Taking Action

Action on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

In 2021, equality, diversity and inclusion training was provided to all barristers and members of staff in Chambers, which included training on the Equality Act 2010 and all forms of discrimination, comprehensive anti-racist training and unconscious bias training. This training is provided annually for new joiners, and refresher training will be provided at least every three years. Training on Neurodiversity will be incorporated into the training programmes (both initial and refresher training) from 2023.

All barristers and members of staff who are involved in recruitment have been provided with fair recruitment training and refresher training will be provided at least every three years.

We are involved in a number of initiatives and activities aimed at actively promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, at the Bar and beyond, including the following:

  • Many of our barristers give talks at law schools and schools to encourage those who might not otherwise consider a career at the Bar to do so.
  • We have recently introduced ‘Inside Five’, a series of online open evenings designed to give all those interested in applying for pupillage with 5 Essex Chambers an insight into the pupillage process and life at a top-tier
  • Chambers.  In conjunction with this, we partner with select organisations to provide mini-pupillages to those from disadvantaged and / or underrepresented backgrounds.  For example, Chambers participates in the Bar
  • Council Bar Placement Scheme, run in conjunction with Pathways to Law and the Social Mobility Foundation, as well as being part of the Bar’s collective participation in the 10,000 Black Interns scheme.
  • In 2012, 5 Essex Chambers was the first chambers to publish a detailed Pupillage Selection Report. It has been published annually ever since. The latest Report can be found on our Pupillage page, along with further information about applying for pupillage at 5 Essex Chambers. Written by the Pupillage Committee, this offers a unique insight into Chambers’ process for selecting pupils and what impresses our Pupillage Committee. It is an invaluable tool in levelling the playing field for applicants and was described by the Chambers Student
  • Guide 2018 as “essential reading for anybody interested in applying for pupillage anywhere”.
  • Two members of Chambers, Georgina Wolfe and Beatrice Collier, hosted the Middle Temple Pupillage Podcast, which demystifies the process of applying for pupillage in an effort to improve diversity among applicants.
  • Many of our barristers give talks at events designed to promote diversity in law, including conferences such as the Women in Law Summit, and panel events run by the Inns and university law societies, as well as writing articles relating to equality, diversity and inclusion for legal publications.
  • Many barristers in Chambers also participate in mentoring schemes, including the Inns’ mentoring schemes for students and new practitioners and mentoring for those interested in applying for the Attorney General’s panels of Counsel. A number of members of Chambers are currently mentors for Bridging the Bar, a charity founded in July 2020, that aims to support aspiring barristers from a range of statistically underrepresented groups at the Bar.
  • We are supporters of the Living Wage Foundation to ensure our employees and contractors are always fairly remunerated.
  • We are supporters of the Living Wage Foundation to ensure our employees and contractors are always fairly remunerated.
  • A significant proportion of our barristers and staff are involved with and/or regularly take part in fund raising activities for a variety of charities and organisations outside the law – this includes acting as charity trustees and school governors.
  • A number of our barristers undertake pro bono work and we take part in the London Legal Walk to raise funds for the organisations assisted by the London Legal Support Trust.

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