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Key to the provision of support is MCWF’s mentoring scheme which aims to provide a mentor to every woman barrister on Circuit who wants one. Not just useful in a crisis, the mentoring relationship can provide a sounding board and camaraderie in a profession where barristers’ self-employed status means there is often little by way of career development advice and support.

One of MCWF’s prime initiatives is the setting up of a mentoring scheme for those under 15 years’ call.

The primary aim of MCWF is to help women barristers on Circuit maximise their potential in all areas of their professional lives, supporting women barristers to remain in practice, to progress to become QCs or judges, or to become involved in chambers’ management – to identify and fulfil their ambitions.

With this goal in mind MCWF’s Mentoring Scheme aims to link every woman barrister under 15 years’ call to a mentor over 15 years’ call if they wish, in the same practice area and/or geographical area where possible.

A mentor/mentee relationship is not just there for when things go wrong: it is there to provide ongoing support and assistance with career development, as well as broadening both mentors’ and mentees’ contacts within the profession.

Benefits for Mentees

  • receiving support and assistance on a flexible basis from a successful and more senior barrister, who is willing and committed to sharing her hard-won experience and learning with someone further down the career ladder;

  • gaining confidence, ideas and assistance in tackling any challenges that arise professionally, whether in or out of chambers;

  • gaining assistance in planning their career goals - and having someone cheering them on!

  • where applicable, gaining help with planning maternity or career breaks and a return to practice

  • signposting to other services and support that they might need.

Benefits for Mentors

  • developing and gaining confidence in leadership skills;

  • staying in touch with what’s happening at the junior end of the Bar on Circuit, including the challenges faced;

  • increasing their own awareness of the support available for barristers (women in particular) on Circuit and from the Bar Council;

  • finding personal satisfaction in putting their hard-won experience to invaluable use in the support of others.

Due to the more limited numbers of women at the more senior end of the Bar, we are keen to involve as many senior women barristers as possible to consider mentoring a junior practitioner, particularly those practicing in non-family civil or commercial law.

Register Your Interest in Becoming a Mentor or Mentee

Anyone interested in taking part in the scheme as either a mentor or a mentee should contact

Upcoming Women’s Forum & Mentoring Events