6KBW College Hill is committed to ensuring fairness and equality and does not tolerate racism. We recognise that the Bar today is not representative of our society as a whole, and that concerted actions must be taken to make becoming a barrister a possibility, a reality, and ultimately a sustainable career path, regardless of race or ethnicity, class, educational privilege, disability, sex, gender, or other status. In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, Chambers made especially clear its opposition to racism and the resulting structural inequalities.
Chambers has appointed members to a dedicated Equality and Diversity Committee, whose role is to ensure that we are doing all that we can to make Chambers an equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace. While various discrete steps have been taken before now, the Equality and Diversity Committee is presently developing an overarching action plan of positive steps to address equality, diversity and inclusion. Such steps are aimed at making the Bar more accessible to, and creating opportunities for, candidates who are from backgrounds underrepresented in the profession today.
More specifically, over the last eighteen months, Chambers has:
- partnered with Bridging the Bar to develop and deliver an Advocacy Training Course aimed at helping level the playing field in the pupillage application process by equipping candidates with the skills, knowledge and confidence required to succeed at interview;
- launched an essay competition for groups underrepresented at the Bar with a financial award for the writers of the best entries;
- launched an advocacy competition targeting similar applicants, incorporating a training component to aid those with little or no previous advocacy experience;
- committed to hosting interns as part of the Bar’s collective participation in the 10,000 Black Interns scheme;
- provided scholarships to students identified by Bridging the Bar to enable them to undertake a course on statutory interpretation; and
- provided mentoring to students of a secondary school in East London, an initiative that we intend to continue on a broader basis going forward.
6KBW College Hill is committed to seeing real and sustainable change, within our own organisation and across the Bar as a whole. Chambers will therefore continue to review and reflect upon the steps we are taking and the results that we hope will follow. We will also continue to engage with opportunities for training and learning best practice, so that our actions remain current, progressive, and effective over time.