Responding to the Bar Standards Board's BPTC Key Statistics report 2021: An analysis of students over three academic years, a Bar Council spokesperson said: “While the Bar Council remains hopeful that pupillage numbers will bounce back over the next couple of years, there will likely be a persistent pandemic ‘gap’ in the number of new entrants into the profession, at a time when there are huge pressures on the Bar. This report will also likely be disappointing to the many talented BPTC graduates, who have experienced a difficult year in relation to exams and increased competition for pupillage places.
“We also note the additional challenges facing candidates from ethnic minorities, who – when controlling for degree class and BPTC grade – are less likely to secure pupillage. We are working closely with the Bar Council’s Equality, Diversity and Social Mobility Committee and the Bar Council’s Race Working Group to tackle this. The reduction in number of minority ethnic graduates is also concerning, and the Bar Council will monitor this over the next few years to determine whether this is an isolated occurrence.”