Digital Workshops To Help The Underrepresented Pursue A Career In The Legal Sector

Thursday, July 9, 2020

This follows a successful pilot that PRIME undertook last year, involving member firms Brodies, DWF, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Pinsent Masons, along with support from Thorntons.

23[1] firms have already signed up to host 25 two-hour workshops. The sessions will be delivered to students in Years 9-11, and S2 – S3 in Scotland, living in some of the UK’s social mobility ‘cold spots’, where a lack of opportunities and awareness of certain sectors, together with very little support, can prevent young people from pursuing viable career options. This is a great display of the collaboration between PRIME member firms, all of which have a shared mission of improving access into the legal profession.

The sessions will help introduce students to the prospect of a career in law and the variety of roles available to them. Leading representatives from a wide array of law firms, such as Brodies and DWF, will be participating in the workshops, sharing their personal experiences, demystifying the routes into the sector, and answering any questions.

Kirstie Maclennan of Brodies’ who led the PRIME working group said “I am delighted that the hard work that went into the pilot showed what a difference several law firms working together could make and provided a springboard for PRIME to launch this major project with MyKindaFuture”.

Will Akerman, Founder and MD at MyKindaFuture, explains: “We’re working with PRIME to help inspire, motivate and support young people when it comes to their career options. We want to open their eyes to the possibility of working in the legal sector by becoming a lawyer, paralegal, conveyancer or any other role that grabs their attention.

“There is so much talent that comes from disadvantaged backgrounds that can only be reached via a targeted approach, which is why we’re so pleased that PRIME has partnered with us to engage with overlooked and hard-to-reach, talented young people, and offer them the opportunities they deserve.

“We believe that engagement with companies is essential for students to develop their practical and employability skills, and the workshops will facilitate this. Our work will also help businesses to connect with a more diverse talent pool at the earliest stage possible, whilst providing students with all the tools they need to kick start an educational journey via work experience, internships and ultimately, careers.”

Nicholas Cheffings, PRIME Chair said “I am delighted that PRIME will be working with MyKindaFuture on the roll-out of this fabulous initiative. Now, more than ever, young people from disadvantaged backgrounds need the opportunity to hear about career options and begin to believe that law is a viable one for them. It is so important that we reach students in these cold spot areas where we, as a profession, are simply not getting enough traction”.

The partnership between MyKindaFuture and PRIME will continue into 2021 when it plans to host physical workshops in law firms across the UK.

Will Akerman concludes: “At a time when lockdown restrictions caused by COVID-19 have stripped young people of many opportunities, we’re delighted to be able to use our experience in virtual events to support PRIME to reach disadvantaged students in the UK’s ‘cold spots’, where opportunities are scarce, to help them believe in a future full of possibilities.”

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[1]Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Baker McKenzie LLP, BCLP, Brodies, Clifford Chance, CMS, Dentons, DWF, Eversheds, Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer, Gibson Dunn, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Lewis Silkin, MacRoberts LLP, Macfarlanes LLP, Mayer Brown, Pinset Masons, Skadden, Arps, Slare, Meagher & Flom, Stephenson Harwood, White & Case LLP, Womble Bond Dickinson