Building Bridges: Aspiring Solicitors Foundation and BARBRI collaborate to improve access to the SQE

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Aspiring Solicitors Foundation and BARBRI collaborate to diversify the legal profession

  • AS Foundation applicants can now access exclusive discounted rates with BARBRI
  • The AS Foundation will join BARBRI’s carefully selected pool of partners as part of its BARBRI Bridges funding initiative which has pledged £120,000 so far
  • This collaboration will support increased diversity in the legal profession

The Aspiring Solicitors (AS) Foundation has today announced its partnership with global legal education provider, BARBRI, to provide financial assistance to the next generation of solicitors pursuing their qualification journey.

Established to help reduce financial barriers to the legal profession, the AS Foundation has been providing grants for applicants over the last two years to increase access to technology, workwear, travel tickets, online subscriptions and part-funded academic scholarships with other providers following the introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE). Now as part of its collaboration with BARBRI, AS Foundation applicants will also benefit from exclusive discounts and alumni benefits for both of BARBRI’s SQE1 and SQE2 Prep courses.

With over 1.3 million alumni worldwide, BARBRI’s SQE Prep courses have been created by industry experts with LawTech at the core to provide students with the knowledge and tools needed to achieve SQE success. Its methods are tried and tested, with its inaugural SQE1 cohort achieving an average 77% pass rate compared to the 53% industry average earlier this year.

Tim Smith, Partner, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, and trustee of the AS Foundation, said: “A career in the legal profession is often seen as an impossible dream by those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, no matter how strong their drive, dedication, and positivity, due to the cost of training and of the exams themselves. Our mission is to remove those financial barriers to help diversify the legal profession. We know that BARBRI shares this vision and has been aiding aspiring solicitors from all backgrounds. I am thrilled to announce our collaboration today to support more smart, ambitious aspiring solicitors on their journey to qualification.”

Demonstrating its ongoing commitment to diversifying the profession, BARBRI created its BARBRI Bridges funding initiative in 2021, offering support to aspiring solicitors through a series of scholarships and partnerships. With over £120,000 in funding committed across the industry so far, this will be the organisation’s next steps towards building a more inclusive profession. 

Victoria Cromwell, senior director of business development for BARBRI, said: “We’re excited to be partnering with the AS Foundation to help improve access to the profession through the SQE. We understand that despite the SRA’s mission to increase diversity, there are still some challenges ahead for those candidates hoping to self-fund the qualification process. We hope that working with organisations like the AS Foundation as part of our BARBRI Bridges outreach will help provide more holistic opportunities to candidates from all backgrounds to help create a profession that is more representative of society today. We look forward to welcoming our first applicants very soon.”

BARBRI offer a range of full-time and part-time course options as well as learning and development opportunities beyond the SQE. Its innovative testing and learning technologies and one-to-one expert support provide future solicitors with the tools they need for continued success.

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