If you would like a barrister to give a talk to your school students, please contact the Bar Council regarding their ‘Speak Up for Others’ Programme.
The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple is dedicated to ensuring that the profession of barristers is open to able candidates from any background. In 2008, the Inner Temple launched a pioneering Schools Project to ensure that all students, regardless of their background, are aware of the opportunities available to them at the modern Bar, and to raise aspirations towards the professions more generally. Through workshops and activities, the programme challenges stereotypes about the profession, provides information about the legal system of England and Wales and promotes social mobility at the Bar.
The project was launched in conjunction with the National Education Trust, and now also works with the national Pathways to Law programme. Pathways supports high achieving state school students into law faculties and the legal professions.
The Schools Project is comprised of three strands. The first is an annual seminar for students in years 12 and 13 from all state schools in Greater London who are interested in a legal career. The seminar aims to introduce students to the law in an interesting and interactive way and inform them of the opportunities at the Bar of England and Wales.
The second strand of the project is run in conjunction with Pathways to Law. Students participating in this national programme attend a series of seminars and workshops at the Inn designed to inspire them and build upon their transferable skills. Students participate in a range of activities including plea in mitigation and case exercises, debating, mock trials, legal research and visits to Chambers.
The final strand of the project is a biennial seminar for teachers and careers advisers from state schools in Greater London. This aims to inform careers advisers of the opportunities that exist at the modern Bar, the education route to legal careers, funding and scholarship opportunities.
The Schools Project has enjoyed continued success and has expanded year-on-year. To date the project has reached nearly 1,500 students from over 100 different schools and was listed as a case study in the Milburn Report on Fair Access to Professional Careers.
The Inn is committed to continuing to support those students who decide to continue on the path to the Bar. Undertaking mini-pupillages is seen as essential for success in scholarship and pupillage applications. However, with thousands of students applying for mini-pupillages in Chambers every year, putting the achievements of each candidate in context can be difficult. Equally, some students do not feel that they have connections with the Bar to feel confident in applying directly for these opportunities, particularly to highly competitive sets of Chambers or practice areas. The Pegasus Access Scheme, which was launched in 2012 and now has 55 partner chambers, aims to address these concerns and potential barriers. The scheme matches high achieving students who have previously participated in the Schools Project, or who otherwise meet the criteria, with one of 52 partner Chambers to undertake a mini-pupillage. In doing so, it aims to support participants to progress into the profession thereafter.