Becoming a Barrister: Beginning Pupillage with Ahmed

This week Lawyer Monthly benefits from a personal glimpse into the life of an upcoming barrister, as Ahmed Osman at One Pump Court discusses the challenges and nerves upon starting pupillage at One Pump Court.

Born to a Somali refugee in Holland, I moved to the UK when I was just ten years old. After my A-Levels, it didn’t take long for my interest in history and politics to take hold. I started to develop a strong interest in justice, and it soon became obvious that my burning passion to improve the lives of immigrants would be best served through forging a career in law.

After taking my law degree in London, I began working towards my goal of becoming an Immigration barrister. There were plenty of long days and sleepless nights, but in May last year, I was excited and relieved to receive an offer of pupillage at One Pump Court.

I was nervous on my first day; the enormity of the opportunity weighed on my shoulders when I arrived at chambers for my induction. Middle Temple is an impressive and grand place – you can feel the history around you. However, the Pupillage Officer and Chambers administrator put me at ease, and I quickly got stuck into work.

As we were taken around the building on our first day, my fellow pupil and I met the clerks and some of the barristers for the first time. It was humbling to meet these people and know that I would be working under the same roof as them. I started to feel part of something important.

My pupil supervisors are a crucial link in Chambers: it is under their supervision that we will observe and learn for the next six months and then, when those months are up, we will have the opportunity to conduct our own cases.

I am expecting the coming months to be full and varied. I have already been exposed to some real-life cases and the workings of my pupil supervisor’s practice; reading through sets of papers, observing preparation for Immigration appeals and sitting in on calls with instructing solicitors, giving me an insight into the obstacles and considerations I need to be taking into account as I work towards becoming a barrister.

Having started my pupillage so nervous, I feel that I am learning more each day about the road ahead. The next stage will involve me accompanying my pupil supervisor to court, something I have been looking forward to for as long as I can remember.

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