PACH clearing system gets thumbs up

The Bar's clearing system for trainee barristers has received the seal of approval from chambers and law colleges throughout the country.

Details of the workings of the scheme – the Pupillage Applications Clearing House (PACH) – were discussed at a meeting organised by the Bar Council on 23 April. The meeting, attended by representatives of the 248 sets which have signed up for the scheme and representatives from teaching institutions, revealed a “very keen” response from delegates, according to one attendee.

Delegates were told the scheme, which will start this year, will be subject to a timetable beginning in May.

Students will be able to apply to up to 20 sets of chambers through a central clearing system operated by the Bar Council with final applications due by 5 August .

In what one observer said was a move to bring the Bar into the computer age, applications will be made on a form on disk alongside a signed hard copy. The disk comes with the Chambers Pupillage and Awards Handbook, available from the Bar Council

Milly Ayliffe, practice development manager at Monckton Chambers, welcomed the scheme. She said: “The PACH scheme is a definite improvement on the current, rather haphazard system of applying directly to chambers.

“The new system will be more synchronised and is better both for chambers, where the administrative burden will be reduced, and students, who will have to focus their applications more than in the past.”