News

Bar diversity latest: white, male and privately educated

By on
62

Profession becoming gradually more diverse, says regulator — but ‘more to be done’

The bar continues to be much less diverse than the country as a whole, with a third of barristers still privately educated, new figures reveal.

The Bar Standards Board’s (BSB) latest report on the gender, ethnicity and social background of barristers shows that diversity figures have hardly budged since last year.

Private education still rules in chambers, with over half of British-educated QCs attending a fee-paying school.

The figures come from BSB records as of December 2019 and cover barristers in England and Wales.

Although only half answered the question about what type of school they attended, the available data suggests that “a disproportionate amount of the bar attended a UK independent school”, according to the BSB.

Its report says that “of those that provided information on school attended, 34.3 per cent attended an independent school in the UK”. That’s a tiny drop on last year, when the figure was 34.8%. Roughly 7% of the population is privately educated.

The Pupillage Gateway closes next week: Find out more about life at the leading chambers by checking out Legal Cheek's 2020 Chambers Most List

Even if you assume that everyone who didn’t respond to the question went to a state school, the privately educated would still make up 17% of the bar.

Remarkably, QCs who submitted schooling info were more likely to have been privately educated than state educated (388 vs 304).

Other measures of diversity have inched up too. The percentage of women at the bar increased by 0.6 percentage points, to hit 38%. Female QCs now account for 16.2% of silks, a 0.4 percentage point rise.

Around 14.4% of the working age population in England and Wales is from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background. The proportion of BAME barristers overall has pulled level, at 14.7% when non-respondents are excluded.

But there are fewer black people at the bar than their population share warrants, whereas mixed-race and Asian people are, statistically speaking, over-represented.

Finally, the report suggests that disabled people are rarely seen working in chambers. Only 6% of barristers reported being disabled, less than half the figure for the working-age population as a whole.

The BSB’s head of equality and access to justice, Amit Popat, said:

“While the data follow a similar trend to those seen in recent years insofar as they show a slow and steady improvement in gender and ethnic diversity at the bar, there is more to be done before the profession can be said fully to reflect the society it serves.”

He added: “One of the BSB’s key strategic aims is to encourage a more diverse legal profession, and these annual diversity reports provide a strong evidence base so that action can be taken. So, we urge all barristers to complete the diversity data questions when renewing their practising certificates for the year ahead.”

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

62 Comments

Tim

But how many are disabled? No data? What a shock. So discriminated against our discrimination is ignored.

(7)(33)

Anonymous

‘Finally, the report suggests that disabled people are rarely seen working in chambers. Only 6% of barristers reported being disabled, less than half the figure for the working-age population as a whole.’

(11)(1)

Jim

Is that really surprising? It is obvious that certain disabilities will make it very difficult if not impossible to become a barrister.

(16)(2)

Anonn

I know barristers with dyspraxia and dyslexia who didn’t reveal their conditions on their pupillage application forms. There are also many barristers within the Autistic spectrum.

The true disability statistics could be much higher as many are choosing not to report their disabilities.

Feeling a need to keep this a secret seems to point to other serious problems within the profession.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

There aren’t many professions where it would be possible to be open about these types of disabilities.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

He sees it here, he sees it there, Tim sees discrimination everywhere.

Never condescends to any degree of particularity in his many many posts, mind you.

(13)(3)

Tim

That’s because it IS everywhere!!!

(8)(12)

Anonymous

Tim seems unable to tell the difference to his experience and the experience of a community as a whole. He is very “always”, “everywhere”, “never”, “nowhere”, “all” and “none”. He does not grasp that his exaggeration undermines any point that he might want to make. Not that he has ever made a point other than variations on “all disabled people are discriminated against by everyone all of the time”.

(4)(4)

Tim

I’ll ask you what I asked the other guy here. Go call your family, tell them you spent you day cyber bullying a disabled person online today. I bet you can’t. Why? Because bullies are cowards and can’t stand up for what they do.

I can tell people I spent my time protecting people and standing up for what I believe. If that makes me annoying, or angers bullies like you, I can live with that.

Anon

Not sure who amuses me more: Tim or the Kirkland PE NQ

You're a melon

Why is it every time I see one of your comments I want to punch you in the face

(9)(4)

Tim

Because you hate the disabled, like most other people on this site. Talk about proving my point…!

