The legal profession is often referred to as a bastion of meritocracy and objectivity; however, among those aspiring to practice as lawyers, there are legitimate concerns as to whether their social background will impede their chances of establishing a career in law. Furthermore, the business case for diversity suggests that the failure of the legal sector to reflect the demographics of the society in which it functions may lead to a stagnant profession, shaped by the narrow perspectives of the so-called “social elite”. This lecture will explore the complex issue of diversity at the Bar and Judiciary of England and Wales. In particular, it will consider the concept of a meritocracy and its relevance to the Bar and Judiciary, whether or not a lack of diversity is genuinely problematic and the effectiveness of endeavours to widen access to the Bar to groups currently underrepresented.
Lacara Barnes-Rowe is the Outreach Coordinator at the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, one of the four Inns of Court which govern the legal profession of barristers. Within this context, she works to widen access to the Bar through the provision of outreach activities to graduates from groups currently underrepresented in the profession.
Prior to joining the Inner Temple, Ms Barnes-Rowe worked directly with young people and their key influencers to widen access to higher education. She has addressed students from Passau on previous occasions in the course of study excursions to London.
All welcome, in particular University of London students, students who have registered for the study excursion in April 2017 as well as FFA (English for Lawyers) students!
The lecture may be attended without joining the Q & A session on Thursday morning.