RLC partners with 10,000 Black Interns Foundation

August 15, 2023

Ayo Salami and Junior Ikechi have both completed internships with Chambers as part of the 10,000 Black Interns Foundation programme.

The foundation champions underrepresented talent and promotes equality of opportunity.

Ayo attended University of Warwick to study law and became involved with the 10,000 Black Interns scheme when in the second year of university, having heard about it through friends. During her internship with Chambers in June of this year she was able to shadow and experience a week long fraud trial with RLC members Leo Seelig and Faye Rolfe at Southwark Crown Court and shadow Bethan Rogers during a serious crime trial. She commented:

“The most exciting parts of my time at RLC was witnessing the jury give their verdict after being able to follow the trial from the beginning till the end as well as the opportunity to go to the Court of Appeal.”

Through 10,000 black interns foundation Ayo has completed a 6-week rotation at Selborne Chambers, 5 Pump Court, Cornerstone Barristers, the Financial Conduct Authority, concluding her time at RLC. By the end of Summer 2023 the foundation will have helped facilitate almost 5,000 internships in under 3 years and provided training opportunities to over 25,000 applicants.

Junior Ikechi grew up in Enfield, attending Enfield Grammar School and now studies law at London School of Economics (LSE). His fascination with law stemmed from finding the process of analysing the facts of the case, determining the relevant law, and then crafting legal material in a way that benefits the client a fascinating procedure. He said:

“I admire how the law occasionally combines socio-politics and morality to be used as a tool to foster understanding of society and improve it. There is also challenging and engaging debate within the discourse that constantly arises, which I enjoy.”

Junior heard of 10,000 Black Interns at a campus event and subsequently applied taking part in a Bar internship from 12th June – 28th July of this year. As well as spending time at Red Lion Chambers he spent time at 39 Essex, Queen Elizabeth Building, Erskine, 7 King’s Bench Walk, 5 Essex.

During Junior’s week he observed a Newton hearing for a drugs conspiracy, led by RLC members Ian McLoughlin and with Caroline Baker. The case was investigating the defendants position with the drugs organisation and whether they had a leadership position. Junior commented:

“This was my first exposure to a Newton hearing, which offered a chance to view the differences in advocacy strategies compared to conventional jury trials. Of particular interest was the distinct nature of closing submissions within the Newton framework. During such, the Barristers had to anticipate potential judicial intervention, a clear departure from what you would see in a jury trial. There were also interesting legal questions that were raised during the process. For instance, I was intrigued by the lack of clearly established legal authority governing the incorporation of pre-trial detention into the sentence decision from the Newton. The case also demonstrated that identifying the leadership in a drug conspiracy case is quite a complex nuanced task and not a simple binary issue as one could expect. These jurisprudential gaps and the complexity of the subject matter illustrate how there are always possibilities for academic discussion, showing how a barrister’s work is very intellectually stimulating.”

Nicholas Hall, member of RLC’s Education and Training Committee said: “We have been delighted to partner with the 10,000 Black Interns Foundation and offer these 2 internships. We are committed to improving equality and diversity and thoroughly support this programme which provides opportunities for aspiring law students to access the Bar.”

To find out more about 10,000 interns foundation please see: [10000 Interns Foundation]