This week, the Bar Council, the representative body for barristers, holds its fifth annual Bar Placement Week (North) in Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester.
Chair of the Bar Council, Richard Atkins QC, said:
“The Bar Placement Scheme is a fantastic opportunity for talented students from non-traditional backgrounds to sample the unique nature of life as a barrister and hopefully to consider it as a career.
“I know first-hand the importance of social mobility. I came to the Bar with no connections, was the first in my family to go to university and am now lucky enough to chair the Bar Council. I hope my example will encourage others to join the profession, regardless of their background. Social mobility at the Bar is a long-standing, long-term commitment for us and for the chambers that take part in this initiative. Bar Placement Week North, together with Pathways to Law, Aim Higher, the Social Mobility Foundation, ARK, the BLD Foundation and Big Voice, plays a large part in ensuring we recruit talent from across the country, not just London – something I feel strongly about, given my Coventry and Birmingham origins.
“It is important that students considering becoming barristers see positive role models who have already overcome social mobility barriers and are successful in their chosen profession. The Bar Council’s successful ‘I am the Bar’ campaign demonstrates how people from very different backgrounds have made a success of a career at the Bar. I hope that this message will encourage students from all walks of life to use the campaign’s resources and actively pursue a career as a barrister.”