03 Nov 2020
By Abdul Qadim
The Bridging the Bar story is an excellent one. A group of fantastic individuals coming together with a shared vision to empower those who are seeking the life of a barrister but are faced with substantial obstacles, such as their socio-economic background and race which put them at a serious disadvantage. This project is all about empowerment. Its foundation is based fundamentally in positivity and progression. Bridging the Bar is an excellent example of what can be done when people come together, cooperate and progress.
Being a barrister is not only a prestigious profession, but it is also one of the greatest careers to exist. It is therefore an utmost pleasure to play a small role in a massive project that will empower many, many, many people. It is a fact that by providing opportunities for diverse candidates to excel at the Bar, Bridging the Bar is playing a role in shaping the future of the Bar, and by virtue, the law. How could anyone say no to giving up some spare time to work with these excellent individuals towards this inspiring ambition? I certainly couldn’t.
My personal attachment to our mission stems from the desire to see equal opportunities regardless of your background. I once saw a telling graphic depicting two people about to run a race, and in front of one was a clear and straight path, but for the other, the track was askew and full of hoops and hurdles. I believe that by playing a role at Bridging the Bar, my time would be spent clearing and making more accessible the track for people who have everything it takes to win the race but have the odds stacked against them. Diversity would not only be excellent for the Bar, but it would also be great for society too as it would inspire others to reach for the top and take opportunities. There has never been a more pertinent time to do the right thing, and advancing the cause behind Bridging the Bar is precisely the right thing to do.
The words “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” said by the great man Nelson Mandela befit the nature of the Bridging the Bar journey. If you had asked me whether we would come this far (2 amazing champions, 40 chambers partnered, mini-pupillage scheme all systems go) I would have said that it simply cannot be done. Only a few days after our first ever team meeting, lockdown was installed in the UK, and all of us were thrust into a world of uncertainty, precariousness and ambiguity. I would never have thought we would have come this far so quickly.
The obstacles that faced us were overcome because of the absolutely fantastic team that compose the BTB committee. They are a group of incredible individuals, each destined for greatness in their own way, and it is a privilege to be part of this special project. It is an honour and a story that I will always be proud of. I am excited, elated and confident about what is to come with this magnificent project, Bridging the Bar.
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