Ian Griffin, former Head of Chambers, did not come to the Bar via the common route. He was a nurse at St Thomas’s Hospital before studying law. Ian understood the advantages to the profession and the clients we serve in encouraging diversity. In October 2020, Ian Griffin shared his dream that Four Brick Court “could be the most diversely dynamic set in the inn / Chambers with at least half of the members from underprivileged backgrounds.” His aim, which Four Brick Court has included in its constitution, is for chambers to make a real contribution towards achieving fairness in opportunity and a chamber that reflects society. The 2020 BSB Report on Diversity at the Bar demonstrates there is much to be done within the profession before this can be achieved.
In memory of Ian and to carry on his ethos, Four Brick Court is proud to launch Law Together. Named by Ian’s daughter, the legacy project aims to support as many young people as possible from underprivileged and underrepresented backgrounds in learning about and accessing professional environments, and in turn increase the number of underprivileged and underrepresented groups at the Bar.
Ian’s dreams were much bigger than one set of Chambers, and Four Brick Court has partnered with four organisations to ensure Law Together is far-reaching and sustainable; Reach Out 2 Kids (ROK), the Inner Temple PASS, #10,000 Black Interns and Bridging the Bar to help us fulfil this commitment for change.
- ROK provides a link between education and employment for secondary school age children from black, Asian, other minority ethnic, and lower income backgrounds. Exposing young people to various professions before they make crucial decisions about their GCSEs, A-Levels, and undergraduate degrees was one that could not be passed on. Four Brick Court will provide mentors, public speaking training, hold mock trials, and participate in careers days. The aim is to inspire young people to pursue careers that would not ordinarily be open to them.
- The Inner Temple PASS (Pegasus Access and Support Scheme) is aimed at undergraduates, and graduates that have not completed the BPTC. Participants will have attended a state secondary school, from a lower economic group or are the first generation in their family to access higher education. Four Brick Court will be offering mini-pupillage’s to participants through the scheme.
- 10,000 Black Interns sets out to address significant underrepresentation and increase representation of Black young people in the UK’s professional industries. As part of this initiative, Four Brick Court will be providing paid mini pupillage’s to participants. It is an essential part of this particular project that interns are paid the London Living Wage which removes some of the structural unfairness in the system.
- Bridging the Bar is a charity dedicated to improving diversity in the legal profession and offers opportunities to students from non-traditional backgrounds and the skills, experience and networks required for a successful career at the Bar. Participants will include those with low income backgrounds, ethnic background, disability, LGBTQ+. Four Brick Court looks forward to offering mini-pupillage’s and mentoring to a variety of students.
- Bringing [Dis]Ability to the Bar (BDA Bar) is the newest organisation to tackle accessibility at the Bar, founded in January 2022. The aim is to support the journey to the legal profession and the Bar itself; by researching and removing the barriers currently limiting the Bar while encouraging barristers with disabilities in their route to the Bar to allow more accessibility and inclusivity for all. Four Brick Court will go beyond physical changes to career-long support and is working closely with BDA Bar to produce a Code of Practice. We will offer mentorships/reverse mentorships and mini-pupillages, providing both Members of Chambers and mini-pupils with an opportunity to learn from each other.
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