Creating a more sustainable legal profession


As a global leader in legal education, BARBRI has been delivering world-leading pedagogy and technology for over 50 years, educating over 1.3 million delegates. Since 2013, BARBRI has expanded internationally, training over 5,000 students and graduates annually to qualify as lawyers in over 100 jurisdictions and multiple languages.


In 2021, BARBRI introduced its preparatory courses for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) to support aspiring lawyers hoping to qualify in England and Wales. The team focused on online course delivery to ensure efficiency, effectiveness, and accessibility to make the legal sector more inclusive. However, the team was also keen to consider the environmental impact of its course delivery with the knowledge that distance learning is more carbon-friendly than face-to-face alternatives.

As an innovative force in the legal sector passionate about positive change, in the same year, BARBRI launched its BARBRI Bridges initiative with four key pillars, one of which was Social, Economic and Environmental (SEE). This social mobility fund was developed to help increase diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in the legal sector, working alongside charities, law firms and universities to tackle the issues that matter to the next generation of legal professionals.

Results so far

BARBRI was an early adopter of LawTech and has invested heavily in the latest technologies to provide students with a rich online learning experience that is more environmentally friendly than face-to-face alternatives. Research shows that deploying an online teaching model achieves carbon profiles almost 90% lower than in-person teaching, producing 85% fewer CO2 emissions per student. This is due to reduced student and teacher travel, energy consumption, and reduced pressure on campus-based facilities and beyond.

Also, as part of its BARBRI Bridges initiative, BARBRI is helping to support the next generation of SEE-focused legal professionals. It has pledged over £75,000 across the industry through a series of partnerships and initiatives, with over 100 fully and partially funded SQE preparation places granted to date.

The future

As the first legal education provider to join the alliance, BARBRI will be working alongside partners, law firms, in-house professionals, and delegates to promote the sustainability message and ensure they are involved in this journey. It will be encouraging those across the industry to consider their approach to sustainability, working alongside them and others taking the Sustainable Recruitment Alliance pledge. We commit to ensuring all flyers and course materials are printed on recycled paper going forward.

The company is also reviewing industry trends and insights to understand how it can support legal professionals hoping to specialise in SEE. The UK is one of the global leaders in green job growth, with the number of UK sustainability professionals climbing by 12%, according to data from LinkedIn. So, the team will continue to bolster the SEE provision of its BARBRI Bridges initiative over the next few months and is already working to develop relevant partnerships.

As part of this ongoing industry outreach, the team will be reviewing how it will approach events and promotion. As an immediate action, BARBRI will review how it can reduce merchandise giveaways at law fairs and beyond, sourcing more sustainable alternatives to ensure all areas of the business align with its green objectives. We commit to only use existing stock and where we need new merchandise to only use eco-friendly suppliers. We also commit to adopting QR codes rather than printed material at events.

BARBRI will also be looking to reduce the environmental impact of its digital activity. This includes a review of the company website, hosting, and digital infrastructure. Research indicates that the average website produces 1.76k of CO2 for every page, with 100,000 page views per month emitting 2,112kg of CO2 each year. So as part of its ‘reduce’ phase of the commitment, BARBRI is looking at how it can reduce its digital carbon footprint.

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