A programme of paid internships for aspiring lawyers from underrepresented communities at the Bar, which it is hoped may ultimately lead to increased judicial diversity, has been launched today by the UK Supreme Court.  

The launch coincides with publication of the court’s judicial diversity and inclusion strategy which aims to support the progress of underrepresented groups into judicial roles and to achieve an inclusive and respectful working environment for Justices, where differences are valued.

Organised in collaboration with Bridging the Bar, a charity committed to the promotion of equal opportunity and diversity, the programme will offer eight Bridging the Bar candidates the opportunity to take part in a five-day placement at the Supreme Court, after two days of preparatory coaching. Each participant will be assigned to a judicial assistant, giving them an insight into the workings of the court, and will observe cases, discuss legal arguments with Justices, and gain insights and guidance from judicial assistants.

Candidates are required to have completed or accepted an offer with the intention of completing the (England & Wales) Bar Professional Training Course.

Vicky Fox, chief executive of the UK Supreme Court, commented: "The court recognises that it has a leadership role to play to support increasing diversity of the judiciary and it is our intention that this programme will support the progression of underrepresented groups into the legal profession and ultimately into judicial roles. We are looking forward to learning from the interns and hope that the programme will provide an intellectually stimulating experience for participants and support them to pursue a career in the law."