Outreach: A Year in Review 2022-23

2022–23 has been a hugely exciting year for the Outreach Team, marking the first full academic year since the start of Project Pegasus, in which we were able to run in-person events at the Inn. It has been a fantastic opportunity once again to welcome aspiring barristers to the Treasury Building and showcase the Inn’s brand-new facilities.

Our Insight London event was our first Outreach event to be held at the Inn. We welcomed 69 delegates to The Inner Temple Hall, where they had the opportunity to hear from a panel of our members, each of whom were at a very different stage in their career. We had some fantastic questions from our audience members and there was a real buzz at the networking session which followed it.

This event was followed by four other Insight events held on Circuit in the 2022–23 academic year in Oxford, Cardiff, Manchester and Coventry. We also ran three online events, one of which was held in partnership with the other three Inns. We received hugely positive feedback. Ninety-Three per cent of those who completed the feedback felt they left the event with a greater understanding of how to qualify as a barrister as well as about what a career at the Bar involves. Delegates frequently reported that they felt that Insight events changed their preconceptions about a career in the Bar, and many left the event feeling that the Bar was far more inclusive than they had originally thought.

Delegates frequently reported that they felt that Insight events changed their preconceptions about a career in the Bar.

We were also extremely pleased to be able to hold in-person Discovery Days once again for sixth formers. We are proud to continue our partnership with the Sutton Trust, who run a two-year programme called Pathways to Law for those aspiring to a career in law. In 2022–23 we welcomed 287 sixth formers from the Cardiff, Exeter, Leeds, Liverpool, Leicester, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford and Warwick areas. In addition, 31 Pathways to Law students joined us for an online event. Activities included the opportunity to discuss a legal case with volunteer barristers and to prepare and deliver a plea in mitigation. Our visiting students did an excellent job and our volunteer barristers seemed to have a lot of fun too!

In March 2023, we welcomed 92 undergraduate students to the Inn from universities around the country for the annual Dinner to the Universities. They had the opportunity to network and dine with 73 of our members who kindly agreed to spend their evening sharing their own experiences of a career at the Bar with our guests.

As this academic year draws to an end, we turn our attention to developing the Outreach programme for 2023–24 and there is lots to look forward to. After a brief pause following the challenges of the pandemic, we are thrilled to be re-opening applications to PASS and we will have a brand new cohort starting with us in October. We are also looking forward to piloting a Discovery Day on Circuit with the Sutton Trust. This will take place in Leeds in spring 2024.

We also couldn’t close off this article without saying an enormous thank you to all of you who have given up your time to volunteer at an Outreach event this year. In 2022–23, across all of our events, there have been 280 separate volunteer roles to fill, so we really do mean it when we say we couldn’t do the work we do without your continued generosity. Thank you!

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