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Social Mobility

In partnership with the Midland Circuit Equality, Diversity and Social Mobility Committee, we aim to encourage and inspire ALL young people to actively pursue a career at the Bar, regardless of social disadvantages or low-income backgrounds.

The Social Mobility Committee was founded in 2019. The committee was chaired by Mary Prior KC, until August 2023, when Lisa Hardy and Rebecca Keeves took over this role and now co-chair this committee. They are both supported by a committee of over 15 members of Circuit, who passionately believe that the legal system benefits the most when it truly reflects the communities it serves.

In a body of research conducted in 2019 only 6% of the Bar disclosed disability and 13.6% of the practising Bar was BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic); within the broad BAME category Black barristers' made up the smallest denomination and the committee acknowledges the statistical link between minorities and social economic issues.

The Midland Circuit strives to support people from different backgrounds who want to practice law, and strongly believe that we need a diverse Bar in order to properly assist our communities.

The Midland Circuit’s Social Mobility Officers are committed to ensuring that a career at the Bar becomes and remains accessible to everyone and aim to attract talent from a diverse range of backgrounds. The committee includes Juniors from chambers all across the Circuit and who practice in all areas of law.

If you would like to join the committee please contact the circuit administrator at:


Social Mobility Co-Chair: Rebecca Keeves. Rebecca is a civil practitioner specialising in Chancery work. She joined Cornwall Street Barristers in 2018 having obtained a full pupillage exemption. Rebecca has previously qualified as a Fellow of CILEx and a solicitor with higher rights (civil and criminal). In addition to be the co-chair of the social mobility committee, Rebecca is also a member of the Midland Chancery and Commercial Bar Association.

Social Mobility Co-Chair: Lisa Hardy. Lisa is a highly experienced criminal practitioner who practices nationwide but comes from and remains in the Midlands. She prosecutes and defends in equal measure and is instructed in serious and complex cases of homicide, organised crime and high level drugs conspiracies. Her non-traditional legal background, as the daughter of a coal miner, and her journey into the profession have caused her to work tirelessly to encourage and inspire people from all of the diverse cultures and backgrounds in the Midlands to consider a career as a barrister. She also encourages women to join the profession, to remain whilst caring for families or to return to the profession when ready. 

We are determined to ensure that on the Midland Circuit we do all that we can to encourage and inspire those aged 14-18 to consider a career in law and to understand that law is a profession that welcomes and encourages applicants from all members of the community in which we live and which we serve. We also aim to encourage and inspire students at University or in Further Education to continue their interest in law.”

Lisa Hardy & Rebecca Keeves

What we do

As part of our Social Mobility mission our officers work to connect people from disadvantaged backgrounds with opportunities they may not have known about or considered applying for. The committee works with all of the Universities in the Circuit and run pupillage fairs and events to introduce young people to the profession. Our Social Mobility Officers also run regular zoom meetings to introduce students to various areas of law and are producing a series of films to encourage school students to consider a legal career.

Learn more