Raise the Bar is an initiative aimed at empowering underprivileged youth to become legal professionals. We recognize that accessing a legal education presents systemic barriers to first-generation, low-income, and racialized Canadians. We also appreciate that many underprivileged youth disproportionately face adversity with respect to: violence at home and in their neighborhoods; family members with substance addictions; a lack of financial and professional support; and other challenges.
The founders of Raise the Bar were once in these positions and appreciate the nuanced complications of living in these environments. Raise the Bar connects underprivileged youth aspiring to become lawyers with young legal professionals who share comparable backgrounds. Through one-on-one mentoring, we aim to embolden students to persist in their efforts, providing practical guidance from those who have navigated a similar path.
We believe that lawyers from underprivileged backgrounds carry invaluable perspectives necessary to enhancing the Canadian bar. With access to justice remaining a critical issue within our legal system, we must amplify the voices of the underrepresented in order to better represent Canadian society, and therefore, ‘raise the bar.’
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Raise the Bar was founded by a team of young legal professionals working to increase access and diversity in the legal profession.