Chambers has launched its third consecutive year of its Mentoring programme in partnership with East London Business Alliance [ELBA]. The programme sees RLC mentors working with aspiring law students from underrepresented backgrounds hailing from the University of East London and Queen Mary University of London.
ELBA has been supporting the social and economic regeneration of East London for over 30 years. The organisation works in partnership with businesses, universities and schools to build the capacity of local organisations and the community, harnessing the time, skills and expertise of volunteers.
RLC are the first Chambers to partner with ELBA, with a focus on education and employment.
16 RLC mentors including 5 silks will take part in the year long programme with the event launch having taken place earlier this month. RLC members include co- Head of Chambers Gillian Jones QC, Riel Karmy-Jones QC, Michelle Nelson QC, Michael Goodwin QC, Hannah Willcocks QC, Alistair Fell, Edward Renvoize, Aneurin Brewer, Sophie Quinton-Carter, Tim Kiely, Caroline Baker, Tom Davies, Anita Clifford, Nicholas Hall, Zoë Chapman and Francesca Kirby.
Mentees were provided with an overview of life at the Bar, the topics within the programme with breakout sessions to ask questions and seek advice. 2022 Pupil Barristers Kitan Ososami and Grace Khaile joined the launch to give an account of their pathways in law and comment on the recent experience starting pupillage in Chambers. Kitan said:
"Having studied in East London myself it was a great privilege to be able to speak to the mentees on the programme and I hope they derive inspiration from it."
Alex Kim, studying Bachelor of Law (LLB) at UEL said:
"The ELBA Mentoring Launch was very helpful and it was great to see the faces of the peer students as well as the mentors. I was glad to have applied after hearing about all that has been planned for the programme. The opportunity to talk and learn from practicing barristers cannot be easily found, so I look forward to the upcoming sessions."
Visually impaired student, Abhishek Dhol studying Bachelor of Law (LLB) at QMUL said:
"It is amazing to know that there are a number of Silks on this mentoring programme- this made me feel rather nervous, as I had never spoken to a QC before! My Silk mentor is Hannah Willcocks QC and I found that she was very eager to pass on her training and knowledge. The Bar is a difficult profession to get into and as a visually impaired student I want to ensure that it is the best place for me to flourish and that I have the right support in place. Both my mentors Hannah Willcocks QC and Zoë Chapman provided wisdom, guidance and advice. I feel privileged and lucky to be given this opportunity and to be part of this inspiring programme."
In the 2021 programme, ELBA mentees participated in a mock trial at the Old Bailey where members of RLC volunteered as jurors and witnesses with the Recorder of London, HHJ Mark Lucraft QC presiding as Judge. Michelle Nelson QC, RLC Mentoring Lead said:
"I am pleased to see that we have entered our third year in the Mentoring Programme with ELBA. Our focus has always been to support those aspiring law students from East London based universities to experience the practical side of our profession and to assist them to prepare for entry into it. As a Chambers we remain committed to supporting young people and promoting equality, diversity and social mobility at the Bar."
RLC take part in a variety of outreach programmes including working with ELBA, SHIFT 25 and also sponsoring the Bridging The Bar initiative.
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