Bar Council's work placement initiative wins legal diversity award

25 September 2014

The Bar Council's Placement Week initiative, aimed at improving social mobility within the profession, has been recognised by the legal industry after winning the Award for Diversity and Inclusion at the Halsbury Legal Awards hosted by LexisNexis in London last night (Wednesday 24 September 2014).

The Bar Placement Week, which forms one part of the Bar Council's ongoing commitment to improving social mobility within the profession, won the coveted honour at the prestigious awards at The Grange Hotel in St Paul's.

Under the scheme, high-achieving Year 12 students (aged 17) from low-income backgrounds take part in the Placement Week, where they spend time with a barrister in their day-to-day work and experience court visits and training in advocacy including how to argue like a barrister. Initially, focused in London, the scheme has been extended to Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. The Bar Council partnered with Aim Higher West Midlands (Birmingham), Pathways to Law (Leeds and Manchester) and the London Inns, Advocacy Training Council and Social Mobility Foundation (London) to make the initiative a success.

Nicholas Lavender QC, Chairman of the Bar, said:

"Winning the Halsbury Legal Award for diversity and inclusion is not only an honour for the Bar Council, it is also a recognition that as a profession we are providing an opportunity to experience life at the Bar first-hand to those who might not otherwise have the chance to do so. They are given an important taste of what life at the Bar is like, enabling them to make an informed decision about pursuing it as a career. Initiatives such as the Bar Placement Week also help the legal profession to tap into a wider talent pool, which will have longer term benefits for the future of the legal profession."

Taryn Lee QC, Chair of the Bar Council's Social Mobility Committee, added:

"The Halsbury Legal Awards are vital in acknowledging everything that is good about the legal sector, no more so than this particular award category. It allows the whole legal sector to identify what is working well and look to build on it. The very fact there were so many strong initiatives shortlisted for this award shows that the legal sector is on the right path when it comes to social mobility, inclusion and diversity." 



Notes to Editors 

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

2. 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