Bar Council charges students £24 a year to ‘feel closer to the action’

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By Thomas Connelly on

Wannabe barristers can help support key initiatives such as making the “profession more accessible”


Aspiring barristers can now pay £24 a year to “feel closer to the action”, thanks to the introduction of a new Bar Council student membership.

Students studying for an “undergraduate qualification or higher” can now get involved in the vital work the organisation — which represents barristers across England and Wales — undertakes, including its aim to make “the profession more accessible as a career”.

Despite trumpeting this as one of its key goals, the Bar Council has still decided to charge already cash-strapped students £24 a year to get involved. For this annual sum students will receive free attendance to events, a fortnightly newsletter called BarTalk and other various cash discounts. The fee — which is normally £100 for practising barristers — helps support “key initiatives and campaigns” such as the Bar Council’s pupillage fair.

Focusing on the memberships positives, chairman of the bar Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC claims that the cash payment and subsequent membership will help students considering a career in advocacy:

[G]et a clearer insight of the challenges and opportunities, through information channels such as BarTalk or via free events to which they would not otherwise get access. From meeting students at the recent Bar Council pupillage fair and through attendance at law careers events around the country, the message coming back is that there is an appetite for students to be more involved in the Bar Council’s work. We are the representative body of the bar. We cannot afford to ignore tomorrow’s barristers.