Launch of Lawyers Who Care

17 May 2024

East Anglian Chambers is pleased to be supporting the UK’s first legal specialised mentoring organisation for care-experienced aspiring lawyers who care, launches on 17th May 2024. Lawyers Who Care CIC (‘LWC’) aims to facilitate long-term mentoring and paid work experience opportunities for care-experienced aspiring solicitors and barristers aged 18+ (i.e. no care-leaver cut-off date). ‘Care-experienced’ means a person will have spent a period in foster care growing up. LWC trains mentors in care-experience and in trauma-informed training in partnership with their facilitating organisation The Care Leaders and led by our co-founder Kate Aubrey- Johnson, to ensure mentors feel equipped to support their care-experienced mentee.

LWC is led by care-experienced people, having been founded by Lucy Barnes, a care-experienced future pupil barrister at East Anglian Chambers (@CEPbarrister on X), alongside Kate Aubrey-Johnson from Garden Court Chambers, a specialist youth justice barrister. Lucy Directs LWC alongside it’s Chief Operations Officer, Gemma Creamer, who is also care-experienced.

Lucy’s story that inspired LWC:

“I was placed into a foster care arrangement aged 13 after experiencing childhood domestic abuse, neglect and family dysfunction. At 16, I was kicked out of foster care due to undiagnosed mental health difficulties. 16 was where I fell off the ‘Care Cliff’ as all local authority support, including my social worker, disappeared. Determined to create a life for myself outside of the council estate(s) I grew up in, I became determined to become a barrister and one day help others like me. I graduated with a 2:1 law degree in 2018, was called to the Bar in 2021 and secured pupillage in May 2023.

I founded Lawyers Who Care CIC because I didn’t want others to experience the intense barriers into the industry that I faced, including lack of emotional support from parents, lack of social capital and access to networking and opportunities, and lack of financial assistance to help with unpaid internships or work experience. Not to mention the stigma associated with being care-experienced.

People always assume you are troubled and fail to see you as a whole, embodied person with skills and talents to bring to the table.

How I am where I am now is an incredible story, and I am most proud. But I am determined to make the legal profession more inclusive for care-experienced aspiring lawyers. Lawyers Who Care CIC is one step in that mission.”

Gemma’s Story:

“My journey into care began at the age of 14. Unfortunately, my mum passed away suddenly at the age of 9 and following a breakdown in my relationship with my dad it was no longer safe nor the right thing for me to be home anymore. Life changed overnight as I ran down the stairs and out to door into a tunnel I truly didn’t see a light at the end of. Going into care was the point where I lost myself … now I look back as it being the exact moment my life changed for the better and a new me resurfaced – stronger and more determined than ever.

I learnt very early on the importance of owning your story and allowing it to be your beacon that guides you through the darkest of times. I learnt the importance of self-advocacy and fighting for myself better than anyone ever could or have even tried.

A career in law was never what scared me but the hurdles I had to cross to get there was what did – knowing whether to share my story and if so, what parts was just another one of them hurdles.

Lawyers Who Care is ready to bridge that gap and bring the law back down to earth. To represent care experience in all facets of the industry and demonstrate exactly how to “turn an adversity into an advantage (my catchphrase).”

LWC Core Mission:

LWC is necessary given the specific barriers care-experienced people face in accessing legal careers. The life outcomes of care-experienced young people are sadly well known. Only 14% of children who experience foster care go to university in comparison to 47% of all young people (2023 CIVITAS report ‘breaking the care ceiling’). In addition, at least 24% of the prison population are care-experienced, as are 26% of the homeless population (2022 Care Review, Josh McAllister). 41% of Care Leavers aged 19-21 are likely to have no parental suppor and lack sufficient social capital in education or employment, compared to 12% of all other young people in the same age group (Department of Education). LWC is determined to turn these statistics around and show young people that care-experienced people can be lawyers too.

“As President, I am particularly aware of the difficulties that young care leavers experience, I am therefore particularly keen to encourage those who wish to practice law by supporting LWC in its work”

– Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice

LWC seeks to build connections in the legal industry for care-experienced people, to bridge the lack of social capital that sadly accompanies care-experience. Care-experienced aspiring lawyers also often struggle with self-belief, in large part due to the stigma associated with being a care leaver. This is a stigma LWC is determined to dissolve. Beyond the support to offer care-experienced aspiring lawyers, LWC also seeks to demonstrate to the profession the unique gifts and talents that care-experienced people bring to the legal profession, which enhances it.

“When one care-experienced person rises, we all rise.” – Lucy Barnes, Founder and Director of Lawyers Who Care CIC

If you are interested in Lawyers Who Care CIC, please visit their website at or contact them via

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