Kings Chambers teams up with social mobility charity to launch legal placement scheme for working class students

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Each participant will receive £100 to buy suitable clothing


Kings Chambers has launched a new legal work experience initiative aimed at widening opportunities for Manchester’s disadvantaged youngsters.

‘Creating Connections’ is a collaboration between the Northern set and youth charity RECLAIM. It will give eight students from “working class” backgrounds the chance to “enhance their employability” by engaging with local law firms and businesses while on placement.

Six organisations have signed up to pilot the scheme and provide placements including the Manchester Civil Justice Centre, Brabners Solicitors, Potter Rees Dolan Solicitors. Kings Chambers will also be participating in the scheme — which runs across three days — with the final day culminating in a networking session and CV workshop hosted by the civil law set and featuring some of its barristers and a judge.

Kings Chambers, which was founded in Manchester but has since expanded to Leeds and Birmingham, has said it will set aside £100 for each student to enable them to buy suitable clothing for their roles. Non-legal placements will also be available at Allied London and Search Recruitment.

Nigel Poole QC, head of Kings Chambers, said:

“We’re delighted to be collaborating with RECLAIM and other business partners to launch the Creating Connections initiative with the aim of giving working class young people access to work experience opportunities and contacts in the professional and business sectors in Manchester. Each young person will have the opportunity to experience a range of professions to which they might not ordinarily have access.”

He added: “I very much hope that we can build on this initiative in years to come, so as to widen the opportunities for young people who may not have family or other connections with the professions.”

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This follows a recent diversity report published by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) that revealed around one third (33%) of barristers (that responded to its survey) were privately educated and attended fee-paying schools. The report goes on to estimate that 15.5% of practising barristers attended private schools — more than double that of the United Kingdom as a whole (7%).

At the senior end, social mobility charity The Sutton Trust reported that almost two-thirds (65%) of top judges went to private school. It also flagged internships with previous research finding that they still have some of the lowest levels of open advertisement around, with personal contacts vital to securing placements. Forty-three per cent of middle-class graduates had undertaken an internship compared to just 31% from working class backgrounds.

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Good to see a diversity programme focusing on class (and presumably wealth), for once, rather than the red herrings of race and sex.

I’d be interested to know how they define ‘working class’, if anyone knows.



Exactly. Such a nice change from the usual patronising lip service.



There should be a questionnaire with trick questions about views on Brexit and the death penalty.



still clutching your dog eared copy of LPC guru notes hoping if you hold them really, really tight you’ll be a real lawyer….



you sound like some one who has to start at the 60 yard line in a 100 yard race just to avoid coming last…..


Frank Duckworth





Anyone who is state educated is a good working method of defining the lower classes.



Clearly not so. And upvoted?

Private school is not a measure of “class” but of wealth.

As any successful city lawyer will ably demonstrate, they are not the same thing.



But lower class people don’t have money.



Please specifically forewarn them against buying brown shoes. Never wear brown in town.



If it’s brown, flush it down…



But if it’s yellow, let it mellow.


Kirkland Trainee

£100 for a suit? My socks cost more.


Magical Supplies

Mate, each line of my finest Bolivian marching powder last Friday cost more than that…


Kirkland NQ

I have the lambo washed with £100 socks.



Haha £100. Either they’re completely out of touch or tighter than a duck’s ass.



Taking a “Big Four” supermarket at random – Asda:

Suit jacket: £35
Trousers: £15
Long sleeved shirts (5 pack): £25
Shoes: £18
Belt: £8

Ties – not sold by Asda, but about £3 apiece in Primark: £6

Total: £107. If you really want to do it within £100, you could switch the long sleeved shirts to a 2 pack and wash during the week – but the point is that it’s doable. Fair play to them for factoring in a “hidden cost” of this kind of work experience and taking steps to help participants afford it, not least because these outfits can also be used for future placements.



They shouldn’t do this as it lets tasteless peasants to enter our genteel profession.

Next thing you know they’ll be strutting around your office talking about latest developments in corporate law, wearing black vinyl square-toed dress shoes and polyester three-piece suits. The horror…



Quite. Do we want chippy, badly educated people from state schools?



suit and trousers from the charity shop in Chelsea, £20-30. Put the rest on a bottle of fine scotch and they will fit right in.

Kind regards,



Spaghetti Hoops for breakfast

You’ve obviously never been to Birmingham.



What a waste. Spend the money on giving them vocational training in a trade, rather than trying to make them into something that they aren’t and which won’t make them happy. Besides, we have a shortage of skilled non-professionals (artisans, mechanics etc.) and a glut of professionals – the country really doesn’t need more people entering the talent pool for the Bar when the aforementioned pool is already deep enough already.



Maybe this is a troll, but there’s actually a lot of truth in it. What’s so special about lawyering, or “being clever” in general, for that matter?

AI will largely eclipse the need for human cleverness, and then we’ll be back to the pre-1950 position where “character” matters more.

Maybe rather than desperately trying to make plebs into posh lawyers, we should stop making lawyers posh. Lawyers are a famously miserable bunch, and few of them are that rich anyway.



Am not trolling – I very sincerely think that the fetishisation of ‘professional’ careers and academics has succeeded only in transforming a large number of people from content members of the working class to miserable members of the middle class. Do people really think that becoming a barrister will make a kid from Moss Side happier? Even if he makes three times as much money as he would in a non-professional job, it won’t make his life three times better.



And how do you stop making them posh? By diversifying the profession. You can’t expressly deny someone’s aspirations on account of their socio-economic status.



Exactly this ^. There always has been, and always will be social mobility from working class and minority backgrounds; those that want it will get it. Industry leaders keep saying that there is a skills shortage at level 2, 3, 4. Three successive Governments, starting with the Blair Government and ending with the Coalition, commissioned in-depth reports on the role that FE had to play in plugging this gap through the provision of vocational training programmes. Nothing significant appears to have happened as a result of these reports.


Future Skadden Trainee

If they can’t afford a decent Armani suit, they shouldn’t be applying for training contracts. Maybe a job in KFC would suit them better.



Training contracts? Bless.


A non-knee mousse

Fashion suits are s*it. Why on earth would anybody want an Armani suit?



Hear hear. Give me a Brooks Brothers or a tailored three-piece anytime.



Yes. Ghastly place.



Three knocks.

I will enjoy being thanked by a successful applicant for his Asda suit sans tie.

I will laugh on the other side of my face , though, if someone does turn up thus and shames me with a polite request to borrow one of mine.

It is highly unlikely that a firebrand from the working class will be allowed through the net , you can be sure of that. Reclaim in the name is the peak, so fear not brethren. It is about as radical as pro bono work, is this.


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