BBC to expose the truth behind a career at the bar

Life at the bar will be exposed in a new BBC documentary aimed at scrapping the many stereotypes attached to becoming a barrister.

In a four-part documentary called The Barristers the BBC aims to cut through the stereotypical images connected with the profession.

The students, which makers describe as coming from non-traditional backgrounds, are followed through the gruelling process from law school to their first steps in the profession and finally to the permanent position of a tenancy.

However, after having seen a sneak preview of the fly on the wall documentary, Lawyer 2B doesnt think it manages to sweep away the many prejudices connected to the profession.

Why? may you ask – because the white, middle-class Oxford graduates showcased on the programme just dont go against the grain enough when it comes to dispelling the typical image a barrister conjures up.

The programme, which will be broadcast on BBC2 this autumn, also highlights the work of qualified barristers.

Barrister Catherine Piercy allowed the cameras to document her life a bar school for the programme. The Oxford graduate claimed coming from a background that she described as being not massively privileged will prove you do not have to come from a long line of lawyers to become a barrister.

She said: I got involved in the documentary because I wanted to help dispel the many common misconceptions people have of the bar.

I think the documentary will show people if you really, really want the bar you will get there. Its not necessarily a who you know world still and it does recognise talent and hard work.

The Chairman of the Bar Council Tim Dutton QC hopes the documentary will also highlight the work done over the years to improve access to the Bar.

He said: Historically, the bar has been somewhat misunderstood and cast as an elitist profession. This documentary will sweep these prejudices away.

Its a valuable opportunity for our profession to demonstrate its diversity and inclusiveness, to a public which seldom comes across its members but whose lives and livelihoods depend on them when they do.