(3)(9)

Tim

I hope you call up all your family and friends and let them know you spent your Saturday cyber bullying disabled people, you rotten, shameful, detestable excuse for a human.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

This is virtue signalling nonsense. Social mobility is of no interest to the BSB. They are only interested in boosting female and BAME percentages. No social background data is captured on judicial or silk application forms. Until and unless it is, the message is clear “if you are working class, tough luck”.

(30)(9)

Ian

Yes it is, but don’t let that get in the way of a good uninformed rant.

(1)(7)

Jan

OK, Ian, where is the social background data capture on the silk form? Where in the results announcement is the data about the success rate based on social background? (Here is a clue there isn’t, because of the correct answer to the first question). BAME, tick. Women, tick. Everything else, meh does not matter.

(8)(5)

Anonymous

Silence from Ian. What a surprise. Ian spouted off, looked up the forms and realised the truth, namely that the BSB can spew out this sort of platitude press release but social mobility means nothing unless it ticks the gender or ethnicity boxes. Increased success rates for the tick box categories have come at the price of white working class males.

(12)(1)

Lol

Wow such shock. Such surprise.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

One thing the report doesn’t seem to mention is that females applying for QC are far more likely to get it than males.

(25)(3)

Anon

That’s because a strange idea seems to exists that the best way to combat historic sexism is to be sexist in the opposite way. After all, parents always tell children that two wrongs make a right don’t they?

(1)(0)

yasss

All the diversity industry has given us are a load of fourth-rate ethnic woman silks and judges. Which quite apart from anything else is a gross insult to the first-rate ethnic woman silks and judges who actually deserve it.

(34)(14)

Ian

And the lack of historic lack of diversity has allowed us to have fourth rate white men and women.

Great stats for promoting fourth rate diversity though!

(16)(13)

Oh dear

Exactly. Absolutely nothing anyone can do if a chambers has two candidates with almost identical academics and keeps choosing White candidates over BAME ones.

There are chambers in London with only one or two BAME members in the whole set. I can’t think of any schools, GP surgeries or offices in the city with similar staff ratios.

You can’t be surprised when barristers are accused of being an insular, backward and snobbish profession when the data points towards the exclusion of talented and perfectly capable BAME candidates.

(18)(18)

Anon

“Around 14.4% of the working age population in England and Wales is from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background. The proportion of BAME barristers overall has pulled level, at 14.7%”

Perhaps your inability to read was the reason you didn’t get pupillage.

(39)(10)

BAME Person

They are mostly in criminal/family sets, not the lucrative London civil sets.

Can you tell me why some chambers have only one or two BAME members? It looks pretty racist to outsiders.

(11)(14)

Head of Pupillage @ Chancery Bar set

You sound like any number of mental litigants in person that always point to fraud when the answer is invariable more complicated and nuanced than that.

Unfortunately, you won’t get a person on the inside to give you a detailed answer because people like you scream racism

(12)(6)

Anonymous

Where’s the ‘nuanced’ and ‘complicated’ answer to why some London sets have only one BAME member?

You don’t have one, do you?

Anonymous

In fairness, a lot of LiPs are cheated by the court system.

Bored of 'diversity' whinges

>” Where’s the ‘nuanced’ and ‘complicated’ answer to why some London sets have only one BAME member? You don’t have one, do you?“

I’m going to be charitable and assume that you’re (a) very young and very clueless; rather than (b) rather than simply very stupid and very lazy. if it is the former, then perhaps you have an excuse: your generation has been encouraged to believe the myth of the ‘victimhood olympics’, the ‘politics of grievance’ in which everything is someone else’s fault – usually racism. The facts are clear: black candidates perform appallingly compared to other racial groups. I don’t care if they offends you: it’s true.

The reason why you don’t get long form answers in response to lobotomised discrimination allegations, is because most of us are sick to death of you and your whining. I will humour you, though. Here’s your answer:

BAME barristers are extremely limited because, “Given the current pool of candidates available, a system which solely rewards merit must necessarily come at the expense of diversity. This may be a bitter pill for the politically correct brigade to swallow, but the facts speak for themselves; the data clearly show a significant gap in the average aptitude of white and black applicants, and therefore we should EXPECT a significant gap in attainment.”

