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The profile of pupil barristers at the Bar of England and Wales 2004-2008

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This article presents the findings from a survey of pupil (trainee) barristers at the legal Bar of England and Wales between 2004 and 2008. Barristers are compared with other professionals and pupil barristers with other university graduates. Wherever possible, findings are disaggregated by ethnicity, gender, social class, age and disability status. The analysis is largely descriptive but includes some causal explorations between pupils' social origin, attainment and pupillage characteristics such as earnings. The findings show that the participation rates of women and minorities in pupillage compare favourably with other professions, but participation by those from working class backgrounds, is lower among pupils than the university population. Education factors such as degree class, university attended and performance on the Bar Vocational Course are the strongest predictors of young barristers' earnings, employment status and geographic location. However, residual effects of social origin characteristics remain with men earning more than women, and young graduates earning more than their older peers. This suggests that the Bar can still further enhance its accessibility for individuals regardless of their social origin.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute for Social Change, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Publication date: 2010-07-01

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