Social Mobility at the Bar

The first detailed study into the role of the Inns of Court in increasing social mobility finds that students from non-traditional backgrounds continue to face serious challenges to access the profession, despite the efforts of the profession, universities and other organisations.

The study, funded by Keele University and the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple suggests these challenges stem from a number of sources, including gaps in understanding of the profession amongst the students themselves, universities and the profession, the career advice given to students interested in the Bar and financial constraints which make it difficult for students to undertake work experience.

The study highlights the difficulties that some universities may experience in negotiating the line between providing balanced, realistic and accurate careers advice and reinforcing stereotypically perceived constraints about the profession.

The report recommends that the Bar build a dialogue with universities to make it clear that recruitment is based on merit rather than educational establishment or background, while, at the same time, exploring strategies to address the ways in which educational establishment and background continue to shape opportunities for access to the profession.

View the report here