Her full comment is below, and can also be found here: https://www.legalcheek.com/2017/04/diversity-isnt-working-says-somali-refugee-who-beat-odds-to-become-a-barrister/#comment-1015273

“‘The lack of ‘diversity’ at the Bar can be explained by the lack of good-quality BME applicants coming through the system. This is more than evident from the BSB’s own figures:

Between 2011 and 2013, 1,963 white students completed the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). Of those, 296 (15.1%) attained a grade of ‘Outstanding’, whilst 108 (5.5%) failed the course altogether. Over the same period, 376-386* black students completed the BPTC. Of those, just 2 – 8 (0.5 – 2.1%) attained a grade of ‘Outstanding’, whilst 88 (22.8 – 23.4%) failed the course altogether. Put another way, white candidates are approximately 4x less likely to fail the BPTC than their black counterparts, and somewhere between 7 and 30x more likely to get an Outstanding. Given that the Bar Standards Board (BSB)’s own figures show that BPTC grade is a far better predictor of gaining pupillage than either degree grade or university attended, it’s little wonder that so few black students are getting pupillage.

People can argue that black people have fewer opportunities in early life and that this impacts their GCSE grades, A-level grades, University attended etc. People can likewise argue that pupillage committees are inherently biased and therefore subconsciously discriminate against black candidates. But, for all its faults, the BPTC is an extremely well-standardised course. Everyone, regardless of background, has access to the same teaching and access to the same course materials. Likewise, for the most part, everyone sits the same, blindly-marked exams. And yet, despite all of this, white candidates still significantly out-perform their black counterparts.

Clearly, therefore, any attempt to promote diversity for diversity’s sake – at least at the BPTC/Pupillage stage – is foolish and misguided. Given the current pool of candidates available, a system which solely rewards merit must necessarily come at the expense of diversity. This may be a bitter pill for the politically correct brigade to swallow, but the facts speak for themselves; the data clearly show a significant gap in the average aptitude of white and black applicants, and therefore we should EXPECT a significant gap in attainment. Now, I am not suggesting that the Bar should abandon its commendable attempts to tear down barriers and improve ACCESS to the Bar. It might be the case, for example, that for whatever reason gifted black students are simply less likely to apply to the BPTC than their white counterparts. Indeed, speaking as someone who myself comes from a ‘non-traditional background’, I have no doubt that some such barriers continue to exist; and no candidate should be led to believe that their creed, colour or gender makes them any better or worse suited to a career at the Bar. However, it’s important not to oversimplify the problem and blindly ascribe a lack of diversity in the profession to systemic prejudice. It’s likewise important to recognise that promoting ACCESS is not the same as promoting DIVERSITY. All too often people conflate the two. The first speaks to opportunity whereas the second speaks to results. Our only duty is to level the playing field, not the score.

Moreover, access aside, it is undoubtedly the case that there is a disproportionately large number of poor-quality black candidates applying to the BPTC. The figures clearly show that, whatever it is that explains the lack of good-quality black candidates, it is NOT a belief in the black community that the Bar is closed to people of colour. Therefore, we need to be very careful to ensure that we are sending the right message – namely, “the Bar is open to all people who have the ability, regardless of their colour”, NOT “we need more black candidates pursuing a career at the Bar”. In other words, what we need is a colour-blind system, NOT this ridiculous, facile, intellectually dishonest, politically-driven system we currently have, which is absolutely OBSESSED with people’s ethnicities and increasing ‘diversity’. In this regard, I am sorry to say that [Legal Cheek, the website on which this was originally published] is very much part of the problem. Every article questions why there are so few black barristers, rather than why there are so few good-quality black candidates. I have read many articles lamenting the underrepresentation of minority groups at the Bar. However, I have never read any acknowledgement whatsoever of the marked disparity in attainment between different ethnic groups at the application stage.

The BSB, Media and scorned students can whinge, whine, bleat and screech all they want, but sets of chambers will NOT start recruiting sub-par applicants simply because it promotes diversity in the profession. Unlike law firms, for example, chambers are far less invested in promoting a politically correct corporate message, and thus far more invested in recruiting candidates based on merit alone. Please abandon this relentless and myopic pursuit of ‘diversity’. And please, please, please, PLEASE, for the LOVE OF GOD, stop assuming that differences in attainment between whites/blacks, males/females, state-school/public school, northerners/southerners, gay/straight, left-handed/right-handed are always and necessarily attributable to systemic prejudice. It’s statistics 101: correlation does not imply causation, and just because any one group is underrepresented at the Bar, it does not necessarily mean that that group is discriminated against.

