BARBRI Bridges returns for a second year having supported nearly 200 solicitors last year

updated on 28 October 2022

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Legal education provider BARBRI has announced that it’s recommitting to its diversity and inclusion scheme, BARBRI Bridges for a second year. Since its launch in September 2021, the educational provider has pledged more than £125,000 so far in support of nearly 200 aspiring solicitors.

The initiative was established to support and enhance diversity, inclusion and wider access within the legal sector.

Lucie Allen, BARBRI’s managing director, stated: “We launched BARBRI Bridges in 2021 as although the [Solicitors Regulation Authority] hoped to improve diversity across the profession through the introduction of the SQE, we recognised that this could not be achieved without additional support across the industry. The inaugural SQE1 and SQE2 results are a clear indication of this.”

This additional support broke down financial barriers using four key funding pillars, which include:

  • digital innovation and transformation;
  • general public interest;
  • equality, diversity and inclusion; and
  • social, economic and environmental.

BARBRI has teamed up with universities, law firms and organisations to deliver greater diversity across the legal sectors, including:

  • The O shaped Lawyer;
  • The Sustainable Recruitment Alliance;
  • Young Legal Aid Lawyers; and

Sam Malhotra, director of professional education at The Dickson Poon School of Law, said: “We’ve worked with BARBRI for some time through its US Bar preparation and when the SQE was formally introduced in 2021, we wanted to ensure that we could offer a trusted route to qualification for our students and alumni. With a number of our students benefiting from this partnership over the last few months, we look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future.”

With four scholarships available directly through BARBRI – public sector, essay competition, SQE humanitarian and first class honours – and wider opportunities on offer, BARBRI Bridges has helped three aspiring solicitors to pass the SQE1 and SQE2 exams to date, while 31 individuals have sat either the SQE1 or SQE2 with the support of the scheme.

In the future, BARBRI aims to support more than 250 candidates annually through relevant scholarships and commit to an annual investment of £250,000 across a series of collaborations and scholarships.