Disadvantaged students told 'bar is open to all'

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  • yeah yeah.... the Bar is open to all, just like Eton and Harrow are open to all.... They'll throw a couple of bones, a couple of effnik scholarships just to keep the Politically Correct Witchhunters off their backs but the whole edifice reeks of class privilege...

    Bout time this anachronistic club was disbanded... the profession should be amalgamated...

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  • The Bar is a meritocracy, it shouldn't be for the Bar to have to compensate for the government's failings through social engineering. Based on merit, the most highly educated and distinguished succeed. Some of the best education in the land occurs at public schools, if it didn't, then the market could not demand such a price, and the waiting list to join Eton would not be so long. Logically it should be for the state sector to get its house in order, not the private sector, which alleviates strain on public resources and contributes to the UK economy through added value education.

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  • Amalgamate them with solicitors... that's the only way... once the profession is stripped of all the wigs and pomp and nudge nudge wink wink 'I went to your Daddy's school' then bright kids from common backgrounds may get more of a chance...

    Its like dropping 'soundings' for judicial appointments... no more 'He played ruggers with Monty, a good egg' class-cronyism.

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  • Haha. All the clever people just happen to be the rich people.

    When have we heard that one before?

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  • The Bar is open to all??? This is laughable. Regardless of background. Unless you graduate from a prestigious university, you do not stand a chance. Who are they trying to fool??

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  • Private Eye had a funny cartoon in its 50th Anniversary edition about the crony/nepotism...'' if you went to my school you're in!!'

    And why should judges all be taken from the Bar? It's a cosy little club... high time it was swept away... totally out of place in a modern, fair legal system.

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  • How many pupils/tenants at top sets went to state schools? Virtually none. You have to be either stupid or delusional to believe that the Bar is "open to all".

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  • To be successful at the Bar you need to be frighteningly clever. If you are frighteningly clever and went to a state school and excelled in your exams, you would have had an equal (in fact, probably better) chance of attending Oxbridge to your privately educated peers. For the avoidance of doubt, by "excelled" I mean nothing but A*s and As. From my own experience of interviewing at Oxford as a 17 year old, I recall being told that they were interviewing me partly based on my academic record but partly because nobody from my school had applied to that college before (I was offered a place, which I accepted). I appreciate that not everyone can up sticks and move away from home, but very good scholarships are available. I also appreciate that not all schools offer any careers advice (mind didn't) - but things have changed since my teenage days of looking at the University prospectuses in the public library - anyone can have access to the Internet to research such things - even if you don't have access at school/home, you can use an Internet café for a pound or two.

    Sometimes I wonder if, when some people are discussing the Bar not being 'open to all', what they are actually referring to is an intellectual elitism, rather than educational (which may often go hand in hand, but the low quality of (some) state education (as opposed to the high quality of most private education) is another matter). That intellectual elitism is for a very good reason. Do those people realise just how ferociously bright you have to be to be a leading barrister? I ruled out the Bar at University - even though I have 4 A's at A level and an LLB from a Russell Group university (I got a 2:1), I know I am just not quite clever enough to carve out a successful career at the Bar. If you had no barriers in your way (such as caring for relatives, supporting a family, having to work 30 hours a week whilst studying just to get by), and you are not capable of achieving mostly As at A level - I doubt you're smart enough for the Bar. A-levels and equivalent are important for a good reason - they are the only level playing field by which candidates can be judged.

    In summary, I would encourage people thinking about becoming a barrister to have an honest think about whether they possess the high level of intellectual capability required, and seek out every possible route of support if they do have that capability but they do not have the most fortunate circumstances in life.

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  • "frighteningly bright", what a crock.

    I've dealt with some dumb counsel in my time. Very posh but witless.

    "For the avoidance of doubt" hahaha, have you just learned how to draft?

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  • maybe what they meant was the commercial bar - have a look at the cvs of the juniors called post 2000

    http://www.blackstonechambers.com/people/barristers/index.html

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