* When the number of students falling into a particular category is particularly low, the BSB merely states the number as being ‘< 5’, ‘< 10’ or ‘<15’. This is the case for black students attaining the grade of ‘Outstanding’ in the years 2011 and 2013, and the grade of ‘Not Yet Competent’ in 2011. Therefore, it is not possible to determine the exact number of black students who completed the BPTC over that time period, nor is it possible state exactly how many black students attained a grade of ‘Outstanding’. Nevertheless, there is sufficient information to calculate a reasonably narrow range of possible values.'"

Anon

The state education system is woeful and produces inadequate potted plants who are of no use to anyone. So of course the top jobs are dominated by those who are privately educated. Improve the state system and you might find this changes.

(15)(4)

Thurold

Plus IQ is largely genetic. The best breed the best..

(31)(11)

Private Tutor

I work as a private tutor in London. I’m paid to get thick kids into Westminster, Eton and St Paul’s by spoonfeeding and sitting with them to ensue they can cope with the exams.

IQ my arse. Wealthy parents simply have the means for an expensive education.

If their kids were really that bright, they wouldn’t need to hire me.

(37)(55)

Anonymous

I take you don’t teach statistics or biology. God, I hope you don’t!

(26)(10)

Private Tutor

I take it you haven’t spent 7 years teaching hundreds of London’s ‘nice but dim’ kids and can happily speak from first-hand experience??

The London tuition industry to get kids into private schools is worth millions of £££.

Those are very, very good statistics for my bank balance.

Math Mo

IQ distribution curves, your dodge avoided them as you are going play that old internet favourite, the straw man approach. Put old money aside and look at earned income. There is a massive correlation between earned income and IQ. The brightest are more likely to marry bright partners, earn more money, send children to private schools etc. So one would expect with the influence of parental IQ on child IQ and the impact of IQ on income for the better private schools to have more very clever kids. Their statistical over-representation is an expected meritocratic response not a discriminatory one. You see the dim ones on one side of the normal distribution curve, and in that regard your client base are irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Still, one wonders why a tutor would bother lurking on this site…

Anon

You are not a private tutor. Or you would know that thick pupils do not get within a million miles of St Paul’s, Westminster or Eton.

Grow up and be a troll elsewhere.

(50)(19)

Anonymous

True for St Paul’s and Westminster. The dim but suitably privileged can get into Eton.

Private Tutor

They do, as their parents have the money to hire tutors to sit with their children most weeknights and go through every type of maths question and comprehension paper they can encounter on the exam.

Have to laugh too at the suggestion that IQ is genetic. Plenty of the kids I teach of millionaire fathers and ‘model’ mothers who went nowhere near a university and have 0 books in the house are very bright, whilst I’ve also taught the kids of QCs who could barely write a coherent sentence after £6,000 a term in school fees.

There’s even more work for tutors once those kids get into those schools (at least from Westminster and St Paul’s) to ‘help’ complete homework and GCSE coursework. I would have left teaching long ago if there was no money coming in from parents with kids at these schools desperate to keep up.

The tuition industry is absolutely thriving, off the back of getting kids to successfully pass exams. Why would people pay continue to pay tutors if they couldn’t get kids to pass school entry tests?

Hilarious that you believe tutors for public schools are some sort of conspiracy theory. You most certainly had one yourself to pass the entry test! 😂

Anon

Dim people do not go to Eton. The only exceptions in recent times were Princes William and Harry.

Not a failed lawyer

I’ve heard the top top private tutors can now earn in a year what I make in a month.

Pale Whitewash

Not this again. A moment’s reflection will show that the day “the profession can be said fully to reflect the society it serves” will be the day the profession takes a nose-dive in its standing. A substantial part of the Bar makes a living serving the criminal element of society, and many of the matters that fall into the Bar’s hands arise from stupidity, venality and greed; all aspects of society at large, but not exactly desirable characteristics of members of the Bar.

