Promoting social mobility and access to the Bar
The Inn’s outreach programmes, Griffin LAW (Law and Advocacy Workshops) and GAP (The Griffin Access Programme), work with schools to create opportunities for capable pre-university students from under-represented backgrounds.
Students who participate in either scheme are also eligible to apply for a Gray’s Inn City of London Scholarship to support them during their undergraduate degree.
Introducing students to the legal profession
The Griffin programmes aim to demystify the career at the Bar and provide a route into the profession for students that demonstrate the potential to succeed. We introduce secondary and sixth form students to the legal profession, build their knowledge of the rule of law and develop their skills in advocacy and persuasion.
Our Griffin students are identified by their schools as having aptitude and potential, but insufficient access to opportunity.
Griffin LAW students are taught cross-examination, examination in chief and persuasive advocacy techniques as they take part in a bespoke eight-week skills course. The course is delivered by student Members of Gray’s who have successfully completed the Inn’s eight-week Griffin Mentor training programme.
The programme culminates in the Griffin Mock Trial where the students play the role of counsel in a mock trial at the Royal Courts of Justice or the Old Bailey.
GAP is driven by junior Members of the Inn through a mentoring programme, which acts as a gateway to the career services of the Inn.
GAP students are supported for 18 months, allowing committed students an opportunity to meet and work with Members of the Inn and to receive practical advice to plot a route to the Bar. Many sessions are conducted in small groups with a specific mentor which allows students to build a relationship.
Griffin LAW and GAP students can also take part in a two-day summer school which culminates in a debate in Hall, and includes a trip to the Royal Courts of Justice with meetings with barristers and Court of Appeal judges.
In 2022 the Inn expanded the Griffin programme with the launch of The Gray’s Inn City of London Scholarships; undergraduate scholarships available to students who have previously successfully participated in a Gray’s Inn (or affiliated) outreach programme and intend to pursue a career at the Bar.
Up to 5 scholarships will be awarded each year to undergraduate students (studying Law, or an alternative subject to be followed by the completion of a Law conversion course). Scholars will be awarded a £1,000 bursary for 3 years to meet academic expenses.
Each scholar will also benefit from being allocated a Mentor to receive career support from a Gray’s Inn barrister. They will also have a guaranteed Bar Course and/or GDL Scholarship interview.
The Griffin programme is delivered by the Inn’s Education department supported by the programme director and our barrister and student mentors.
- Fatima Ismail, Griffin Director, 2021-22
- Angharad Marshall, Griffin Director, 2017-20
- James Halliday, Griffin Coordinator 2019-20
- Claire Hood-Walsh, Griffin Coordinator 2019-20
Griffin Access Programme Directors
- Joel Semakula, Griffin Access Programme Director, 2020-22Top of Form
The Inn currently partners with a number of schools in the City of London and our Members deliver presentations to schools across the country. We also collaborate with Specialist Bar Associations and Chambers’ initiatives.
The Griffin programmes are currently only available to students put forward by our partner schools and we are unable to process direct applications from students.
Gray’s Inn Members who would like to volunteer to support the scheme are encouraged to get in touch.
LEDLET (Lord Edmund Davies Legal Education Trust)
- Find out more
LEDLET is an independent charity established in 2013 to assist students, from disadvantaged backgrounds living in Wales or with a connection to Wales, who are interested in entering the legal profession.
The charity was founded with the aim of ensuring that no young person concludes that their background will prevent them from entering the legal profession. LEDLET intends to ensure that all young people have an opportunity to consider the possibility of a career in the law and provides educational experiences that will encourage and support those drawn to the profession.
Since LEDLET’s foundation, Gray’s Inn has worked in partnership with LEDLET to support students selected to its Summer Scheme programme in London. The Inn provides accommodation for the duration of the Summer School, hosts an annual debate in Hall, and supports panels events.