One Essex Court is committed to affording equality of opportunity to all applicants. Chambers encourages and welcomes applications from women, people of minority ethnic origin, people with disabilities, LGBT+ people, and other groups under-represented at the Commercial Bar.
One Essex Court does not look to recruit any “type” of person. We recruit on the basis of merit alone and have a long history of offering pupillage and tenancy to individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. Moreover, we routinely welcome as members of One Essex Court individuals who have not followed what might be thought of as a “typical” career path to the Commercial Bar, including mature applicants, applicants from overseas and applicants without a law degree.
However, we recognise that Chambers, and the Commercial Bar more broadly, continue to be less diverse than we would like, particularly in respect of women and people of minority ethnic origin. We are committed to changing that. It is not only the right thing to do, but it is also in One Essex Court's best interests. Chambers’ clients come from all over the world. They often have no particular preconceived idea of what a barrister looks like, but they are extremely concerned to have the best advice and advocacy available. We do not believe that the qualities that constitute excellence at the Bar are to be found in any particular group of people, and so we expect the best potential barristers to be a diverse group. Where our recruitment falls short of that, we are concerned that we are missing out on talented applicants who would flourish at the Commercial Bar.
We therefore want to ensure that we receive applications from a wide range of potential pupils, and assess those applications fairly. The steps we are taking to do that include:
- Providing opportunities to students from groups which are underrepresented at the Commercial Bar e.g. through our Women at the Commercial Bar Programme and Open Days.
- Ensuring our recruitment process is fair, for example by using RARE recruitment (a specialised recruitment company which offers a Contextualised Recruitment System (CRS), designed and built to enable employers to develop a calibrated and properly balanced approach to the process of evaluating pupillage applications) and offering unconscious bias and race training to those involved in the recruitment process.
- Providing sponsorship to a variety of university societies and initiatives which aim to promote diversity.
- Ensuring members of chambers have equal access to opportunities. More information (such as Chambers’ Parental Leave policy and diversity data) can be found here.
Our Equality & Diversity policy can be found here.
Further information on Chambers’ social responsibility initiatives can be found here.