What they really mean of course is that those with the necessary qualities to succeed at the Bar can be found from all backgrounds and ethnicities: true, but not in the perfectly equal measure that would result in the Bar being an exact mirror of society. Attempts to defy reality and pretend that the offspring of an investment banker is no more likely to have the intellect to succeed at the Bar than the offspring of a call centre worker are likely to end up eroding public confidence in the legal system, at least by those who actually use it, as opposed to those who regard it as a fascinating sociological goldfish bowl.

(26)(4)

Have Used The Legal System

No one has said any profession ‘must’ mirror the society in which it serves.

What is noticed is that for a profession that is paid good money for it’s clarity and perspicacity, no one can give a coherent answer as to why some sets have almost no BAME barristers. That’s denying reality.

It’s also noticed that far more time is spent defending and justifying decisions to exclude BAME candidates than asking why candidates with almost identical academics to White candidates aren’t taken on.

We know you know it looks bad. It’s embarrassing and is not a topic you’d raise in front of children who have BAME friends or BAME clients.

But we’re thinking it all the same. Perhaps we really do live in a racist society?

(8)(14)

Bored of 'diversity' whinges

>” What is noticed is that for a profession that is paid good money for it’s clarity and perspicacity, no one can give a coherent answer as to why some sets have almost no BAME barristers. That’s denying reality.“

Reality *is*’ being denied – but by your lot, the aggrieved, chippy failures busy playing the race card. The facts are clear: black candidates perform appallingly compared to other racial groups. I don’t care if they offends you: it’s true. Most of us are sick to death of you and your whining.

BAME barristers are extremely limited because, “Given the current pool of candidates available, a system which solely rewards merit must necessarily come at the expense of diversity. This may be a bitter pill for the politically correct brigade to swallow, but the facts speak for themselves; the data clearly show a significant gap in the average aptitude of white and black applicants, and therefore we should EXPECT a significant gap in attainment.”

Her full comment is below, and can also be found here: https://www.legalcheek.com/2017/04/diversity-isnt-working-says-somali-refugee-who-beat-odds-to-become-a-barrister/#comment-1015273

“‘The lack of ‘diversity’ at the Bar can be explained by the lack of good-quality BME applicants coming through the system. This is more than evident from the BSB’s own figures:

Between 2011 and 2013, 1,963 white students completed the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). Of those, 296 (15.1%) attained a grade of ‘Outstanding’, whilst 108 (5.5%) failed the course altogether. Over the same period, 376-386* black students completed the BPTC. Of those, just 2 – 8 (0.5 – 2.1%) attained a grade of ‘Outstanding’, whilst 88 (22.8 – 23.4%) failed the course altogether. Put another way, white candidates are approximately 4x less likely to fail the BPTC than their black counterparts, and somewhere between 7 and 30x more likely to get an Outstanding. Given that the Bar Standards Board (BSB)’s own figures show that BPTC grade is a far better predictor of gaining pupillage than either degree grade or university attended, it’s little wonder that so few black students are getting pupillage.

People can argue that black people have fewer opportunities in early life and that this impacts their GCSE grades, A-level grades, University attended etc. People can likewise argue that pupillage committees are inherently biased and therefore subconsciously discriminate against black candidates. But, for all its faults, the BPTC is an extremely well-standardised course. Everyone, regardless of background, has access to the same teaching and access to the same course materials. Likewise, for the most part, everyone sits the same, blindly-marked exams. And yet, despite all of this, white candidates still significantly out-perform their black counterparts.

Clearly, therefore, any attempt to promote diversity for diversity’s sake – at least at the BPTC/Pupillage stage – is foolish and misguided. Given the current pool of candidates available, a system which solely rewards merit must necessarily come at the expense of diversity. This may be a bitter pill for the politically correct brigade to swallow, but the facts speak for themselves; the data clearly show a significant gap in the average aptitude of white and black applicants, and therefore we should EXPECT a significant gap in attainment. Now, I am not suggesting that the Bar should abandon its commendable attempts to tear down barriers and improve ACCESS to the Bar. It might be the case, for example, that for whatever reason gifted black students are simply less likely to apply to the BPTC than their white counterparts. Indeed, speaking as someone who myself comes from a ‘non-traditional background’, I have no doubt that some such barriers continue to exist; and no candidate should be led to believe that their creed, colour or gender makes them any better or worse suited to a career at the Bar. However, it’s important not to oversimplify the problem and blindly ascribe a lack of diversity in the profession to systemic prejudice. It’s likewise important to recognise that promoting ACCESS is not the same as promoting DIVERSITY. All too often people conflate the two. The first speaks to opportunity whereas the second speaks to results. Our only duty is to level the playing field, not the score.

