The COMBAR Mentoring Scheme for Under-Represented Groups is an important part of COMBAR’s commitment to improving access and diversity in the legal profession. The application deadline has been extended to the 12th October 2023.
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 and application workshop and social event, which is planned for 16th January 2024. An equivalent event for this year’s scheme was held in January 2023 at Gray’s Inn, with over 170 mentees attending in person and remotely, and a keynote introductory speech by Mr Justice Foxton, the Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court.
There has been an excellent uptake of the scheme by COMBAR member sets. 23 sets have agreed to provide mentors and it is expected that there will be places for about 250 mentees on the scheme across those participating sets. All participating sets have also agreed to cover reasonable travel expenses for mentees allocated to them.
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.
Applicants wishing to participate in the scheme are requested to complete the application form which can be found here. Application forms must be received by Thursday 12th October 2023. COMBAR hopes that applicants will be informed as to whether or not they have been accepted onto the scheme within November 2023.