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Chambers invites pupillage applicants to interview by mistake

Exclusive: Changes to Gateway system ‘contributed to errors’, says Temple Garden

A London chambers has been forced to rescind a number of interview offers after some pupillage applicants received invites in error.

Civil and public law set Temple Garden Chambers informed a number of would-be barristers by email this week that they’d been successfully selected for a first-round interview, only to retract them a short while later citing an “unforeseen error”.

One unlucky candidate told Legal Cheek that “current crisis aside, this is not a great example to set for potential pupils”, while another explained how they received the follow-up email after they had informed family and friends of the good news.

In a statement, Temple Garden Chambers said: “We are aware that an administrative failure in the processing of Pupillage Gateway applications led to a small number of candidates being sent invitations for pupillage interview in error. The error was identified and dealt with promptly. Candidates who received invitations in error were notified with an apology within a very short period of time.”

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It continued:

“Unfortunately, the operation of the Gateway system has changed this year, and from an administrative point of view the process of selecting and deselecting candidates for interview is unnecessarily complicated, which contributed to the errors in this case.”

The set added that it intends to feed this information back to the Bar Council in its annual review of the system, in the hope that such errors can be avoided in the future.

This isn’t the first time a chambers has invited — then promptly disinvited — candidates to interview.

Last year 2 Bedford Row revoked a number of interview offers after some wannabe barristers received the good news by mistake. This followed 5 Essex Court who, in 2016, informed a group of applicants they’d successfully secured interview spots, only to cancel them hours later citing a technical “glitch”.

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