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COMBAR Mentoring Scheme for Under-Represented Groups - Open for Applications

Serle Court is delighted to continue participating in the COMBAR (The Commercial Bar Association) inaugural mentoring scheme for under-represented groups at the Bar, which is now open for applications.  The scheme is an important part of COMBAR’s and Serle Court’s commitment to improving access and diversity in the legal profession. Serle Court is among 1 of 23 sets of chambers that have agreed to provide mentors. 

“The promotion of diversity at the Commercial Bar is 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.  The Mentoring Scheme allows applicants from those backgrounds who are of the requisite standard to succeed at the Commercial Bar access to one-to-one mentoring with practitioners from 23 participating sets and is an important further step in promoting access and demonstrating that the Commercial Bar is open to all with the ability to succeed.  I am delighted that this year’s Scheme can build on last year’s success and I want to thank all those involved volunteering their time to make this happen.”

The scheme pairs successful eligible candidates with practitioners from COMBAR member sets for a series of one-to-one mentoring sessions.  Mentees and their mentors are also invited to a pupillage interview, application workshop, and social event planned for January 2024.

Applicants who are considered to have realistic prospects of obtaining a pupillage at the Commercial Bar will be assessed by reference to their need for mentoring and their potential to pursue a career at the Bar.  A deliberate decision has been taken to give equal weighting to both of these criteria to help ensure that the scheme reaches talented applicants from the most under-represented communities who would benefit most from mentoring and guidance.

Chambers Director, Kathryn Purkis, says: 

“Serle Court is delighted to be involved in this worthwhile scheme and our members look forward to being matched with suitable mentees. We are very keen to foster diversity throughout the profession, but for our own part, to attract a truly representative range and therefore even stronger pupillage applicants to Chambers.”

Applicants wishing to participate in the scheme are requested to complete the online application form 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.

Full details of the scheme can be found under Scheme Guidelines here.  Any other questions should be directed to: