ICLR Pupillage Award

Applications are now closed. Watch this page for further updates on the award.


In recognition of the difficulties faced by many talented individuals during pupillage, the ICLR currently awards an annual bursary worth £13,000 in direct financial assistance to a pupil during the course of their 12 month pupillage in Chambers. The award was founded to mark ICLR’s 150th anniversary in 2015 and the first award was made the following year.

“I am so grateful for the stability that winning the ICLR Award offers, having left the relative security of a third-sector career for pupillage at the self-employed Bar. After years of working and studying towards this goal, it gives me the freedom to pursue a practice in publicly funded areas of law. The Award has also given me a confidence boost ahead of my second Six and encouraged me that I am capable of the challenge to come. The Award will allow me to focus on this challenge and take up any opportunities that arise, without the added pressure of financial concerns.”

Helen Peden, winner of the ICLR Pupillage Award 2023

I cannot thank the ICLR enough for all their help during my year of pupillage … Winning the award meant far more to me than just receiving its considerable financial support – it gave me the confidence to really embrace my change of profession and make the most of all the opportunities that pupillage offered me.”  

Tamasin Graham, winner of the ICLR Pupillage Award 2019

Previous awards

2023: Helen Peden (Garden Court North)

2022: Lily Belfer (187 Chambers)

2021: Matt Ward (187 Fleet Street)

2020: No competition took place due to covid-19.

2019: Tamasin Graham (Lamb Building)

2018: Daniel Wand (4 King’s Bench Walk)

2017: Ben Haseldine (4 King’s Bench Walk)

2016: Sophia Stapleton (2 Dr Johnson’s Building)

The application process

1. Initial application round

  • The first step in the application process is to complete the application form.
  • The form asks for information about your finances and why you feel you need financial assistance to support you during pupillage.
  • We believe that by virtue of having secured pupillage, all candidates will have passed a rigorous interview process and have an excellent academic background. Accordingly, we will not ask you to provide us with a CV.
  • We ask you to supply two short pieces of writing in order to demonstrate your intellectual merit.
  • We also ask you for the details of a referee. We may contact your referee if we require more information about you.

2. Shortlisting and headnote drafting exercise

  • Based on the forms submitted by applicants, we will draw up a shortlist of six candidates.
  • The shortlisted candidates will then be asked to write a headnote based on an unreported judgment that we will supply. We expect all candidates to have a solid understanding of the content and structure of a law report.

3. Selecting the winner

  • The final selection of the winning candidate will be made by the judging panel: Margaret Bowron QC, Mr Justice Roth and Brendan Wright (Editor, ICLR).
  • The final decision will be based on a combined evaluation of the headnote and the short written pieces supplied in the initial application round.
  • The winning candidate will be notified in early August 2022.