The Future of the Bar is
By Catherine Baksi (4 July 2014)
The future of the bar is…. For all its laudable efforts, the bar is still conspicuously pale and male.
…all white and mostly male, if the attendance at the Bar Council’s annual press party is anything to go by. Perhaps all the black, Asian and women barristers and Bar Council members invited were unable to tear themselves away from their briefs – or the Argentina v Switzerland World Cup match.
A brief glance around the room showed the most ethnically diverse people present were Linda Tsang from The Times and muggins here. There was not a single black or Asian face from the bar and only a couple of women.
This does not bode well.
A recent Gazette roundtable on the bar highlighted a worryingly backwards trend in diversity – a picture confirmed in the latest Bar Barometer report. Laudable efforts with bursaries, mentoring, out-reach and recruitment training had borne fruit at the publicly funded bar, but government legal aid policy clipped that fruit from the trees.