Conceived in early 2020 by Mass Ndow-Njie as a direct response to his own lived experience as one of very few black pupil barristers across the country, BTB has grown beyond all recognition in its short life through the combined ideas and efforts of its talented and dedicated committee.
BTB is steadfast in its approach to increase the equality of access to opportunities in the legal profession across all underrepresented groups. The charity assist students who, owing to their disability, ethnic background, socio-economic background, education or sexuality, belong to groups which are statistically underrepresented in the profession.
Over 40 Chambers across England and Wales are now signed up as partners on BTB’s flagship mini-pupillage scheme. However, we at BTB see this as just the start.
Equality of opportunity means so much more than just provision of work experience. Equality of opportunity means supporting applicants much earlier in the process, and even after they have secured entry into the profession. To these ends, we are planning to launch further programmes over the course of the next year. Your donations will go towards establishing:
◾️A Mentoring programme
◾️Skills and education programmes (e.g. ad hoc workshops and a summer school programme)
◾️A Wellbeing programme
◾️A Hardship Fund
We have lofty goals and, with your support, we believe we can turn all of our ideas into concrete realities. As a charitable organisation, relying solely on the good will of its volunteers, BTB is in need of funding in order to deliver its programmes. Any donation, however big or small, will help us to further our aims. By way of example, the following amounts may be able to achieve the following:
£30 - This could cover the cost of a qualifying session for an aspiring Barrister from a low-income background. All aspiring Barristers must complete 12 qualifying sessions before they are admitted to the Bar. The cost of some of these often leads to some aspirants having to search for the cheapest available sessions. BTB’s hardship fund may be able to support students in financial difficulty with costs of qualifying sessions, the cost of books and more.
£150 - This could cover the travel expenses for an aspiring barrister from a low-income background, to conduct a week long mini-pupillage in London. Most Barristers Chambers are situated in London, which can make opportunities inaccessible for those living outside of London. Via our hardship fund, BTB will provide further financial support to individuals in financial difficulty, if the Chambers travel award proves insufficient.
£300 - This could fund the travel and sustenance costs for 4 aspiring barristers, to conduct mini-pupillages in their local city. Alternatively, this could also fund an individual with particularly challenging financial circumstances who cannot afford to work for free (e.g. a young single parent). Most mini-pupillages are currently unpaid, however, Bridging the Bar is committed to ensuring that mini-pupillage opportunities are not only available to those from wealthy backgrounds, who can afford to work without remuneration.
£500 - This could cover the travel, accommodation and sustenance costs for 2 aspiring barristers to attend a 5-day summer school. At the summer school, they could gain access to 1-on-1 application advice, interview advice and take part in various skills workshops.
If you are an organisation that is interested in making a donation to BTB, please contact our partnership division by email. Contact details for all of our officers are available on our website. Our team will be more than happy to provide you with our sponsorship brochure, which offers various marketing opportunities.
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