We believe in the importance of having an environmentally sustainable legal practice. We have therefore chosen to continue a number of initiatives we started during the global pandemic and which we found had a positive impact on both wellbeing and our carbon footprint. For example, since September 2021 we have operated a hybrid working scheme, with staff working from home five days of every fortnight on a discretionary basis. In addition, we encourage staff to keep active and reduce emissions through our ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme, which you can learn more about here. Where possible, our barristers attend hearings remotely and prioritise the use of electronic resources, radically reducing the amount of paper we print each year. We have already implemented 60% of the Bar Council’s quick wins for sustainability, and are in discussion with our suppliers as to how we can improve going forward
Our commitment to the environment extends even to the smaller matters. For example, our complimentary jelly beans, which you may have seen and enjoyed at one of our events, are now produced in low-carbon, fully compostable containers.
Serjeants’ Inn is committed to being an anti-racist organisation. We have a zero-tolerance approach to racism and other discrimination. Please see our anti-racism statement here.
As part of our commitment to social justice and responsibility, we contribute to a number of projects, both as an organisation and as individuals:
- We are an active supporter of Advocate: please click here for further details about our pro-bono work.
- We are a Guardian at Support Through Court, helping the most vulnerable in society access and navigate the court system.
- We are fully supportive of FreeBar, which aims to promote diversity and inclusivity of LGBT+ members and staff at the Bar.
- We work closely with external diversity projects to raise awareness and improve access to equality and diversity networks, as recommended by the Bar Council. For example, we were particularly active in various projects to create role models for younger female lawyers, particularly a 3-year campaign from 2017-2020 as a Founding Partner of ‘First 100 Years’.
We recognise that creating a fair, responsible legal environment is a proactive process and are constantly looking for ways to improve representation at the Bar and develop our work culture. Some examples of our leading work in this field include:
- Introducing RARE into our pupillage process, allowing us to put applicants’ academic results in the context of their socio-economic background and increasing social mobility at the Bar.
- Participating in the PASS scheme run by Inner Temple, providing high-achieving students from under-represented backgrounds with the experience they need to thrive at the Bar. All mini-pupils are entitled to assistance with travel and other expenses and we offer further financial assistance where its absence would present a significant barrier to accepting a mini-pupillage offer.
- Introducing numerous channels of communication to solicit feedback from both Members of Chambers and staff, ensuring that everyone has a voice within Chambers whatever their role or background. This includes surveys and an intranet with discussion boards and an anonymous online feedback facility.
- Extending our mentoring programme to cover those returning from parental leave, tenants under two years in practice, new recruits, and prospective silk applicants.
- Supporting our staff members in taking relevant roles in initiatives such as the Bar Council’s Flexible Working Group, IBC’s Access to Clerking programme, and the Wellbeing at the Bar Group. This experience has in turn informed our Chambers’ approach.