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Recruitment opens for diversity scheme to support aspiring lawyers

By Monidipa Fouzder >>

(22 February 2023)

Aspiring lawyers facing particular challenges on their way to qualifying have been urged to apply to the Law Society’s diversity access scheme, which opened today.

The scheme aims to help improve social mobility and diversity in the legal profession by supporting people who face exceptional social, educational, financial or personal obstacles to qualifying as a solicitor. Recruitment for the 2023 cohort opened today.

The scheme, which has supported 300 trainees so far, is open to those looking to complete the Legal Practice Course or Solicitors Qualifying Exam who need help with funding, accessing real work experience opportunities or meaningful mentoring and might otherwise struggle to get the support they need to succeed.

DAS alumni include care-leavers and people came to the UK after fleeing oppressive regimes.

One of last year’s successful applicants, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘The Diversity Access Scheme has allowed me to gain my confidence again after having doubts about my future as solicitor.

‘As an awardee, I have felt immensely supported by the Law Society and my mentor. The opportunity to undertake work experience at different law firms and in-house organisations means that I can build valuable skills whilst studying.

‘Being part of a DAS cohort also means connecting with a range of different people, which made me feel like I am not alone in this process.’

Society president Lubna Shuja said: ‘Our profession needs talented, driven individuals from diverse backgrounds to thrive. I encourage any aspiring solicitor who is facing particular challenges on their way to qualification to consider applying for a place on the scheme.

‘I am immensely proud of our DAS awardees and all they’ve achieved. Many are from less advantaged backgrounds, almost a third are disabled and over two-fifths are Black, Asian or minority ethnic.’

The recruitment process will close on 16 April.

The scheme is sponsored by Natwest Legal, BARBRI SQE Prep, Withers LLP, Kingsley Napley, Hogan Lovells, Sackers, Nottingham Law School, BPP Law School, University of Law, University of Westminster and UBS.

(The Law Society Gazette)