Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Mobility
Access to the Legal Profession
Landmark is keen to improve social mobility at, and access to, the legal profession and the Bar. It believes that by working towards a profession that is ‘representative of all and for all’; we can better serve our clients and our wider communities. To support this aim we are committed to a number of initiatives that seek to improve access to the profession and to assist in addressing some of the barriers that often stand in the way of developing a career as a barrister or in a supporting role in Chambers.
Opportunities for all
Mentoring scheme for aspiring planning and environmental barristers
Landmark Chambers firmly believes that widening access to the Bar can only serve to drive excellence by enabling us to draw on as wide a pool of talented aspiring barristers as possible.
Along with four other sets specialising in Planning, Property and Public Law, we have set up a mentoring scheme for underrepresented groups at the Bar. The scheme is supported by the Planning and Environmental Bar Association (PEBA) and is intended to encourage undergraduates and postgraduates from groups which are not well represented at the Bar, to consider becoming barristers. The scheme aims to provide advice and guidance to suitable candidates on the process of becoming a barrister.
PEBA and each of the partner Chambers recognises the importance of greater equality and diversity in the Bar. The hope is that this Mentoring Scheme will lay the foundations to creating a profession that is representative of all and for all, by introducing those from non-traditional backgrounds to the profession.
Successful applicants will be offered one-to-one meetings with a mentor, a workshop on applications for pupillage and one or more social events with mentors and other mentees.
Bridging the Bar
Landmark offers additional mini-pupillages, over and above its usual quota, to Bridging the Bar, a charity which aims to increase diversity at the Bar by ensuring equal access to opportunity, through a structured mini-pupillage programme and mentoring scheme.
Bridging the Bar organises access to Landmark’s additional mini-pupillages so as to ensure the greatest possible level of access to those people from underrepresented groups.
10,000 Black Interns Programme
The 10,000 Black Interns programme is an initiative to transform the horizons and prospects of young Black people in the United Kingdom, by offering paid work experience across a wide range of industries. The aim is to provide training and development opportunities and to create a sustainable cycle of mentorship and sponsorship for the Black community.
Landmark has committed to providing paid work experience through the programme, where the interns will have the opportunity to shadow our barristers across our core practice areas.
Rare Contextual Recruitment System
Landmark utilises the Rare Contextual Recruitment System to inform our mini-pupillage and pupillage recruitment processes, as part of our commitment to being an inclusive Chambers.
Rare is a multi-award-winning diversity company which uses big data to map the social, financial and educational background of candidates, to ensure that brilliant candidates are identified and given the chance to flourish. The system works by combining publicly-available information with candidates’ anonymised responses gleaned as part of the application process. The result delivers two outputs: social mobility flags to measure disadvantage; and Performance Index (PI), to measure outperformance compared to students at the same school. This enables candidates’ academic results to be put into context, where possible, and in particular to factor in any socio-economic, personal or educational disadvantage to which a candidate may have been subject. This way of identifying candidates who have over-achieved in the light of their wider personal circumstances, or whose achievements should be seen in the light of specific challenges they have faced, should put them on a more equal footing against candidates who have not faced these obstacles.
Landmark Mini-Pupillage Scheme – Financial Support
Landmark Chambers believes that it is important to ensure that students from all backgrounds are able to undertake their mini-pupillage at minimal expense to themselves and, in doing so, improve social mobility at, and access to, the Bar.
Chambers therefore offers all mini-pupils a maximum reimbursement of £100 for reasonable travel and lunch expenses. Additionally, Landmark operates a discretionary accommodation funding scheme for students visiting from outside of London.
Landmark’s members, pupil barristers and staff support a number of charitable organisations of all sizes; through volunteering their time, fundraising or simply making a donation.
We use our annual charitable budget to support those organisations who: (1) focus on the provision of access to justice; and/or (2) undertake legal or charitable work in one or more of Chambers’ multi-disciplinary areas of practice. Recent recipients include the Bar Pro Bono Unit, Harrow Law Centre, the Personal Support Unit, The Barristers’ Benevolent Association, the International Law Book Facility and the Environmental Law Foundation.
Please contact our HR and Administration Manager, Natasha White-Foy, to find out how your organisation can take advantage of Landmark Chambers’ annual charitable budget.
Pro Bono Work
Members of Chambers regularly undertake pro bono work, including via Advocate and the Free Representation Unit. Landmark Chambers was awarded the title of ‘Bronze Circle Pro Bono Patron’ by Advocate in 2022.
Recent notable pro bono cases undertaken by our barristers include: (1) appearing in the Court of Appeal for an individual who had been refused leave to remain thus separating him from his daughter (for which a member of Chambers received a Certificate of Recognition from the Bar Pro Bono Unit); and (2) appearing in the Druridge Bay Open Cast Coal Inquiry on behalf of Friends of the Earth, during which the first application for the extraction of fossil fuel was called before the Secretary of State in order to assess the environmental impact(s) of burning coal.We also act in a number of international pro bono cases, the most recent of which include: (1) Jones v AG Trinidad & Tobago, in which a successful challenge to decriminalise homosexuality was brought against the Government of Trinidad & Tobago in January 2018; and (2) Designing Hong Kong Ltd v Town Planning Board, a case which was heard in the Court of Appeal in April 2018 and involved the application of the law relating to protective costs orders in Hong Kong. The applicant applied for protection against the Hong Kong Government’s costs in order to pursue its judicial review challenge to the decision to change part of the Hong Kong Island Harbourfront from ‘open space’ to ‘military use’.Further information on pro bono work undertaken by members of Landmark Chambers can be found on individual members’ CVs.
London Living Wage
Chambers is an accredited London Living Wage employer. This means that all employees and contracted staff will be paid at or above a minimum hourly rate which is set annually by the Living Wage Foundation and calculated by the Greater London Authority.
We are proud to be one of the first Chambers to support this scheme.