Building the future Bar: The essentials in fair recruitment and unconscious bias

By Legal Futures Associate Briefed

As 2024 begins, a wave of aspiring legal minds are gearing up for the beginning of pupillage applications—a defining moment in their pursuit of a career at the Bar. Simultaneously, chambers are busy preparing for the imminent recruitment process of reviewing applications, panel interviews and consequential decisions that will shape both the future of their sets and the landscape of the wider Bar.

The desire to secure the finest talent underscores the recruiting strategy during this crucial phase and it is in the recruiters’ best interests to carry out their recruitment processes as effectively, yet fairly, as possible.

Fair recruitment is above all else ethically correct, but what does it really mean to recruit fairly?

What is Fair Recruitment?

A fair recruitment process actively recognises diversity and embraces the wide range of perspectives, qualities and experiences that prospective candidates bring to chambers.

It is not simply a tick-box exercise designed to do the bare minimum in terms of regulatory compliance, but instead aims to level the access to a career at the Bar for all individuals. It is a primary method of the fight against discrimination and recruitment bias.

The process must be non-discriminatory, objective, consistent and transparent – upholding the four principles of fair recruitment. This, in turn, ensures that the candidate being sourced is ultimately selected for the role based on their ability to do the job.

Why do chambers need to recruit fairly?

In line with their commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive environment at the Bar, the Bar Standards Board (BSB) have made fair recruitment training a regulatory requirement and mandatory for all members and staff who are involved in the recruitment process.

Those involved in the process at various stages include individuals creating the job specification, advertising the role, shortlisting, interviewing and assessing candidates. Therefore, ensuring all members, management and staff have completed fair recruitment training will cover your regulatory requirements and give your chambers greater flexibility in their recruiting abilities.

How does Fair Recruitment impact a chambers’ operations?

A chambers’ most valuable asset is the people who operate within it. These are the people who create and uphold a chambers’ reputation – therefore, hiring decision can have a massive impact.

High-performing sets of chambers do not just appear. They require a strategic approach to fair recruitment and staffing. This strategy, by focusing on creating a diverse and inclusive culture, has been proven to yield improvements for chambers’ long-term operations. Sets implementing the approach not only guarantee their appeal to the widest pool of legal professional, but also the best possible choice of potential candidates.

Briefed’s Fair Recruitment+ Unconscious Bias training pack | exclusive offer

We, at Briefed, are pleased to present a comprehensive two-module training package comprising of our Fair Recruitment and Unconscious Bias modules. This combined training pack effectively covers fundamental aspects of the recruitment process, offering chambers and staff a skill set across the following topics:

  • Best practices in fair recruitment
  • Strategies for ensuring fairness in recruitment processes
  • Addressing discrimination in recruitment
  • Different interview types and styles
  • Understanding unconscious bias and its relevance to the Bar
  • Exploring different types of unconscious bias
  • Promoting diversity within chambers or organisation


If you have any questions about either module or the pack itself, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at or give us a call on 028 9621 6345

You can find more information on Fair Recruitment here and similarly on Unconscious Bias here.


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