Bar mentorship scheme for under-represented groups opens with record participation

Bar mentorship scheme for under-represented groups opens with record participation

The Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR) has announced its flagship student mentoring scheme for 2024/25, with a recording number of chambers participating this coming year.

This year’s programme, which offers students personalised one-on-one mentoring sessions, has drawn mentors from 25 commercial sets, aiming to provide at least 250 mentee opportunities.

The participating sets have also committed to covering reasonable travel costs for the mentees assigned to them.

Beyond mentoring, students will be invited to attend a pupillage interview and application workshop followed by a social event in January 2025. Last year, this event featured an opening address by Mr. Justice Foxton, the Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court.

The scheme is designed to support applicants from under-represented groups in the bar, particularly the commercial bar. It evaluates candidates with genuine potential for securing a pupillage, based on their need for mentoring and their career potential at the bar.

Chair of COMBAR, Alexander Gunning KC, said:

““The promotion of diversity at the Commercial Bar continues to be one of COMBAR’s core aims. It is vital that the Commercial Bar recruits from the most talented future practitioners, including, in particular, those from backgrounds that have traditionally been under-represented.”

He added, “This initiative allows applicants from under-representative backgrounds, who meet the requisite standards, to access one-to-one mentoring with practitioners from 25 participating sets.

“It is an important way of promoting access and demonstrating that the Commercial Bar is open to applicants from all backgrounds.”

Students interested in applying must submit their applications by Friday 20th September using the application provided by COMBAR.

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