candidates have been included in the cohort carrying out the written case study under paragraph  will not be shared with anyone else on the Pupillage Committee, save only that flag information will be available for the purpose of selection for second interview.