The Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA) has teamed up the Chancery Bar Association (ChBA) to launch a new bursary scheme for ‘non-traditional’ students.
The scheme aims to encourage aspiring barristers who are considered underrepresented at the bar and at the Chancery bar in particular, to complete their vocational studies with the ICCA, an education and training organisation made up of judges, lawyers and lecturers from across all four Inns.
The ChBA is donating a lump sum of £100k in line with its object of promoting and enhancing the legal education and training of those practising or intending to practise at the chancery bar.
The bursary scheme will entitle successful candidates to up to one-third off the ICCA’s Bar Course and, in exceptional cases, cover the full amount. The scheme is available to those commencing their studies from September 2023 onwards and it is envisaged that the scheme will run until at least 2028.
According to the Legal Cheek Bar Course Most List, the vocational bar course can cost anywhere between £11,750 and £19,500.
However, some progress is being made to improve social mobility with a group of 20 leading commercial chambers joining forces earlier this summer to launch a new mentoring programme with the aim of encouraging students from under-represented groups to pursue careers as barristers.
The UK Supreme Court has also teamed up with Bridging the Bar, a charity committed to increasing the equality of access to opportunities in the legal profession, to launch its first-ever paid internship aimed at aspiring barristers from underrepresented communities.
The four Inns of Court all dish out large sums in scholarships every year too.
Andrew Twigger KC, chair of the ChBA, commented:
“The ChBA is committed to taking positive action to improve diversity at the Chancery Bar and to attract individuals from currently under-represented backgrounds to become, and to thrive as, members of the profession. It is hoped that this innovation will attract wider support and provide a means of entry into the profession for talented individuals who might otherwise be unable to afford it.”