It is extremely encouraging that key legal organisations are looking to improve social mobility within the sector - hopefully, this will lead to the UK legal profession as a whole becoming more diverse and welcoming.
The proposed model for barrister training would open up the profession to those who are currently unable to meet the high costs associated with joining the Bar. It is important that the UK's legal experts reflect the make up of its society - lawyers should come from all walks of life and this is a positive step towards achieving greater diversity.
A model of training barristers that would split the Bar professional training course (BPTC) into two – allowing students to learn procedure and evidence however they want before undergoing compulsory skills training – has been put forward by the Bar Council and Council of the Inns of Court (COIC) as another alternative to the Bar Standards Board’s (BSB) current consultation on training reform. Its backers claim that by breaking up the BPTC – currently a 30-week on-site course costing between £15,000 and £19,000 plus living costs – it will be cheaper for poorer students and provide a breathing space in which those unlikely to obtain a pupillage can think again before proceeding.