PASS: Partnering with Chambers

Since 2012, The Inner Temple has been proud to run PASS (Pegasus Access and Support Scheme), which aims to provide aspiring barristers who have the capability and determination, regardless of their background or personal networks, with opportunities to gain experience and skills that will support a career at the Bar. We arrange a mini-pupillage for each participant with our partner chambers. We are deeply grateful to all of our partner chambers who accommodate our PASS Scholars for a mini-pupillage and we always welcome hearing from new chambers who would like to support the scheme.

Who do we work with on PASS?

In 2020/21 we received 153 applications and accepted 72 onto the programme which is the highest number to date. All successful applicants must attend a state non-maintained school and meet at least one of the following criteria:

Eligible for Free School Meals
First Generation to attend University
Income Support Care Leaver
Number of successful applicants 34 58 36 3
Percentage of successful applicants 47% 81% 50.7% 4.23%


Number and percentage of successful applicants who met each of these in 2020/21.

What do we offer?

The two main components of the PASS programme consist of:


What’s the impact?

In 2018/19 over 80 per cent of attendees said the scheme had changed their perception of the Bar and barristers, and they now found the prospect of pursuing a career at the Bar more approachable and achievable. This figure demonstrates how vital it is to support students’ aspirations and create accessible routes into the profession. Feedback we received from scholars after their mini-pupillage solidified how significant PASS is in helping to build professional skills. Participants indicated that they felt more confident that they would be able to pursue a career at the Bar after PASS.

Case Study

We asked Douglas Wotherspoon, a former PASS scholar, to write about his experience on PASS. Since completing PASS Douglas successfully gained a BPTC scholarship from The Inner Temple and secured a pupillage at 9 Bedford Row. Of his placement he said:

Following my successful application [to PASS], I was placed on a mini-pupillage at Ely Place Chambers. I was fortunate enough to see a wide range of chambers work from sitting with a third six pupil in Shoreditch County Court to shadowing a 27 years Call senior junior at Maidstone Combined Court Centre. Notably, I attended the High Court for an injunction hearing which was reported nationally the following day. The take-away moment for me was a piece of advice imparted outside Watford Employment Tribunal which helped shape not only my undergraduate module selection but the type of set I applied to for pupillage and ultimately my future area of practice.”

How can my chambers help?

We are not able to run the PASS programme without the generous support of chambers willing to host PASS scholars for a mini-pupillage. All we ask is that you set aside a mini-pupillage place (or more than one if you can so accommodate!) and we will do the rest of the administration. There is no financial cost to being a PASS chambers.

We are particularly interested in hearing from chambers whose buildings are easily accessible to those with disabilities and those that are located on Circuit. Our PASS scholars come from all over the UK. Whilst we do cover scholars’ travel and accommodation costs, there can be many other reasons why a scholar might not easily be able to travel to London and so by increasing the number of placements we can offer on Circuit, this will help us to improve the accessibility of this programme.

We also welcome chambers who are able to provide virtual placements. Benefits for chambers include:

How can my chambers get involved?

If you or your chambers would like to have an informal conversation regarding becoming a partner for PASS or would like any further information please contact:

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