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Blackstone Chambers is delighted that the Mentoring Scheme for Under-Represented Groups will be taken forward by COMBAR from 2022 onwards.

The scheme was founded in 2020 by six sets of Chambers, including Blackstone Chambers, and expanded to ten sets in 2021. In the first two years of the scheme about 350 prospective applicants to the Bar were matched with mentors. From 2022 onwards, the involvement of COMBAR will enable the scheme to be expanded to more participating sets, so that more mentees can be given access to practical information about becoming a barrister and what being a barrister involves.

The aim of the Mentoring Scheme is to encourage people from groups of people who are under-represented at the English Bar and in particular the Commercial Bar to pursue careers as barristers. Those underrepresented groups may (non-exhaustively) include women; people from minority ethnic backgrounds; people with disabilities; LGBT+ people; people who spent time in care; and people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.

The scheme pairs successful eligible candidates with practitioners for a series of one-to-one mentoring sessions. COMBAR also hopes to organise a pupillage interview and application workshop and a social event, to which all mentors and mentees will be invited, in early 2024.

Applicants wishing to participate in the scheme are requested to complete the online application form, which is available here

Full details of the scheme can be found in the Scheme Guidelines, which may be seen here.

Application forms must be received by Friday 22 September 2023. COMBAR hopes that applicants will be informed as to whether or not they have been accepted onto the scheme within October 2023. 

Any other questions should be directed to the following email address: [email protected].

+44 (0)207 5831770