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UK barristers join campaign for social mobility

Many of the barristers have faced challenges in their journeys to becoming barristers, from growing up in the climate of Ghana’s repressive military regime to moonlighting as a cabaret artist

A group of barristers from across England and Wales, known as Social Mobility Advocates, have joined the Bar Council’s award-winning social mobility campaign #IAmTheBar.

The ‘I Am the Bar’ campaign, which was launched in 2018, represents barristers who have come from non-traditional backgrounds and aims to inspire prospective barristers. 

All the advocates have come from working class or low-income households, attended state schools and non-Oxbridge universities, and have worked to fund their training and education.

With no previous links to the Bar, many of the barristers have faced challenges in their journeys to becoming barristers, from growing up in the climate of Ghana’s repressive military regime to moonlighting as a cabaret artist. 

The council promotes fair access to justice for all, the highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, as well as the development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.

The new advocates include Tahina Akther, Yaa Dankwa Ampadu-Sackey, Andrew Carter, Rachel Chan, Lucy Chapman, Emma Cross, Andrew Dakoutros, Peter Eguae, Jack Meek, Ian Smith and Christina Warner.

Representing barristers in England and Wales, this group aims to inspire a new generation of barristers from different backgrounds by joining the ‘I Am the Bar’ campaign.

The campaign has won a LexisNexis Legal Award, and was shortlisted for a MemComm award in 2019.

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.”

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