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Social media and social mobility: The Bar Council

Updated: Sep 5, 2019

Social media and social mobility: The Bar Council


Shiryn Sayani, Communications Manager (Policy & Campaigns) at the Bar Council, shortlisted as a 'Future Leader' in the 2019 memcom awards and one of our newer members, tells us here about the Bar Council's award-winning campaign, "I am the Bar".


In Summer 2018, the Bar Council launched its award-winning campaign ‘I am the Bar’ which was designed to profile the experiences of those who have succeeded at the Bar from ‘non-traditional’ backgrounds. Though multiple factors contribute to a lack of diversity within the Bar, social mobility is a key issue. The objective of the campaign is to raise awareness of social mobility, seeking to dispel the myths and preconceptions around the profession and support fair access to the Bar, whilst promoting and encouraging efforts to improve access.

The online launch of the campaign resulted in an enormous amount of engagement – over 25 times the Bar Council’s usual engagement levels - on social platforms, especially on Twitter. The initiative was officially announced through a series of stories from the campaign’s Social Mobility Advocates, which were published along with the hashtag #IAmTheBar. This way, barristers began sharing their stories of their unconventional journeys to the Bar, inspiring current and prospective students with insights into the various paths within the profession.


Furthermore, a spin-off series ‘I am the Bench’ was released in late 2018, to dispel myths about the role of judges, as well as emphasize the importance of encouraging individuals of all backgrounds to deliver justice. Since then, the Bar Council has run panel sessions and live-streamed events to get the message out further. As a result, ‘I am the Bar’ won the 2019 Lexis Nexis Legal Award in the Legal PR/Media Comms category for its progress in raising awareness of the importance of social mobility at the Bar and has been covered widely in the media.


The official campaign video was recently released in July 2019, and can be found on the Bar Council’s YouTube Channel. Going forward, 10 new barristers will be joining the campaign as Social Mobility Advocates in September 2019. To find out who they are - and more importantly their exceptional and intriguing journeys to the Bar - keep an eye on the Bar Council’s Twitter in the week of 23 September. These stories will include experiences from some who have lived in extreme poverty and have been refugees.


To find out more about the campaign, visit the Bar Council website or send an email to Campaigns@BarCouncil.org.uk


Author:

Shiryn Sayani, Communications Manager (Policy & Campaigns), The Bar Council

SSayani@BarCouncil.org.uk

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