A new group of barristers from across England and Wales, known as Social Mobility Advocates, join the Bar Council’s award-winning social mobility campaign #IAmTheBar, now in its fourth year.

All the Advocates have had non-traditional paths to the Bar. They came from working class or low-income households, attended state schools and non-Oxbridge universities, worked to fund their training and education. None of them had prior links to the Bar. And many have faced other challenges in their journeys to becoming barristers.

The stories the Advocates tell are diverse. From growing up in the climate of Ghana’s repressive military regime to moonlighting as a cabaret artist, they represent the incredible breadth of experience that exists at the Bar. They aim to use this understanding to inspire a new generation of barristers from all different walks of life.

Derek Sweeting QC, Chair of the Bar, said:

“At the Bar Council, we believe that social mobility is an integral part of creating a modern Bar. It is crucial that barristers from all walks of life feel welcome in the profession, regardless of background. Visibility plays a vital role in this – highlighting the diverse stories of our colleagues at the Bar is a powerful way of showing prospective barristers that there is no one way to sound, look or act like a barrister.

That is why I am honoured to announce the launch of our new group of #IAmTheBar advocates. Selected from diverse backgrounds across England and Wales, our Social Mobility Advocates represent the best and brightest of the Bar. Although each of their stories is unique, one thing remains constant: a determination to make their voices heard. I look forward to seeing how they use this drive to inspire and encourage potential barristers in the coming months.”

The social mobility stories are being highlighted on the Bar Council’s Twitter in the coming week, and the new Advocates are:

  • Tahina Akther
  • Yaa Dankwa Ampadu-Sackey     
  • Andrew Carter
  • Rachel Chan 
  • Lucy Chapman
  • Emma Cross 
  • Andrew Dakoutros 
  • Peter Eguae
  • Jack Meek    
  • Ian Smith
  • Christina Warner                 

ENDS

Notes to editors

About the #IAmTheBar campaign: https://www.barcouncil.org.uk/media-campaigns/campaigns/iamthebar/social-mobility-advocates.html

The I Am the Bar campaign was launched in 2018 to represent barristers who have come from non-traditional backgrounds and to help inspire prospective barristers. Social Mobility Advocates participate in outreach and media work. It has gone from strength to strength, winning a LexisNexis Legal Award, and being shortlisted for a MemComm award in 2019.

About the Bar Council

The Bar Council represents all 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

Press contact: Press@BarCouncil.org.uk / Campaigns@BarCouncil.org.uk