promising teenagers from Leeds have swapped classrooms for the courtroom as they were given the opportunity to shadow barristers in the city.
For the first time, Bar Placement Week has been held in Leeds to enable high-achieving students from disadvantaged backgrounds to try out the legal profession.
The 17-year-old students have been working with the barristers in chambers and accompanying them to Leeds Crown Court.
They have also learned how to structure a line of argument with training from the Advocacy Training Council and took part in an essay competition. Today, MPs Rachel Reeves and Ed Balls will meet the participants.
The Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, organised the event in partnership with the Sutton Trust’s Pathways to Law programme at the Universities of Leeds and Manchester.
Herabans Kaur, Pathways to Law Coordinator at the University of Leeds, said the students had very much looked forward to learning about a career in law.
“Gaining valuable hands on experience for personal and professional development is a dream come true to them. Identifying students for the placement has been an extremely competitive process due to the overwhelming popularity of the Week. We are grateful to the Bar Council for all their help and support.”
Nicholas Lavender QC, chairman of the Bar, said: “The Bar Placement Week is an excellent opportunity for high-achieving students to gain new skills and learn first-hand what it takes to be a barrister.
“The Bar Council is dedicated to improving social mobility within the profession by creating opportunities for bright and talented young students who might not otherwise have the chance to gain the experience necessary to consider a career at the Bar.”