BARBRI announces new partnerships to improve diversity across legal profession

updated on 19 August 2022

Reading time: two minutes

Legal education provider BARBRI has secured new partnerships with Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) and STRIVE to support aspiring solicitors from all socio-economic backgrounds to take the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) and qualify as solicitors.  

The partnerships with BARBRI enable both organisations to offer exclusive discounts and financial assistance to aspiring lawyers. YLAL and STRIVE members will have access to alumni benefits for both SQE1 and SQE1 preparation courses with BARBRI.

YLAL is made up of a group of lawyers who are committed to practising in areas of law, both criminal and civil, that have traditionally been publicly funded. YLAL members include students, paralegals, trainee solicitors, pupil barristers and qualified junior lawyers who are based across England and Wales. The group is focused on creating a legal profession that’s representative of society and believes that providing “good quality publicly funded legal help is essential to protecting the interests of the vulnerable in society and upholding the rule of law”.

Siobhan Taylor-Ward, a YLAL committee member, highlights the issues with the legal aid sector and the benefits of this partnership with BARBRI: “YLAL has long been concerned about the impact of government cuts to legal aid and their impact on the most vulnerable in society, as well as the negative impact on social mobility and diversity in the legal profession. This collaboration will go some way to help YLAL members to qualify as solicitors and become the next generation of legal aid lawyers.”

The second of BARBRI’s new partnerships is with STRIVE. Founded in 2018, STRIVE is on a mission to improve diversity across the profession and move away from tick-boxing exercises. Through Supernova and Shift, its two industry-leading programmes, STRIVE identifies candidates based on holistic assessments of socio-economic factors and individual circumstances to improve representation and promote fairness without compromising on the quality of candidates.  

Bertilla Chow, STRIVE’s chief operations officer spoke about the organisation’s partnership with BARBRI: “Together, we can recognise and reward the high potential that we see in our candidates and help them to succeed against all odds.”

These partnerships are the latest developments from BARBRI’s funding initiative BARBRI Bridges, which has so far pledged more than £125,000 across the industry through partnerships, scholarships and other financial support.