Barristers spend afternoon with pupils at Manchester Primary School

February 7, 2020

David Temkin and Alexandra Sutton from Exchange Chambers this week visited Armitage C of E Primary School in Ardwick where they took part in an inspirational afternoon that provided pupils with an insight into their careers at the Bar.

The event began with an hour and a half of presentation, followed by an interactive Q&A session and fun-filled courtroom role-play. Exchange provided the pupils with wigs and gowns, encouraging them to get into the spirit of the day.

There was then a debating session with the Year 5 and 6 children coordinated by two university students.

Commenting on the afternoon, David Temkin said:

“The children were charming and respectful. They were full of intelligent and quirky questions about life at the Bar.

“The staff we met were very welcoming and have encouraged further involvement and input from Exchange Chambers. All in all, it was a tremendous exercise and quite humbling in many respects.”

The event is in line with Exchange Chambers’ Social Mobility initiative.

The issue of social mobility and access to the Bar has rightly become a key talking point in recent years, with the Bar Council launching the ‘I am the Bar’ campaign in 2018. The campaign exists to raise the profile of social mobility and support fair access to the Bar, and to encourage aspiring barristers from non-traditional backgrounds.

Jonathan I’Anson, Chambers Director said:

“Chambers is committed to helping improve social mobility in relation to the Bar and has put together a number of initiatives aimed to increase access to the profession.

“We are extremely grateful to Armitage C of E Primary School for allowing us meet the legal stars of the future!

“As well as visiting schools and engaging with younger pupils, a number of our members have taken part in the Pathways to Law Scheme via the Sutton Trust, regularly speak at student events coordinated by BTPC providers and work closely with the Social Mobility Foundation as mentors to students from diverse backgrounds.”

In a bid to increase access to the Bar, Exchange Chambers has also launched a pupillage academy, which will take 6 pupils in September 2020.