QEB Hollis Whiteman are delighted to have participated in the inaugural 10,000 Black Interns scheme (aka "10KBI”) at the Bar this year.
When we first heard about the scheme, we were excited to get involved and assist with shaping the programme. We are very aware that black barristers are under-represented at the Bar, and this is one of a number of initiatives that we are involved in, in order to help reach the ultimate aim of a more diverse Bar which reflects our society. Fallon Alexis was part of the Bar steering group, together with one other junior counsel (Mass Ndow-Njie, Chairperson of Bridging the Bar, and two silks (Carol Davis QC, Marcus Taverner QC), along with support staff from several chambers and the Bar Council, who together spent over 2 years planning and organising the scheme for the Bar interns.
Anaya Price started her internship with our Chambers on the first day of the Criminal Bar strike action 2022, and she therefore gained a real insight into the current issues faced by criminal practitioners undertaking publicly funded work.
Here’s what Anaya had to say about her experience at QEB Hollis Whiteman:
“During my week at QEB Hollis Whiteman, I observed court dynamics—from opening statements to sentencing hearings and client management. I was also privy to the daily tasks of a criminal barrister such as conferences and networking. Through my experiences, I have gained a greater understanding of life at the Criminal Bar.
Moreover, not only is QEB Hollis Whiteman a strong criminal set, which exposed me to a magnitude of diverse work, but the members at Chambers have also been incredible, welcoming and engaging at every opportunity. One of my highlights was being invited to participate in the London Legal Walk 2022 with members of the Chambers. I convey my heartiest thank you for responding to all my questions, clearly explaining the legal nuances, and willingly providing advice to aid my future career plans. I felt part of the team, which speaks to the exceptional culture at QEB Hollis Whiteman.
Thank you for participating in the 10k Black Interns Scheme and all the other outreach programmes the Chambers support. I feel privileged to have met everyone, as their personal and professional dispositions strengthened my interest in criminal law. I intend to remain in touch with these wonderful people who made my experience invaluable.”
We are very pleased to hear that she enjoyed her time with us, and that she found the time in court with a range of barristers (including our joint Head of Chambers, senior and junior tenants, and current pupils) rewarding. We hope to keep in touch with Anaya to provide mentoring and advice as she progresses with her legal career.
We intend to take part in the 10KBI scheme again next year, and would encourage any other chambers who are not currently involved but who are interested to get in touch with Fallon Alexis to discuss ways to assist. The more sets that participate, the more internships will be available - which in turn means more access to our profession for black people interested in a career at the Bar.
Find out more about the initiative by clicking here.