Fewer women than we would like are applying for a career at the Commercial Bar. For the past several years, One Essex Court has organised events to inform students about life and work at the Commercial Bar, in the hope that more women will consider what we think is a fulfilling, rewarding and female-friendly career.
- In 2016 and 2018 we arranged panel discussions in London, Oxford and Cambridge by members of Chambers about life and work as a woman at the Commercial Bar. These were followed by receptions at which students could speak with barristers, clerks and pupils from One Essex Court. In each year we reached over 100 students across the events. Photographs from the 2018 London event are below.
- In 2017 and 2019 we hosted students for an Open Day in Chambers, during which students attended panels, had lunch in Middle Temple Hall, made arguments in an advocacy workshop and met with Mrs Justice Carr at the Rolls Building.
- In 2019/2020, One Essex Court collaborated with Brick Court, Essex Court and Fountain Court chambers in a series of events at a number of universities directed at gender diversity at the commercial Bar. The first event was held in Oxford on 12 November 2019 under the headline “A career as a commercial barrister: a great choice for women”, followed by an event held in Cambridge on 11 February 2020. Women from all four sets gave short presentations about their working lives and work/life balance, and students had an opportunity to network with barristers. All – men and women, law and non-law students – were welcome.
The feedback we have received from students following these events has been helpful and encouraging, and we hope that they have convinced some of the attendees to aim for a career at the Commercial Bar.
In 2021/22, One Essex Court is offering a mentoring scheme, in which students will be paired with female members of chambers who can share their experiences and provide career guidance. For more information, please click here.