Bar Council launches first Bar Placement Weeks for students in Leeds and Manchester

17 February 2014

The Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, will launch Bar Placement Weeks in Leeds and Manchester on Monday 17 February, in partnership with the Sutton Trust's Pathways to Law programme at the Universities of Manchester and Leeds.

High achieving students from disadvantaged backgrounds - 12 in Leeds and 12 in Manchester - will spend a week shadowing practising barristers in local chambers and accompanying them to court, gaining valuable practical experience.  

The students will also learn how to structure a line of argument like a barrister with training from the Advocacy Training Council, and visit Leeds Crown Court. They will also take part in an essay competition, with prizes awarded for the most interesting and entertaining accounts of their week.

Local MPs, the Rt Hon Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor, and Rachel Reeves, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, will attend on Friday 21 February to show their support for the Week and award prizes to the winning students.

Nicholas Lavender QC, Chairman of the Bar, said:

"I am delighted to launch the first-ever Bar Placement Weeks in Leeds and Manchester.

 "The Bar Placement Week is an excellent opportunity for high-achieving students to gain new skills and learn first-hand what it takes to be a barrister. We hope that the Week will be a challenging and rewarding experience, and that it will go some way to inspiring a new generation of practitioners.

"The Bar Council is dedicated to improving social mobility within the profession by creating opportunities for bright and talented young students who might not otherwise have the chance to gain the experience necessary to consider a career at the Bar."

Laura Littlewood, Pathways to Law Coordinator, the University of Manchester, said:

"The Pathways to Law programme is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the students to get this type of experience, especially at such a young age. The students absolutely cannot wait to get started."

Herabans Kaur, Pathways to Law Coordinator, the University of Leeds, said

"The students are looking forward to the chance to learn about the Bar. Gaining valuable hands on experience for personal and professional development is a dream come true to them. Identifying students for the placement has been an extremely competitive process due to the overwhelming popularity of the Week. We are grateful to the Bar Council for all their help and support."


Notes to editors

1. For information is available from the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525.

2. The Leeds and Manchester Bar Placement Weeks will run simultaneously from Monday 17- Friday 21 February 2014.

3. The Bar Council's Bar Placement Week was launched seven years ago in London. Last year a Bar Placement Week was also rolled out in Birmingham and this year it will expand further to include Leeds and Manchester. 

4. The details about the Bar Council's Bar Placement Week can be found  here.

5. The Leeds and Manchester Bar Placement Weeks have been organised in partnership with Pathways to Law at the Universities of Leeds and Manchester, who helped to identify suitable students to take part in the regions.

6. The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes:

  • The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services

  • Fair access to justice for all

  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and

  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.

The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board