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BARBRI expands diversity funding project with legal aid and commercial law partnerships

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SQE prep discounts for Young Legal Aid Lawyers and STRIVE members

BARBRI is looking to help broaden access to the legal profession with two new partnerships covering both legal aid and commercial law.

The legal education provider will offer members of the Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) and STRIVE discounted fees for its Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) prep courses as part of the double deal.

The YLAL is a group made up of students, paralegals, trainees and qualified lawyers who are committed to practice in areas of the law, both criminal and civil, that have traditionally been publicly funded.

STRIVE, meanwhile, identifies diverse aspiring lawyers that have been missed by so-called ‘tick box’ exercises and other contextual recruitment systems, and puts them through a series of programmes designed to place them on an equal footing with their more privileged peers.

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The new partnerships form part of BARBRI Bridges, a funding initiative launched last year to support and enhance diversity and inclusion within the legal sector. The legal education giant has so far pledged £125,000 through scholarships and tie-ups with various leading City law firms and universities.

Rob Dudley, vice president for strategy and marketing for BARBRI, commented:

“We’re delighted to be collaborating with YLAL and STRIVE to help improve access to the SQE and legal qualification by shaping a programme that truly encourages diversity within the profession. While the SRA hopes to improve diversity within the profession with the introduction of the SQE, this shift cannot happen overnight, especially not without the support of those across the legal industry.”

He added: “As part of our BARBRI Bridges initiative, we’re working to secure numerous partnerships to help make this vision a reality, and we are honoured to be working with such forward-thinking organisations. We hope to welcome our first YLAL and STRIVE applicants very soon.”

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