Jonathan Smithers, president of the Law Society, described the DAS scheme in this recent letter to his colleagues (PDF 1.2mb).
What is the Diversity Access Scheme (DAS)?
The Law Society Diversity Access Scheme (DAS) aims to increase social diversity in the legal profession by supporting promising entrants from disadvantaged backgrounds or those who face exceptional obstacles to qualification.
The DAS offers the following support to successful applicants:
The DAS PLUS award provides assistance with fees for the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and guarantees a training contract at a national Law Centre for the successful applicant.
In order to be eligible to apply for DAS PLUS, applicants must meet the standard DAS criteria and must either be:
One DAS PLUS award will be available in 2016.
Eligibility criteria for the DAS can be found in the top right hand corner of this page. Please read this criteria carefully to see whether you are eligible to apply.
Previous alumni have experienced time in local authority care, resisted coercion into arranged marriage, escaped oppressive regimes and battled for access to university with severe physical disabilities.
Other alumni have not had to face these sorts of extraordinary challenges but have faced financial and social hardship growing up in households where there was very little money and support to enable them to pursue their studies.
Whatever their obstacles, all have shown tenacity and commitment to furthering their career and the academic skills to become solicitors.
In the video below, Diversity Access Scheme alumni, Richele Bridge, shares her experience of how the Law Society supported her to pursue a career in law.
If you would like to support the scheme by:
please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Diversity Access Scheme benefits from the generous support of the A W Blackwell Bequest.
The DAS is also generously sponsored by the follow organisations:
The DAS also receives the generous support of the following institutions:
"Not only has the Diversity Access Scheme given me the funding I needed to complete my LPC, it has also shown that my hard work in extreme circumstances is genuinely valued by the profession. At a time when I had all but given up hope of qualification the award has given me the funding to enable me to begin planning for a career in law."
“The Diversity Access Scheme is much more than just funding… it has allowed me to push through social and financial barriers and pursue my dream of a career in the legal profession. There are no words to fully express my gratitude for the opportunity it has given me."