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The Barrister Group (TBG) welcomes its largest-ever cohort of 10 pupils, pioneering inclusive recruitment

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The Barrister Group (TBG) welcomes its largest-ever cohort of 10 pupils, pioneering inclusive recruitment

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A new dawn for bar recruitment as largest-ever cohort of pupils at one set to join TBG

In a groundbreaking move for the Bar, The Barrister Group (TBG) is set to welcome its largest-ever cohort of 10 pupils. This represents a significant shift from traditional sets, offering all pupils an opportunity for tenancy based on achieving requisite professional standards, without the usual competition for a limited number of positions.

The news coincides with the first anniversary of LDC’s investment in TBG, formerly known as Clerksroom, marking the first chambers to accept private equity investment. This backing has enabled TBG to establish a rigorous and innovative blind recruitment process, providing extensive feedback and support for unsuccessful candidates to reapply in the future.

TBG’s focus is on recruiting candidates with the potential to build sustainable, self-employed practices, emphasising diversity and inclusivity over traditional background considerations.

The recruitment process began with a pre-recruitment webinar explaining TBG’s ethos and the three-stage process. The first stage involved an anonymous questionnaire assessing standards and competence, with 509 candidates starting and a 77% pass rate.

Successful candidates then completed a second anonymous questionnaire evaluating their suitability as a self-employed practitioner and fit for TBG, with 285 candidates completing this stage. The top 10% of candidates, based on combined scores from both questionnaires, progressed to the third stage—an interview.

At the interview stage, the 30 candidates presented a mini-business proposal or skeleton argument, focusing on their chosen practice area. Each panel member scored independently, ensuring a fair assessment.

Unsuccessful candidates received detailed feedback, highlighting strengths, areas for improvement, and general comments from their respective stages. TBG is also organising webinars to share insights with future candidates.

The 10 successful pupils will benefit from robust support, including assigned pupil buddies and supervisors, as well as internal marketing of their skills and availability. TBG’s national operation provides exposure to various practice areas and barristers, enhancing their training experience. The set also offers a bespoke training course for supervisors.

Harry Hodgkin, TBG’s chief executive and co-founder, expressed enthusiasm: “This is a new dawn for Bar recruitment. We are investing in recruiting the best people from diverse backgrounds and ensuring they receive the work and experience to launch their careers and build flourishing practices.”

Lauren Coupar-Evans, TBG’s barrister membership officer, emphasised the diversity and strengths of the cohort: “The diversity of this cohort shows that there is no ‘typical’ TBG pupil. What they share is good experience, empathy, initiative, commercial mindedness, and a passion for access to justice.”

She added, “They are evidence that our new recruitment process works. It has taken time and effort to make it as rigorous and fair as possible, pointing the way for others at the Bar.”

TBG’s initiative marks a significant step towards a more inclusive and supportive environment in the legal profession, setting a standard for future Bar recruitment practices.

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