Devilling, as the period of pupillage or training to become an advocate is generally known, lasts
between eight and nine months, and comprises a mix of skills training courses and time spent working
with a devilmaster. The compulsory skills training courses, which are described in more detail in the
following pages, are spread across the devilling period and last for about nine weeks in total. For
the balance of the period of devilling, devils work closely with their devilmasters.
All devils have a principal devilmaster who is a practising member of the junior bar of at
least seven years standing, and working primarily in civil practice. Devils will also spend
part of the time with another devilmaster practising in the criminal courts, and many devils
spend a short period of time with a third devilmaster working in a different aspect of civil
work from his or her principal devilmaster.
In order to take a devil, a devilmaster must be approved by the Dean of Faculty. The
Clerk of Faculty maintains a list of approved
devilmasters, who may be contacted by email or via the Clerk's office.
Devils are expected to attend court with their devilmasters, and to attend consultations with
solicitors instructing their devilmaster and with the solicitors' clients. A devil will also discuss
the preparation and presentation of the cases in which their devilmaster is involved and will be
required to draft written pleadings and opinions.
During the period of devilling, devils also carry out work for the Free Representation Unit. This
is part of the Faculty's commitment to providing access to justice for everyone. The Free Representation
Unit enables devils to provide advice and representation to clients of Citizens Advice Bureau from across Scotland.
Further information about the Faculty's programme of free legal services may be found on the Free Legal Services Unit (FLSU) website.
At the end of the devilling period, a devil's admission to the Faculty is dependent on certification
by his or her principal devilmaster that the devil is a fit and proper person to be an advocate, and
that the devil has been involved in a wide range of work in the course of his or her devilling.
A devil's competence in a number of aspects of written and oral advocacy is assessed during devilling,
and if a devil is assessed as not to be competent, he or she will not be admitted to the Faculty.
Further details of this process can be found in the assessment section.