Moreover, access aside, it is undoubtedly the case that there is a disproportionately large number of poor-quality black candidates applying to the BPTC. The figures clearly show that, whatever it is that explains the lack of good-quality black candidates, it is NOT a belief in the black community that the Bar is closed to people of colour. Therefore, we need to be very careful to ensure that we are sending the right message – namely, “the Bar is open to all people who have the ability, regardless of their colour”, NOT “we need more black candidates pursuing a career at the Bar”. In other words, what we need is a colour-blind system, NOT this ridiculous, facile, intellectually dishonest, politically-driven system we currently have, which is absolutely OBSESSED with people’s ethnicities and increasing ‘diversity’. In this regard, I am sorry to say that [Legal Cheek, the website on which this was originally published] is very much part of the problem. Every article questions why there are so few black barristers, rather than why there are so few good-quality black candidates. I have read many articles lamenting the underrepresentation of minority groups at the Bar. However, I have never read any acknowledgement whatsoever of the marked disparity in attainment between different ethnic groups at the application stage.

The BSB, Media and scorned students can whinge, whine, bleat and screech all they want, but sets of chambers will NOT start recruiting sub-par applicants simply because it promotes diversity in the profession. Unlike law firms, for example, chambers are far less invested in promoting a politically correct corporate message, and thus far more invested in recruiting candidates based on merit alone. Please abandon this relentless and myopic pursuit of ‘diversity’. And please, please, please, PLEASE, for the LOVE OF GOD, stop assuming that differences in attainment between whites/blacks, males/females, state-school/public school, northerners/southerners, gay/straight, left-handed/right-handed are always and necessarily attributable to systemic prejudice. It’s statistics 101: correlation does not imply causation, and just because any one group is underrepresented at the Bar, it does not necessarily mean that that group is discriminated against.

* When the number of students falling into a particular category is particularly low, the BSB merely states the number as being ‘< 5’, ‘< 10’ or ‘<15’. This is the case for black students attaining the grade of ‘Outstanding’ in the years 2011 and 2013, and the grade of ‘Not Yet Competent’ in 2011. Therefore, it is not possible to determine the exact number of black students who completed the BPTC over that time period, nor is it possible state exactly how many black students attained a grade of ‘Outstanding’. Nevertheless, there is sufficient information to calculate a reasonably narrow range of possible values.'"

There follows a lengthy discussion, but why bother reading it – you’re determined to wallow in pitiful self-sympathy, so crack on. Just don’t expect anyone else to care.

(17)(8)

Oh dear

Most candidates are applying and are chosen BEFORE doing the BPTC or knowing what their BPTC results are. Why do you keep harping on and on and on about disparities in BPTC results between candidates of different ethnicities?

BPTC results are largely irrelevant – no chambers will prefer someone with an Outstanding over a VC if they have a 2:2 from University of Greenwich.

Why do you think the Bar Council is so keen to change the way the BPTC is managed? It is a box ticking exercise. Chambers will always look first to your degree and where you got it.

There are plenty of BAME candidates with 2:i degrees, which the vast majority of barristers have, and even more than ever from Oxbridge as they are taking more BAME students than they were 20 years ago.

There is no shortage of academically able BAME candidates with exactly the same academics and university degrees as other White candidates.

It’s incredible, and quite desperate, that you would use BPTC results as a marker of intelligence and to claim Black candidates are therefore less able than White ones . Would you like to see everyone’s 5 metre swimming certificates as a marker of their suitability for legal work?

(13)(1)

Bored

You keep posting long rambling messages to argue that black candidates are not able. We understand you have issues, but please acknowledge that BAME does not mean black. There are many asians (Indian and Chinese) with strings of top grades that do not make it to the bar, but the mediocre children of QCs with 2.1s from Durham or Bristol or KCL, with masters from the US make it. There are too many examples to cite here.

(10)(4)

Anonymous

These Harvard/Yale LLMs are also dependent on having significant family money, as even a Fulbright Scholarship will not cover 100% of tuition fees and living costs. This is upwards of £50,000 a year.

You need to be bright to get one, but that on its own won’t get you on the course. It’s not a marker of an aptitude for good legal reasoning – it’s a marker of wealth.

