Founded in 2020
BTB is a charity, founded in July 2020, that aims to support aspiring barristers from a range of statistically underrepresented groups at the Bar. We believe that for any organisation to reach its full potential, it must reflect the diverse society that we live in. We are working to create a Bar that benefits society by ensuring that the profession is open to individuals coming from all walks of life.
At BTB, we believe that the “bridge” between today’s Bar and the diverse Bar that our society needs can be built by achieving three core objectives
Equal access to opportunity
BTB exists to bridge the gap between candidates from non-traditional backgrounds and the skills, experience and networks required to develop a career at the Bar. We support students whom, owing to their disability, ethnic background, socio-economic background, education, sexuality or other characteristic, belong to groups which are statistically underrepresented in the profession. We achieve this by providing our beneficiaries with work experience opportunities, mentoring, personal development workshops and access to resources that will assist them to increase their chances of securing pupillage, whilst also preparing them for professional life at the Bar.
Whilst we recognise the positive work being carried out to establish greater equality of access to opportunities at the Bar, it is clear that gaps still exist. BTB works towards closing that gap by supporting aspiring barristers and those organisations and individuals already championing diversity at the Bar. We welcome any dynamic support of our initiative, whether via the methods suggested, through tailored networking events, educational panels or entirely new ideas. There is an abundance of creative enterprises working to tackle many of the aims we share. BTB is continuously willing to discuss collaborating with organisations who share our aims. We
recognise that in addition to helping people at a grassroots level, a pillar of what we do is forming strategic relationships with our regulators so that we can engage in conversations at a decision making level, provide feedback and create new schemes to help those who need and deserve it.
To be certain of what and where change is taking place, we have identified the importance of providing students with an understanding of how organisations at the Bar are responding to the current inequality of opportunity. BTB intends to publish directories which will highlight Chambers and other organisations which are leading the way towards equal access to opportunity at the Bar.
“If we embrace ourselves, our unique stories and our varied cultures, we can create a 'new normal' in the profession. In this new normal, there will be no such thing as the ‘conventional’ image of a barrister. Instead, barristers will be as diverse as the society that we live in and diverse as the clients that we represent.” - Mass Ndow-Njie, Founder and Chairperson.
We are supported by the very best of the Bar. BTB would not be possible without the support of our incredible partners and volunteers. From the bottom of our heart, thank you. You are Bridging the Bar!