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Successful Bridging the Bar & Renaissance Foundation Mentoring

While there have been many, many challenges during the pandemic lockdown, it has also been a time of innovation and disruption with some positive results.

One such example was the founding of the charity Bridging the Bar by Mass Ndow-Njie. Bridging the Bar launched in September 2020 with 1300+ aspiring barristers from underrepresented groups pre-registering their interest to sign up.

Emma Hughes, is a member of our children’s law team and Head of Bridging the Bar mentoring along with fellow committee member, Will Marsden. They launched a mentoring programme for aspiring barristers to help them to navigate the process for applying for the Inns of Court scholarships, bursaries and grants.

The mentoring scheme attracted over 175 applications, ahead of the application deadline, and succeeded in facilitating 75 mentoring partnerships between aspiring and practising barristers. A number of Bridging the Bar mentees obtained scholarships to fund their BPC’s and some even secured pupillage.

A detailed review of the scheme has been published in the Winter 2021 edition of Family Affairs, written by Emma and fellow policy officer Srishti Suresh.

Click here to download a copy of the pdf.

Bridging the Bar was set up to promote equal opportunities and diversity at the Bar, and since lockdown, it has established a mini pupillage programme exclusively for aspiring barristers from underrepresented groups.

The application of the law is greatly improved by embracing diversity of thought, representation and interest – and over 67 different chambers have now signed up to support Bridging the Bar’s flagship mini-pupillage programme.

More information on the charity can be found at

Emma is also the Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Middle Temple Young Barristers Association and has run the mentoring scheme with the Renaissance Foundation for the last two years. The Renaissance Foundation supports and inspires young people aged 13 – 19 that face significant life challenges to fulfilling their unique potential. They predominantly work with young carers who look after sick parents or siblings at home, students that have been identified by their schools as at risk and young patients who are transitioning between child and adult hospital services. Members of the Miles & Partners Solicitors spoke to Renaissance Foundation & Bridging the Bar mentees about the role of a solicitor in Housing, Mental Health and Public & Private Family Law.

Emma is working in the Miles & Partners children’s law team prior to commencing pupillage, her final stage in training to be a barrister at 4 Brick Court Chambers.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.