Anonymous

2.40, even if you get a scholarship that does not pay all the costs, and there are many that do, if you have financial need and are good enough to get a leading scholarship additional funding is always there for those that ask.

Anon

An LLM at Harvard or a comparable US university is first and foremost a mark of intellectual ability. Then you have to afford the fees – which makes those courses so agreeable, because you are not surrounded by plebs. I did an LLM at Harvard and all the other Brits were, like me, privately educated. It was a far nicer experience than my 3 years at Oxford, where most people in my College were gauche, chippy wankers from state schools.

Hmmm

Anon @4:11pm, you yourself sound incredibly chippy and gauche.

The truest non-plebs go to Le Rosey by Lake Geneva, where boarding fees are £90,000 a year.

Think they’d bother with an LLM, BPTC or KE training contract when they can eventually grow up to control their family’s global conglomerate?

These are your clients. The ones YOU put in the all that work for to get paid.

Makes the argument over ‘chippy’ state or private pupils pretty pointless really.

anonymous

“The truest non-plebs go to Le Rosey”. Err, no. The people at Le Rosey are Eurotrash.

Anonymous

Did your girlfriend leave you for a Black guy?

(12)(1)

Gauche and proud

The dude who keeps on about “chippy state school” pupils clearly has a massive chip on his shoulder that so many other pupils were talented enough to get in without mummy and daddy paying tens of thousands so that they could obtain good grades.

Anonymous

Why is diversity a good thing for a self employed practitioner? The mix of a set means nothing to what the individual does.

(17)(2)

Anon

I’ve used the services of a Black barrister before. She was absolutely fantastic and I am delighted that she’s going to become a QC this year.

I honestly couldn’t care less what she got on the BPTC.

Absolutely astonishing that there are people out there who sincerely believe Black people aren’t as capable as White people to become barristers because there’s a statistical disparity in BPTC results.

Even worse that they are ‘sick of the whingeing’ and accusations of ‘racism’, all whilst being triggered racists themselves!

(12)(9)

Head of Pupillage @ Chancery Set

That’s not what is being said. No one is doubting that there are great BAME barristers. The original issue is lack of diversity at the chancery/commercial bar being vastly more competitive than the criminal, family, common law bar.

We are recruiting candidates who topped their respective year at particular oxbridge colleges, scored distinctions on BCL and have first class degrees/double firsts etc. The pool of candidates is very thin and also young. I would be absolutely gobsmacked if a black British candidate who had all the above did not have pupillage at a top tier set. The unfortunately reality is that the number of those candidates coming through the system to go to the Bar is not vast. There are multifaceted reasons for this but that is not really the Bars concern

At the lucrative end of the Bar,

(5)(4)

Oh dear

I know people with Oxbridge 2.i degrees at the Chancery Bar and people with Russell Group Firsts. Also people without the BCL at the London Commercial end because they did the GDL straight from uni.

Has no black candidate ever achieved that? Absolute lies to claim you NEED to top the BCL and get a First to become a commercial or chancery barrister. And the vast majority of barristers have neither.

You need to fib now to suggest Black students can never meet a standard that doesn’t exist?

(3)(1)

Perplexed

It’s hardly a surprise that things haven’t changed much at silk level is it? It takes c. 20 years to grow a silk, so there is unlikely to be any significant change year-on-year, is there?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Yet the lobbyists inanely pedal the “at this rate it will take thirty years to achieve equality” nonsense to support the current levels of blatant discrimination against men.

(5)(9)

anon

So the brightest, best educated people make it to the Bar. Total non story. You will be telling us the Pope is Catholic, next.

(31)(0)

T.ruth

Worried about being a diverse candidate? Just join a magic circle law firm! They loveee ticking those diversity boxes these days

(4)(0)

Depressed NEET

Call me an idiot, but I really don’t understand why someone’s pre-law education matters.
Beyond basic literacy skills, nothing I learned in school was of any use as part of my degree.

(2)(2)

Tabliyo

Not for long as it seems. TCs are being packed with ethnic minority working class individuals and soon the bar will follow. Whites used to compete with each other but with CV blind applications we are now taking the roles that they used to receive just for being Brit. The days of the white, wig wearing toffs…ARE OVER.

(0)(1)

Comments are closed.

Related Stories