How it works

Maternity Mentoring is based on 'spot mentoring': a mentor will share her (or his) experience in a particular matter in order to assist the mentee in dealing with a one-off or specific situation.
 

"My mentor was a huge source of support and guidance. To have had access to such an experienced and successful practitioner, with whom I could openly and frankly discuss the challenges of combining a demanding practice with a young family, was a real benefit and I cannot overstate how useful it was.  I would highly recommend the Bar Council Maternity Mentoring Scheme."
 

  • The Bar Mentoring Service draws from a pool of experienced barrister mentors who have taken a family career break, and have subsequently established or maintained a thriving practice.
  • The intention is to match interested mentees with a suitable mentor from the pool of volunteers.
  • The service will process all applications, and match the mentees with the mentors. 

Further information about the administrative process can be found in the guidance document.

For further information about Maternity Mentoring, please email the Bar Mentoring Service.
 

"I wish there had been a dedicated Maternity Mentoring Scheme available when I took Maternity Leave. I found the experience of having children cut me off from the Bar and returning after having a baby made me anxious and stressed. I didn't know how I would feel or how I would cope and I decided to pretend that nothing had changed. I continued working all hours and travelling around the country from court to court, expressing breast milk in toilets, organising last minute childcare and worrying about failing as a mother as well as a barrister."
 

"I wholeheartedly support the Bar's new Maternity Mentoring Scheme. Women at the Bar need this support at a time when they are torn between their career and having a baby. They need to know that they are not alone, that they can maintain a career and a family if that is what they want and that the world will not end if a child develops chicken pox on the morning of an important hearing." 
Tana Adkin QC

Volunteer as a mentor

Mentors do not need to have a mentoring qualification to volunteer as mentors on the Maternity Mentoring Scheme. The Bar Mentoring Service appreciates that every barrister may have had a different experience, and we welcome applications on the basis that your knowledge and experience are of greater value to a mentee.

Maternity mentoring provides an opportunity to give back to the profession by sharing past experiences, and perhaps offering better alternatives for mentees to consider.

The Bar Council encourages barristers who have taken career breaks in the past to consider coming forward as mentors, with one mentor sharing: 

"This might be a very lonely experience and it is helpful to have a sounding board. To have someone say that they have gone through the exact same thing and felt the same way, that is a very poweful thing."

Please read the guidance document before submitting your application form. This will provide further information about the scheme, its objectives in its pilot year, and details what is expected from you as a mentor. 

Your application form should include a short biography of your experience, and what ever information you consider relevant for the Bar Mentoring Service when administering the matching process. 


Email your completed application form to us to apply. Please also complete the Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form.  

If you would prefer to send the form via post, please mark it for the attention of: 

The Bar Mentoring Service (Maternity Mentoring Scheme)

Bar Council
289-293
High Holborn
London
WC1V 7HZ

Become a mentee

If you are considering taking a family career break, or are currently planning on returning to work, the Bar Mentoring Service would encourage you to apply to be mentored.

Applicants will be contacted soon after receipt of the application form to arrange a one-to-one telephone meeting with a representative from the Bar Mentoring Service. The intention is that any information shared in the course of the meeting will inform the matching process. 

Thereafter the mentee will be informed of the proposed mentor, and if the mentee consents, the representative will initiate contact between the mentor and mentee.

In the event that the mentor's identity is disclosed to the mentee, and the mentee does not wish to pursue a mentoring relationship, the application will be referred back to the matching process, and another mentor will be found. 

Please be assured that all information shared on the application forms are strictly confidential, and will not be disclosed to prospective mentors without the mentee's written or oral consent to a Bar Mentoring Service representative. 

Please read through the guidance document before submitting your application form. 


Email your completed application form to us to apply. Please also complete the Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form.  

Alternatively, if you would prefer to send the form via post, please mark it for the attention of: 

The Bar Mentoring Service (Maternity Mentoring Scheme)

Bar Council
289-293
High Holborn
London
WC1V 7HZ